Illustration for article titled This Is What a Spider Nanobot Really Looks Like

Yesterday we learnt that scientists have created the first nanobot assembly line. It's "manned" by four spider-like nanocreatures made from DNA strands, with three arms and four legs. That's what you are looking at in this image.


The robots can walk and turn left or right using their single-strand enzymatic DNA legs. Those legs are biochemically attracted to the components of a longer string of DNA, which is used as a track. Milan Stojanovic—the leader of the study—describes how this works: "After the robot is released from its start site by a trigger strand, it follows the track by binding to and then cutting the DNA strands." Obviously, the nanobots don't think on their own. They follow the tracks that scientists prepare for them, and then hand their cargo to the other nanobots. In the experiment, these things build gold structures following different chemical commands.


As Annalee pointed out yesterday:

You're witnessing the birth of the next industrial revolution - except it's happening at nanoscale, and every single machine is made of DNA.

Let's hope that this does down in history as "the revolution that made all humans healthy and brought peace to the planet" instead of "the revolution that killed 95% of the human population." [Daily Mail via io9]

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