• Elly Groh

Scientists create programmable organism

Researchers from the University of Vermont and Tufts University have created an organism that's fully programmable called Xenobots. According to CNN, "the researchers scraped living stem cells from frog embryos." The cells come from the African clawed frog, scientifically known as Xenopus Laevis. All the organism's actions are programmed by a super computer.

Joshua Bongard, a robotics expert, and Michael Levin, a director of developmental biology, led the project. They worked for months on making the Xenobot able to mimic certain organisms. This makes them able to change shape and move. All the researchers have to do is program its actions to change its shape.

The teal-colored cells of the 3d model shown here are the parts of the organism that are passive. The red colored cells are the active cells, moving the organism in a direction. With this, they can carry certain materials to certain places. This is predicted to make it easier to help in the medical field by moving medicines to parts of a patient's body. For example, the Xenobots could help remove plaque from the blood vessels of a patient with heart disease.

A few shapes the organism can be