Posted: April 4, 2012 by Wildcat in Uncategorized
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Tiny robots that swim through our blood vessels attacking viruses and malignant cells have not quite crossed the line that separates science fiction from science—but there might be a way to jump-start their development. Engineering nimble robots that are smaller than blood cells is extremely challenging. Rather than design them from scratch, some scientists have been experimenting with the idea of enlisting an army of sophisticated nanobots already at our disposal: the thousands of species of bacteria swarming inside our bodies right now. In recent years researchers have saddled microorganisms with useful nanoparticles and bits of DNA. Although the research is preliminary, some engineers and microbiologists see realizable potential. This week, at the American Chemical Society’s annual meeting in San Diego, biomolecular engineer David Gracias of Johns Hopkins University discussed the progress he and his colleagues have made in gluing nanoparticles to bacteria. (via Microbial Mules: Engineering Bacteria to Transport Nanoparticles and Drugs: Scientific American)

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