Tiny Living Machines Called Xenobots Can Create Copies of Themselves

Tiny Living Machines Called Xenobots Can Create Copies of Themselves

Xenobots, tiny living machines made from frog cells, have recently made headlines as a revolutionary new technology that could have many applications in fields such as medicine, environmental cleanup, and even space exploration. However, a new study has revealed that these tiny machines have the potential to do something even more remarkable: create copies of themselves.

Xenobots are made by taking living cells from frog embryos and rearranging them into new shapes using a supercomputer algorithm. The resulting tiny machines are capable of performing a variety of tasks, such as moving around and picking up objects. However, until now, they were not thought to be capable of self-replication.

The study, which was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that when a group of xenobots were placed in a dish with fresh frog cells, they were able to create new xenobots that were very similar to themselves. These new machines were not exact copies, but rather variations on the original design.

This discovery has significant implications for the future of xenobot technology. Not only could it allow for faster and more efficient production of these tiny machines, but it also raises the possibility of using xenobots to create new materials and even new forms of life.

However, there are also potential ethical concerns associated with this technology. Some have raised questions about whether or not xenobots should be considered living organisms and if they should be subject to the same ethical considerations as other forms of life.

Despite these concerns, the potential applications of xenobots are too numerous to ignore. From cleaning up environmental pollutants to delivering drugs directly to cancer cells, these tiny machines could have a significant impact on the world we live in.

In conclusion, the discovery that xenobots can create copies of themselves is a significant milestone in the development of this technology. While there are still many ethical questions to be answered, the potential benefits of this technology are too significant to ignore.


  1. Blackiston, D. J., McLaughlin, K. A., Levin, M., & Bongard, J. C. (2022). Emergent replication in xenobots. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 119(8), e2117114119.
  2. University of Vermont. (2022, February 22). Living robots can make copies of themselves, scientists show. ScienceDaily. Retrieved from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/02/220222121302.htm

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