At last!!! Scientists have created synthetic sperm-shaped robots, or "swimmers," that can propel themselves through the human body and be controlled by a joystick or something. (Yes, I made the joystick part up, but IT WOULD BE COOL.) And lo, with joysticks and robot sperms flooding the market, feminists have finally achieved our prime directive! Men are obsolete. Abolish all men. Throw them into the sea. JOYSTICK 4 PRESIDENT. (Sorry, ladies, it's still not your time.)
Lol, you guys. No. Though "feminists rejoice!" is sure to be the gist of every dumb lede written about this sperm-bot story, it's actually a really interesting development. (Also, if you try to replace my boyfriend with a polydimethylsiloxane filament with a short, rigid head and a long, slender tail, I WILL NOTICE and I will be mad at you.)
Researchers have programmed this bots to derive environmental benefits and for a vast application in the field of medicines. A group of first tiny, synthetic bio-bots has the ability to swim on their own. They seek help from heart cells and move the viscous fluids of biological environments.
Taher Saif is from the University of Illinois Gutgsell and study leader. He was of the view that until now, scientists are only able to catch a glimpse of the world of microorganisms through microscope. However, for the first time, they have been able to develop an engineered system to reach this underworld.
The recent achievement has paved the way for researchers to develop bio-bots that can bring a revolution in the field of medicine. Specific areas and cells in a body can be targeted with the help of bio-bots to start an action there, said Saif. Bio-bots have the potential to successfully battle cancer cells, tumors and other toxins in the body without causing any damage to the rest of the body.
Sounds like a plan.
Back in December, New Scientist described a related innovation, wherein scientists attached remote-controllable nanotubes to bull sperm:
To create the spermbots, the team made microtubes 50 microns long, by 5 to 8 microns in diameter from iron and titanium nanoparticles. They added the tubes to a fluid containing thawed bull sperm. Because one end of each tube was slightly narrower than the other, sperm that swam into the wider end become trapped, headfirst, with their flagella still free.
To control the orientation of the microtubes, the team used external magnetic fields. It works much as a compass needle aligns with Earth's magnetic field. This enabled the team to control the direction in which the sperm swam (Advanced Materials, doi.org/f2n46m).
Schmidt says that sperm cells are an attractive option because they are harmless to the human body, do not require an external power source, and can swim through viscous liquids.
Now, if you need me, I'll be over here snuggling with this nanotube and splitting utility bills with this flagella. #RedAjah4Life