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mrdon
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Re: What keeps the muscles alive?
mrdon   9/22/2012 12:25:27 AM
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Rob, I agree. The field of robotics is constantly changing. The days of mechanized machines are becoming quite eloquent and sophisticated using bioengineering as the catalyst in the design process. Although I'm not an advocate of creating artifical beings, the ability to create robots with human dexterity is somewhat intriguing. As always, great article Ann!

Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
Re: What keeps the muscles alive?
Rob Spiegel   9/21/2012 2:41:27 PM
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This is fascinating stuff, Ann. I find it amazing that muscle tissue is the engeineering answer to moving a robot. You're covering a very exciting field.

Ann R. Thryft
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Blogger
Re: What keeps the muscles alive?
Ann R. Thryft   9/21/2012 12:59:19 PM
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Rob, if you mean the use of animal tissue to create genetically engineered tissue, that practice is pretty regular. So are the protests by PETA et al. But this story is all about robots, not using this stuff on humans.

Ann R. Thryft
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Blogger
Re: What keeps the muscles alive?
Ann R. Thryft   9/21/2012 12:57:07 PM
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Here's an icky answer for how genetically engineered tissue is kept alive. First, just from being a sci-fi fan I knew the tissue had to be grown and preserved in some kind of artificial, nutrient-rich medium. This article on creating artificial meat (hence the "ick" factor) has some answers on how that's done:
http://suite101.com/article/lab-grown-hamburgers-to-hit-the-market-next-year-a397077
But does that mean that skeletal muscle tissue on a robot is somehow immersed in a liquid nutrient bath?

Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
Re: What keeps the muscles alive?
Rob Spiegel   9/21/2012 12:53:52 PM
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Wow. I would imagine that brings up bio-ethical issues, Ann. Very Matrix.

ttemple
User Rank
Platinum
Re: What keeps the muscles alive?
ttemple   9/21/2012 8:16:22 AM
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I'm pretty sure it's the same thing that keeps me alive... Pepsi.  I think I could see the hose in the viedo.  (just kidding).

Ann R. Thryft
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Blogger
Re: Stuff of science fiction
Ann R. Thryft   9/20/2012 3:39:25 PM
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gsmith, there was no indication yet about the team's future plans for robots, or using this skeletal muscle tissue in humans. Use in humans would be an entirely different bioengineering project.



Ann R. Thryft
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Blogger
Re: What keeps the muscles alive?
Ann R. Thryft   9/20/2012 3:35:15 PM
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Rob, you're asking the same excellent question Jack asked regarding the engineered tissue in the Medusoid. As I responded to him, I think the answer lies more in the realm of biotech than robotics, at least for now. Does anyone else know?

gsmith120
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Stuff of science fiction
gsmith120   9/20/2012 3:31:47 PM
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I agree pretty incredible.   Ann, any idea when MIT and U of PA plan to have the first working model of their genetically engineered robot?  Are there plans on using the engineered skeletal muscles in humans?

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
What keeps the muscles alive?
Rob Spiegel   9/20/2012 3:19:31 PM
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Great story, Ann. If these are genetically engineered muscles, then it sounds like they're alive. If so, what keeps them alive? Or, is this material artificial? 

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