Digitally mapped a worm's brain!
With 100 billion neurons and 37 trillion cells, the human body is simply too complex to be artificially designed by modern computers.
But in the quest to create artificial life, what if we started a lot smaller? That’s what team of scientists has done, creating a replica of the simplest form of life we know.
The worm Caenorhabditis elegans has just 300 neurons and around 1,000 cells - and now a robot has been created that mimics the actions of this simple organism.
The OpenWorm project, a global effort including researchers from the US and UK, is attempting to create the world’s first digital animal.
Earlier this year they ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund the creation of a worm you can download onto your computer.
And they have also created a robot that mimics the actions of a real-life worm.
C. elegans is one of the simplest forms of life we know, thanks to its limited neurons and cells, and thus researchers have been able to accurately map its body.
The worm, though simple, contains 80 per cent of the same genes as humans and can be studied as a more basic version of complex life.
With a brain, stomach and bodily functions, the worm has provided scientists with a way to study life on a much smaller and more manageable scale.
In this latest project the researchers mapped the entire physiology of a C. elegans organism.
They then recreated the worm’s brain, cells and more in digital form, complete with neurons ‘firing’ to make decisions.
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