Artificial jellyfish with a rat heart
Rats and jellyfish have nothing in common in the wild, but the scientists managed to bring the two species closer to their labs.
In particular, biochemists have been able to create an artificial jellyfish from the rat heart muscle cells, which swims like true.
“Morphologically we made a jellyfish, Functionally we made a jellyfish. Genetically this thing is a rat, “Dr. Kit Parker, a biophysicist at Harvard University and head of research.
Dr. Parker began looking for ways to mimic the shape and movement of jellyfish in 2007, after visiting a Boston aquarium.
“When I said that I wanted to make a jellyfish, my coworkers started looking at me like I was crazy,” said Dr. Parker.
Quickly overcoming their reservations, scientists at Harvard and the California Institute of Technology put forward artificial jellyfish.
To make the jellyfish, the scientists placed live rat heart cells on a silicone base.
They then put the artificial jellyfish in the water and pierced it with electricity, causing the cells to expand and contract.
In fact, they managed to reproduce the methodical pulses we see in jellyfish.
Scientists estimate that since their jellyfish imitates the jellyfish’s pulse, it will be able to emulate the heart’s pulse, which opens new avenues for medicine.
Another goal of the researchers is to develop a jellyfish from human heart muscle, which will serve as a platform for testing new heart drugs.