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

CIA torture is reason for France to exit NATO – Le Pen
2014-12-17 20:20
The shocking revelations of CIA torture techniques give France a reason to exit NATO, National Front party leader Marine Le Pen said on Saturday. The report on the CIA’s former interrogation practices has drawn wide criticism since its release. “If indeed everyone is outraged by the tortures used by the US then, let’s leave NATO,” Le Pen said during an interview ...
900 Documented Examples of Obama's Lawbreaking, Lying, Corruption, Cronyism, Hypocrisy & Waste
2014-12-17 20:00
By Tim Brown from sonsoflibertymedia.com: Our friend, Dan from Squirrel Hill, has updated his list to 900 documented examples of Barack Obama¡¯s lying, lawbreaking, corruption, cronyism, etc. He began with 252 examples, then quickly grew to 504 and later to 694. Recently, he added more than 200 more examples of the usurper-in-chief¡¯s unlawful acts. Every President, every politician, and every human ...
A Step Closer to the Mysterious Origin of the Viking Sword Ulfberht
2014 12 16
The universe is full of mysteries that challenge our current knowledge. In "Beyond Science" Epoch Times collects stories about these strange phenomena to stimulate the imagination and open up previously undreamed of possibilities. Are they true? You decide. Ulfberht was like a Medieval luxury brand for swords—but unlike your Gucci purse, the swords were of such high quality they were almost ...
Israel proposes natural gas pipeline to Southern Europe
2014-12-16 12:39
Israel is pushing for the European Union (EU) to approve the construction of a pipeline running from the Middle Eastern country to supply Cyprus, Greece and Italy with natural gas. The proposed EastMed pipeline will carry gas from the Tamar and Leviathan gas fields located in the Mediterranean Sea, to Southern Europe. As the Times of Israel reported in an ...
As Robots Grow Smarter, American Workers Struggle to Keep Up
2014 12 16
A machine that administers sedatives recently began treating patients at a Seattle hospital. At a Silicon Valley hotel, a bellhop robot delivers items to people’s rooms. Last spring, a software algorithm wrote a breaking news article about an earthquake that The Los Angeles Times published. Although fears that technology will displace jobs are at least as old as the Luddites, there ...
More News »