Friday, 03 Apr, 2009 Technology
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Latest Invention: Robot that Makes Discoveries on Its Own

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Scientists at Aberystwyth University and the University of Cambridge in the UK managed to create world's first robot that can carry out its own experiments, produce hypotheses as well as make scientific discoveries. Researchers dubbed their latest invention Adam.

Working on its own, the robot-scientist already managed to find new functions for several genes of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, also known as brewer's yeast.

The lead-researcher of the project is Ross King, a computational biologist at Aberystwyth. He says that up till now Adam made modest findings, but all the discoveries were real. Their latest invention consists of a room equipped with different laboratory instruments. It includes 4 personal computers that work as one brain. In addition, Adam has robot arms, a number of cameras, liquid handlers, incubators and more.

Performing the Experiment

Scientists gave their latest invention a freezer with a collection of mutant strains of yeast where individual genes were deleted. The robot was also provided with a database that contained information on the yeast genes, enzymes and metabolism, as well as a supply of hundreds of metabolites.

In order to find which genes coded for which enzymes, the robot cultured mutant yeast that had a specific gene deleted. Then it analyzed the way mutant grew without a certain metabolite. In case the strain was spotted to grow not very well, Adam registered new information about the function of the deleted gene.

It is worth mentioning that Adam is able to perform over 1,000 similar experiments daily. So far, the robot came up with and tested 20 hypotheses about the coding of genes for 13 enzymes, from which 12 were confirmed by researchers, who carried out their own experiments.

Partner for Adam

Currently scientists are developing a new robot, the goal of which will be to discover new drugs. The new robot will be dubbed Eva. With robots' help scientists will be able to focus on complex studies, leaving robots to carry out routine and time-consuming tasks. At the same time robots will have the possibility to conduct their own, completely independent experiments, reports New Scientist.

Artificial Intelligence

According to Will Bridewell, an artificial intelligence researcher at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, the robot, created by scientists from Aberystwyth University, carried out its studies on the level of a graduate student. Nevertheless, this latest technological invention continues to make steps towards an artificially intelligent machine, able work together with other researchers and register their results in natural language. "That's probably far off, but it seems likely that we will get there. This is yet another step on the way," said Mr. Bridewell.

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Comments:

8 votes

//12 Sep 18, 2012 05:42 PM | posted by: ziggis3
has anyone else seen I robot???? this is it people. forget the zombies.
9 votes

//11 Feb 07, 2012 02:16 PM | posted by: kk
there is no problem for jobs people are needed for all jobs at all times no need to worry about it we get a job one way or another
12 votes

//10 Dec 03, 2011 06:09 PM | posted by: Chris
I am a college student and this doesn't make me to comfortable. All i feel is another machine taking jobs from people.
13 votes

//9 Jun 05, 2011 02:07 PM | posted by: kLeNt .aka. aRcHeR
keep moving forward.. :)
13 votes

//8 Oct 01, 2010 10:08 AM | posted by: bnernadette
it is very amazing.. wow..
19 votes

//7 Aug 21, 2010 11:34 AM | posted by: ncd
this is amazing creation for the new generation.
13 votes

//6 Aug 09, 2010 08:45 AM | posted by: Forever Reign
Very very cool. I wanna be a scientist
10 votes

//5 Jul 17, 2010 05:34 AM | posted by: Ramya
it is a very nice and fantastic invention for society .
10 votes

//4 Jun 21, 2010 04:58 PM | posted by:
I LIKE THIS NEW INVENTION
12 votes

//3 Dec 11, 2009 08:54 AM | posted by: TSG
Hope we are gonna end with war against machines......
25 votes

//2 Apr 22, 2009 10:25 AM | posted by: jhansi durbhaka
a fantastic idea for new generations to achieve peaceful and happiest socoiety in future.
13 votes

//1 Apr 06, 2009 09:39 PM | posted by: YO MOMA
HA THT IS VERY KEWL

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