A new material that seems iced seems to be "alive"



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(Newser)

Scientists have created a new material – some call it a small machine – that is strangely realistic and foreshadows a possible future in which the robots are "alive," reports TheNextWeb. In Robotic scienceCornell engineers invented a biomaterial based on artificial DNA, with its own metabolism, moving, absorbing energy resources, developing and decomposing, before dying. The materials are only a few millimeters long but can move forward on their own, moving a bit like slimy mold. "Everything, from its ability to move and be competitive, all these processes are self-sustaining," said Cornell professor Dan Luo Cornell Chronicle. "There is no external interference."

It has the three essential traits of life – self-assembly, organization, and metabolism – but it's the latter that's the key. Called DASH (Assembly and Synthesis of Hierarchical of Hierarchical), it is programmed to regenerate itself, a little like the first molecules had done billions of years ago. In this case, scientists observed building blocks at the nanoscale in a reaction solution transforming into polymer strands that then took on a tiny form. the reaction solution was injected into one end, which grew and advanced while the "unpowered" end was degraded, according to IFL Science. "The designs are still primitive, but they have shown a new way to create dynamic machines from biomolecules," said lead author Shogo Hamada. "We are at the first stage of building realistic robots by artificial metabolism." (Read more scientific stories.)

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