A new field of science called “synthetic biology” aims to digitize genetic manipulations. Xenobots are living robots, made up of masses of cells working in coordination, that can help unlock the mysteries of cellular communication.
These living robots can undulate, swim, and walk. They work collaboratively and can even self-heal. They are tiny enough to be injected into human bodies, travel around, and—maybe someday—deliver targeted medicines.
Soon, how we reproduce, repair ourselves, prevent disease will be the result of intentional choice, not chance. But the ability to recode cells, de-extinct species, and create new life forms will come with ethical, philosophical, and political challenges.MORE