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Science & Technology

Scientists create artificial jellyfish

By T.K. Randall
July 24, 2012 · Comment icon 20 comments



Image Credit: Youtube
A team of bioengineers have taken cells from a rat's heart and used them to create a 'Franken-jelly'.
To create the creatures, scientists arranged the rat's heart cells on a piece of rubbery silicon and applied an electrical charge. The jellyfish look and move like the real thing, each pumping water in and out of its body as it swims around. It is hoped that the research will help to advance the field of artificial hearts and other organs.

Bioengineers Kevin Kit Parker and John Dabiri aimed to 'copy nature' when they set out to build the jellyfish and the motto seems to have worked. "Some engineers build things out of concrete, copper and steel - we build things out of cells," said Parker.
The duo and their colleagues stenciled out the ideal jellyfish shape on silicon, a material that would be sturdy but flexible, much like the jellyfish itself. They then coached rat muscle cells to grow in parallel bands on the silicon and encased the cells with a stretchy material called elastomer.



Source: Wired | Comments (20)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #11 Posted by mfrmboy 11 years ago
I don't see how it could be considered life unless it feeds.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Sundew 11 years ago
Not "life", merely a construct using heart cells which beat rhythmically. The cells will likely not live long and the "jellyfish" will become a slice of floating silicone once more. Now when scientists can build one with artificial nematocysts, then I'll really be impressed.
Comment icon #13 Posted by Thepeak12 11 years ago
Ok so we have a pseudo jelly fish. Now what?
Comment icon #14 Posted by csspwns 11 years ago
next we could try making clones of humans
Comment icon #15 Posted by Lava_Lady 11 years ago
I hope all the rats that had to die for this experiment didn't die in vain.... Something good better come out of this. Sounds like they are just playing around to me.
Comment icon #16 Posted by Simbi Laveau 11 years ago
Just what we needed ! Oooowww ahhhhhh ,our tax dollars at work ,with so many practical uses ! I'm so happy about this,I am plotzing ! Heart muscles contracting out of the body ! This is certainly a new novel concept ! May I repeat ,OOOOOOWWWWW AHHHHHHH
Comment icon #17 Posted by Gromdor 11 years ago
Making an artificial heart out of silicon/ muscle tissue comes to mind as a potential future use.
Comment icon #18 Posted by DeathRain2012 11 years ago
Jelly Robot!!
Comment icon #19 Posted by NoiseBleed 11 years ago
this isnt a clone, its a peice of ruber coated with living cells that swim and look like a jellyfish. i would estimate they are electricuting the water wen they want the thing to pump and swim. its not alive, just coated with hearth cells
Comment icon #20 Posted by CRIPTIC CHAMELEON 11 years ago
I hope all the rats that had to die for this experiment didn't die in vain.... Something good better come out of this. Sounds like they are just playing around to me. I agree so lets hope there is some practical use for what they are doing.


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