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No, We Don't Have Living, Reproducing Robots

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Crescent-shaped balls of cells travel in circles and unite with other cells.

Researchers call this process kinematic self-replication, although that's not entirely right.

Credit: Sam Kriegman/Douglas Blackiston

A team of U.S. scientists recently announced that they'd optimized a way of getting mobile clusters of cells to organize other cells into smaller clusters that, under the right conditions, could be mobile themselves. This is reasonably interesting work, but the researchers involved are a bit excessive in their presentation of it. Equally excessive has been some of the media coverage; CNN headlined its article, "World's first living robots can now reproduce."

This is a case when something genuinely interesting is going on, but both the scientists and some of the coverage of the developments are promoting it as far more than it actually is.

From ARS Technica
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