The Dresden researchers came up with something they call a spermbot. It is really more of a sperm boat, made from tapered tubes of iron and titanium. Since sperm deploy just a single flagellum, and don’t have a reverse gear, if they don one of these tubes, they wear it for life. The researchers can then control the exact heading of the sperm by manipulating external magnetic fields which tug at the iron nanoparticles embedded in the tube. They can also increase the speed of the sperm by increasing the temperature. In principle local temperature control through focused laser might even allow individual sperm to be directly selected for a higher purpose.
Some of the more precision capabilities of sperm came to light recently with the claims that mice can pass on an acquired fear of specific events through some unknown agent in their sperm. The question remains as to how all this programming is actually done. With an experimental platform like the Dresden spermbot gymnasium, not only might sperm reveal some of their secrets through their behaviors, but those skills might actually be selected for, or even influenced.
By John Hewitt
Read the full article at: extremetech.com