DNA Nanobots

Scientists have created robots on the nano-scale that they have implanted in cockroaches, effectively turning them into living computers. Yes, you read that correctly. These miniscule entities are made of DNA and are able to perform the same kind of logic operations as a silicon-based computer. Known as “origami robots”, they work by folding and unfolding strands of DNA, interacting with each other and the insect’s cells.

Daniel Levner, a bioengineer at the Wyss Institute at Harvard University, says these DNA nanorobots, “could potentially carry out complex programs that could one day be used to diagnose or treat diseases with unprecedented sophistication.”

It has been often argued and debated as to where medicine will go in the future. We are now tinkering with abilities that seemed only possible in science fiction films not long ago. This very new biotechnology has had the ability to increase a single cockroach’s computing power to something that would be the equivalent of a Commodore 64 or Atari 800. Imagine where we could take this with humans, alongside with the exponential increase in computing power. This could be predominantly thrilling for cancer treatments, considering the ability of these nanobots to target individual cells with high levels of precision. Scientists believe human trials could even begin within five years’ time.

I don’t know if I want to be part of the first wave of humans getting DNA nanobots implanted into their bodies, but if it shows promise, sign me up.

-Joey Puletti


Print Friendly, PDF & Email