BABOTS

Genetically modified worms designed for collective pathogen detection and attack in agriculture.

Scientists are embarking on a project to develop biological animal robots (BABots). While this may sound like science fiction, it is a real and ambitious scientific endeavour that would allow small animals with genetically modified nervous systems to carry out a range of behaviours beyond their natural capabilities. The EU funded BABOTS project will design the first BABot system. It will be implemented in Caenorhabditis elegans, a nematode worm, which will be programmed to act collectively to detect and attack pathogens in an agricultural setting. BABOTS will genetically modify individual worm gene circuits and study collective behaviour in engineered worms to develop a theory of heterogeneity-based swarm control.

PROGRAMME: EIC Pathfinder
COORDINATOR: University of Namur
COORDINATOR COUNTRY: Belgium

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