Scientists are becoming closer and closer to creating machines that copy biological life. In turn, it can be said that they are creating living machines, or at the very least, the closest thing to it yet.
A bioengineering lab at Cornell University has created a biomaterial by using synthetic DNA. This unique material is capable of organizing itself through a similar process to that of tissues and cells of human beings, or other biological organisms. Researchers have decided to refer to this as an artificial metabolism.
Scientists are overjoyed about this new concept of the living machinery. Although they haven’t straight up said that it’s fully alive, they have begun by giving the material similar characteristics to things that are in fact living, including organization, metabolism, and assembly.
According to Dan Lui, a Cornell University engineer, they have created a lifelike material that is actually powered by it’s very own metabolism, although artificial. As Lui sees it, the materials are more lifelike than anything yet, with the biomaterial mimicking how a biological organism has a never-ending cycle of both taking energies in and replacing dead cells.
Although this biological blob of slime is not quite alive, it still grows and moves just like a living organism, showing that the fine line between machines and life is slowing starting to be blurred.