by Matthew.Lafleur on January 29, 2014 - 4:54pm

Matthew Lafleur

Leslie Elliot

Science: History and Methodology

January 22nd, 2014

Science Article!

   published the article “Tiny Swimming Bio-Bots Boldly Go Where No Bot Has Swum Before” by an undisclosed author on January 17th, 2014.  The text describes the creation of a single tailed bio-hybrid machine created by a team led by Taher Saif at the University of Illinois.  The bio-hybrid machines, dubbed ‘Bio-Bots’ are single-tailed bio-mechanically created organisms that can travel through liquids in a manner similar to that of a sperm.  After creating the machine, that is, the head and tail, the team at the University of Illinois then culture heart cells at the connection between the head and tail.  By doing this the cultures develop and soon the bio-mechanical device is created, being able to move through the cells having self-aligned and synchronizing.  Following the creation of this single tailed bio-mechanism the team created a two-tailed one, which can move faster and displays opportunities to enable navigation.  Looking forward the team hopes to create the mechanisms with the ability to target specific areas in the human bodies and deliver medication, among other uses.

            The possibility of bio-bots is amazing.  As mentioned they could help combat illnesses, help in surgery, and even target cancer cells, however, there are even wider possibilities.  With the advancement of these bots it is quite possible that a person’s life could be extended for a select number of years since future bots could monitor and improve an immune system, as well as providing a variety of ways of curing illnesses, and providing the opportunity to combat disease and the likes in a whole new manner.  As a whole, the article displays the overall advancements being made in modern medicine, which pave the road for many more unique and amazing possibilities.  There may, however, be some conflicts arising from the possible increased use and application of bio-bots.  As with how many new concepts tend to be taken in the 21st century, the bio-bots will most likely be met with suspicion, and possibly even fear.  Some could speculate that these bots could be used to control a populace, affect the general health of the population, or even be used as a method of killing.  Though the negative ideas presented may seem farfetched we must keep in mind that society tends to fear change and new things.  Despite these possibilities the facts are apparent: bio-bots are being developed and are evolving to perform the tasks we want them to accomplish, whether those are for medical purposes or not.  

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