Biohybrid Robots, Neanderthal Art. Feb 23, 2018, Part 2 | WBEZ
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Science Friday

Biohybrid Robots, Neanderthal Art. Feb 23, 2018, Part 2

A group of engineers are building softer, squishier robots—ones you might knowingly invite into your home to hang out. Instead of sporting bodies of rigid plastic and metal, biohybrid robots often consist of 3D-printed scaffolds laced with lab-grown muscles, sourced from the cells of mice, insects, and even sea slugs. Some "bio-bots" can even heal themselves after an injury, and get back to work. A roundup of engineers talk about the growing fleet of biohybrid robots.

Plus, since the first fossil finds in the 19th century, many have considered Neanderthals, a “sister species” of Homo sapiens, as a primitive species. Their reputation stands as unsophisticated and brutish—and not artistic. Now, new uranium dating of art in Spanish caves turns up a number that suggests they were painted by Neanderthals. And if it’s true, what does art have to do with complex thought?

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