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Dna Nanobots Deliver Drugs in Living Cockroaches


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A cockroach.

Researchers say it should be possible to scale up the computing power in the cockroach to that of an 8-bit computer, equivalent to a Commodore 64 or Atari 800 from the 1980s.

Credit: iconshock.com

Researchers at Bar Ilan University in Israel have introduced into living cockroaches DNA nanobots that can dispense drugs.

The nano-sized robots work by folding and unfolding strands of DNA. The origami robots travel around the cockroach's body and interact with each other, as well as the insect's cells, and when they uncurl, they can dispense drugs carried in their folds.

The accuracy and control of the nanobots is equivalent to a computer system. The team believes the computing power in the cockroach can be scaled up to the equivalent of an 8-bit computer, which would allow for a higher level of complex computations.

The researchers say the technology could potentially be injected into humans to diagnose and treat cancer and other diseases with unprecedented sophistication. "There is no reason why preliminary trials on humans can't start within five years," says Bar Ilan's Ido Bachelet.

From New Scientist
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