Making jellyfish out of a rat — Reverse bioengineering of muscular pumps

***This blog has moved to a new location. Visit the new site for more posts and updates! (http://www.SomethingAboutScience.com)***

We’ve all seen the magic show cliché: a white bunny hops into a hat and – voila! – magnificent doves fly out of the hat. How about we diverge into something new, like a rat turning into a jellyfish. Embrace yourselves; it is for real – well, almost.

Researchers from Harvard University and California Institute of Technology have succeeded in creating an artificial jellyfish using rat heart-muscle cells, which they termed “medusoid.” Although artificial, these medusoids not only look like real jellyfish, but also behave like one. The artificial jellyfish are able to swim freely when placed under an electric field, exhibiting the characteristic fast stroke and slow recoil of a jellyfish. The swimming behavior of the medusoids even mimics the water current created by a real jellyfish which pushes food towards its mouth. Continue reading –>

Genuine jellyfish ephyrae (babies). Photo credit: WIM VAN EGMOND, Visuals Unlimited, Inc./Science Photo Library

An artificial jellyfish. It looks and acts like a jellyfish but is a rat in origin.

 

Advertisements

Comments Off on Making jellyfish out of a rat — Reverse bioengineering of muscular pumps

Filed under Animals in Science, Technology

Comments are closed.