This Artificial Jellyfish Made From A Rat's Heart Is The Power of Science

By Jon Partridge on at

Scientists are smart people, coming up with all sorts of life-changing things, ranging from the weird to the wonderful, all in the name of science. Here's one example: researchers from the US have made an artificial jellyfish that uses heart cells from a rat.

Researchers from the California Institute of Technology and Harvard University created the artificial mass with a single layer of rat heart muscle that pretty much looks and behaves just like a real jellyfish. When an electric current is passed through it, the artificial jellyfish contracts its synthetic body into a bell shape to generate forward thrust and propels itself through water much like the real thing. Pretty cool.

The creation of this artificial jellyfish took four years, and the scientists have already moved on to more complex designs. The researchers hope this is a stepping stone to greater things, such as the creation of hearts for humans, that can replace those damaged by disease. However, in the near term, the technology could be used to test how effective new drugs are at improving heart function. In the mean time, check out the above video to see the artificial jellyfish in action and to hear more about it. [The Guardian via The Verge]