Has science gone too far? That’s a question you’ll be asking yourself once you watch this video. No, it’s not a full-on head transplant (that is a definitive sign that science has gone too far), but researchers in Germany have developed something that’s just as weird as you’d see in a mid-budget SyFy television event. It’s called a spermbot and it’s going to drive fertility rates way, way up. (At some point in the near future.)
Before you freak out and think that the spermbot (perfect name for a band, by the way) is some kind of robot that will sex people until they’re pregnant, Bro Bible reports that it’s actually a nano machine that will help sperm through the mysteries of the uterine lining and vaginal canal and, with the power of a motor, hurtle them “screaming into ovums at 120 mph.” And if that doesn’t spell romance and excitement to you, then I don’t know what will.
Here’s how the project is actually described by Popular Science:
The invention is a small metal spiral that is just large enough to fit over the tail of the sperm but not so wide as to slip over its head. Using a rotating magnetic field, researchers can direct the spiral to an individual sperm, and then use it as a motor to drive the sperm next to the egg. The sperm can then fertilize the egg, and the micromotor can simply slip off the sperm. The magnetic field doesn’t cause harm to any of the cells involved, the researchers write, making it perfect to use on living tissues.
Okay, so maybe it’s not as romantic as all that, but there are other benefits. For one, the spermbots may help increase the chance of fertility many times over traditional methods; for another, the spermbots are reported to cost less than other methods of assisted fertilization. Which is pretty cool especially for people who spend thousands upon thousands of dollars trying to conceive despite some very lazy swimmers. Of course, those methods are already established and there’s no risk, as Bro Bible points out, that the motor will forget to slip off a sperm and turn your darling baby into some kind of hideous mutant.
But come on, spermbots? That’s got to be at least as cool as a jetpack, right?
Watch out for these dudes in the next Transformers movie.