Inspired by biological systems, scientists have developed miniature
robots that can self-assemble using parts that float randomly in their
environments. The robots also know when something is amiss and can
correct their own mistakes.
Scientists have long been
fascinated by how living cells are able to replicate DNA using building
blocks floating randomly inside the cell’s nucleus. The interior of the
nucleus is filled with a gel-like liquid known as nucleoplasm. The DNA
building blocks, known as nucleotides, float around in this liquid like
ingredients in a molecular soup. Also present in the nucleoplasm are
proteins known as polymerases, which pluck nucleotides from the soup as
needed when copying DNA.