Researchers at Harvard University have built an artificial jellyfish using a sheet of silicone and rat heart cells, which they lovingly call a medusoid. When electricity is run through the tank, it swims exactly like a real jellyfish.
"Morphologically, we've built a jellyfish. Functionally, we've built a jellyfish. Genetically, this thing is a rat," says Kit Parker, a biophysicist at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who led the work. The project is described today in Nature Biotechnology1.
Parker's lab works on creating artificial models of human heart tissues for regenerating organs and testing drugs, and the team built the medusoid as a way of understanding the "fundamental laws of muscular pumps". It is an engineer's approach to basic science: prove that you have identified the right principles by building something with them.
|Coldest, Driest, Calmest Place on Earth Found|
|Scientists Explain How DNA Manages to Stay Untangled|
|Scientists Sceptical of Lockheed Martin's Promised Fusion Reactor|
|How to build a thermometer using the whole galaxy|
|“Silicon Valley’s newfound urge to postpone aging indefinitely is an attempt by the super wealthy to extend their own lives.”|
|“If I’m upset with Facebook, what’s the equivalent product I can go sign up for?”|
|“In comparison to the waste produced by every other kind of electricity production, that quantity is close to zero.”|
|Fake Name Generator|
|Japanese Robot Serves Ice Cream From Inside a Vending Machine|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|What Computers See When They Watch a Movie|
|Google Map Shows You the Most Photographed Areas of the World|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|“Research that could engineer dinosaurs back into existence within the next five to 10 years.”|
|“A man-powered machine that creates scarfs in 5 minutes.”|
|Facebook, Twitter Users Could Face Insurance Hikes|