Spermbots: Remote-controlled sperm, for guaranteed delivery
2013 12 17

By John Hewitt | ExtremeTech



Sperm cells are basically motorized packets of DNA. Once their fuse is lit, they burn full bore like a solid fuel bottle rocket until they reach their target. If used as directed, they eventually meet up with an egg for a quick round of Castle Seige, then expire like salmon after a spawn. Researchers from the Dresden Institute for Integrative Nanosciences, a stronghold of Germany ingenuity, realized that if these minions could be trained, or rather, entrained, they might be harnessed to creative end.

The Dresden researchers came up with something they call a spermbot. It is really more of a sperm boat, made from tapered tubes of iron and titanium. Since sperm deploy just a single flagellum, and don’t have a reverse gear, if they don one of these tubes, they wear it for life. The researchers can then control the exact heading of the sperm by manipulating external magnetic fields which tug at the iron nanoparticles embedded in the tube. They can also increase the speed of the sperm by increasing the temperature. In principle local temperature control through focused laser might even allow individual sperm to be directly selected for a higher purpose.



Applications for this new technology are developing at a furious pace. Those who thought in vitro fertilization was cool can’t wait to try their hand at in vivo magnetically-enhanced insemination. Targeted drug delivery may also be possible using specialized sperm shuttles. Even non-biologic tools based on sperm propulsion could built to act as microassemblers. There is also just the sheer entertainment value of robotsperm for use in next generation battlebots.

Some of the more precision capabilities of sperm came to light recently with the claims that mice can pass on an acquired fear of specific events through some unknown agent in their sperm. The question remains as to how all this programming is actually done. With an experimental platform like the Dresden spermbot gymnasium, not only might sperm reveal some of their secrets through their behaviors, but those skills might actually be selected for, or even influenced.

[...]

Read the full article at: extremetech.com




READ: Mystery Malady Kills More Bees - Will We Rebuild With Robots?




Related Articles
Gay sperm donor ordered to pay child support for daughters 13 years later
Russian sperm bank for bears: Surrogate grizzly to carry polar cubs
Prisoner smuggles sperm out to wife, has son
It DOES make a difference which wins the race: Huge differences in DNA of sperm
Wi-Fi kills sperm
One Sperm Donor with 150 Sons and Daughters
Donor Unknown: Adventures in the Sperm Trade (Documentary)
Court says widow can use dead husband’s sperm
Is sex necessary for reproduction?
Government Genome Project to Sequence DNA of All US Babies at Birth
Making Babies After Death: It’s Possible, But Is It Ethical?
UK Public OK with creating babies from 3 people to avoid genetic diseases
World’s first GM babies born
Mice Inherit the Fears of Their Fathers
300 Million Chinese Men Descended From Just 3 Stone Age Grandfathers?


Latest News from our Front Page

Sweden Recognizes Palestinian State; Israel Upset
2014 10 31
Sweden on Thursday became the biggest Western European country to recognize a Palestinian state, prompting a strong protest from Israel, which swiftly withdrew its ambassador from Stockholm. The move by Sweden’s new left-leaning government reflects growing international impatience with Israel’s nearly half-century control of the West Bank, east Jerusalem and its blockade of the Gaza Strip. It also comes during increased ...
Fed-Backed Study: How to Brainwash Public into Fearing “Climate Change” Like Ebola
2014 10 31
$84K study seeks ways to make public fear "climate change and overpopulation" The National Science Foundation is funding a study to determine how to brainwash the public into fearing “climate change and overpopulation” as if they were Ebola. The NSF awarded an $84,000 grant to researchers at the State University of New York at Buffalo yesterday to figure out how to make ...
Brain decoder can eavesdrop on your inner voice
2014 10 31
As you read this, your neurons are firing – that brain activity can now be decoded to reveal the silent words in your head TALKING to yourself used to be a strictly private pastime. That’s no longer the case – researchers have eavesdropped on our internal monologue for the first time. The achievement is a step towards helping people who cannot ...
6 Million Lies
2014 10 30
“If you do not specify and confront real issues, what you say will surely obscure them. If you do not alarm anyone morally, you yourself remain morally asleep. If you do not embody controversy, what you say will be an acceptance of the drift of the coming hell.” C Wright Mills. I need to share information I have discovered ...
Google’s New Computer With Human-Like Learning Abilities Will Program Itself
2014 10 30
In college, it wasn’t rare to hear a verbal battle regarding artificial intelligence erupt between my friends studying neuroscience and my friends studying computer science. One rather outrageous fellow would mention the possibility of a computer takeover, and off they went. The neuroscience-savvy would awe at the potential of such hybrid technology as the CS majors argued we have nothing to ...
More News »