Watch the video below, and consider this: “Genetically, this thing is a rat,” Harvard biophysicist Kit Parker told Nature News.
But, we hear you saying, that is not a rat! It’s a jellyfish! Sorta — but it’s made from silicone and the muscle cells of a rat’s heart. When the resulting “medusoid” (“jellyfishy”) creature is put into an electric field, the muscles cells contract, the silicone pulls the structure back into its original shape, and the artificial jellyfish swims.
Cool? Yes. Practical? Yes, possibly. The next step in this research is to build a jellyfish from the cells of a human heart, a tool that could test the efficacy of heart drugs. That seems like an admirable use of Frankenscience, plus the potential consequences if it goes wrong are less than threatening. An army of human jellyfish? Please.
Good job keeping your hideous progeny under control by not giving them limbs, guys! We will just be over here.
- Artificial jellyfish built from rat cells, Nature News
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