Africa-Press – Rwanda. The new successive generations of the xenobots appear to become smaller and smaller, until eventually losing the ability to reproduce. Xenobots – living robots made from frog embryo cells by scientists from the University of Vermont and Tufts University in Massachusetts – have exhibited a capability for self-reproduction, the New Scientist reports.
According to the magazine, these tiny multicellular organisms seem to reproduce by grouping loose cells. One experiment conducted by the researchers involved placing a group of xenobots into a dish containing about 60,000 single cells – the team discovered that the xenobots seem to cooperate to make more organisms similar to themselves.
The researchers were also able to determine that each new generation of xenobot is smaller than its predecessor, with organisms containing less than 50 cells losing the ability to move and reproduce.
This discovery also marks the first time “multicellular organisms have been found to self-replicate in a way that doesn’t involve growth on the organism’s own body,” the magazine states.