Scientists in the US create the first living robots and say they can now reproduce; three-fourths of adults think Facebook is making US society worse, an enormous asteroid to enter Earth’s orbit, and more news.
A team of scientists from the University of Vermont, Tufts University, and Harvard University’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, who created the first living robots called xenobots in 2020, say the lifeforms can now self-replicate, and in a manner not observed in plants and animals, CNN reports.
The robots are created from the stem cells of the African clawed frog and are less than a millimeter wide. In experiments, the xenobots demonstrated moving, working together in groups, and even healing themselves.
Scientists say they are “astounded” after observing that, after they “liberate (the cells) from the rest of the embryo,” the living robots figured out “apparently a new way to reproduce.”
Scientists then used artificial intelligence to test billions of body shapes to make xenobots more effective at this type of replication.
The research was funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), a federal agency that oversees technology development for military use. The findings were published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal PNAS.
The potential uses for this combination of molecular biology and artificial intelligence may include tasks such as regenerative medicine, inspecting root systems, and even collecting microplastics in the oceans.
According to a new poll by CNN conducted by SSRS, the majority of those polled believe Facebook is making American society worse. The results were 76% to 11% that Facebook makes society worse, not better, while only 13% said the social media network had no effect either way. That feeling was shared even by those who use Facebook frequently, who visit the site several times a week, who said by a ratio of 70% to 14% that the social media platform harms US society rather than helping. A majority, 55%, said the way people use Facebook is at fault, while 45% said the fault lies with the way Facebook is operated. Around a third of the public said both Facebook as a platform is making American society worse and Facebook as a company is more at fault than its users.
An asteroid slightly larger than a football stadium at 430 feet is due to make a “close approach” to our planet as it enters Earth’s orbital field this week, LADBible reports. Designated as 1994 WR12, the asteroid was first discovered on November 28, 1994, at the Palomar Observatory by astronomer Carolyn Shoemaker. Up until 2016, the asteroid was listed as an “Earth impact risk” by the JPL Center for NEO Studies (CNEOS) but has since had its threat-level downgraded. A collision with the Earth would create an explosion equivalent to 77 megatons of TNT or 1.5 times more powerful than the largest nuclear weapon ever tested – the Tsar Bomba.
However, it doesn’t appear that it will reach Armageddon level yet. Astronomers predict that during this flyby, the asteroid will safely remain 3.8 million miles away.
Actor and Austin resident Matthew McConaughey has kept the world in suspense over the possibility of running for Texas governor in 2022. He announced in a video posted on Twitter, the Western Journal reported.
“Listen, over the past two years, I’ve been working on the answer to the question of how I can be most useful in this life going forward,” McConaughey said. “One category of service I’ve been exploring is politics. Been considering a run for governor of Texas.”
“As a simple kid born in the little town of Uvalde, Texas, it never occurred to me I would one day be considered for political leadership. It’s a humbling and inspiring path to ponder,” McConaughey continued. “It is also a path that I am choosing not to take at this moment.”