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Scientists Create Robots The Size Of DNA Strands That Can Rearrange Molecules

DNA.Thor_Deichmann/Pixabay

Robots are great for a lot of things and can perform functions that humans would either have a hard time accomplishing or simply would not be able to do. Among the latter case is rearranging the molecules of a living person’s DNA. Humans can’t do it, but the microscopic robots that are the size of DNA strands certainly could.

The robots in question were created by engineers over at the California Institute of Technology. Speaking to The New Scientist, one of the people behind the project Lulu Qian explained what the robots can do. According to her, one of the most obvious uses would be to “send them to places that are perhaps too small for humans to go to, for example inside the bloodstream.”

“It is one of the first steps towards developing general-purpose DNA robots,” Qian added.

Now, as Engadget notes, the robots do not look like machines as they are represented on a larger scale. They are not made of steel and they don’t make beeping noises. However, they do function much like machines in that they can carry out commands in a precise and accurate order.

As to what the researchers hope these tiny robots will be able to do in the future, the most relevant functions would definitely have to be in the medical field. Drug delivery on a nanoscale would be possible, thus improving the efficiency of their effects.

There’s also the matter of maintaining a constant reserve of these robots inside the human body. They could potentially act as an army reserve. The immune system would be the main force, fighting infections that they are able to handle. Once things get out of hand, the robots would get involved to deal with microorganisms or produce chemical reactions that the human body is not able to on its own.

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