From Russia Times:
Scientists at Cambridge University have reverse engineered a jellyfish from silicon and muscle cells from a rat’s heart. The JellyRat is identical to the moon jellyfish, a common species found throughout the world’s oceans. Project leader Kit Parker has dubbed the artificial lifeform a “medusoid” and doesn’t plan on stopping with just jellyfish. He hopes to create an octopus next.
Its muscles contract when an electric current passes through it, compressing the entire structure, and mimicking the jellyfish’s power stroke. The creature then rebounds to its original shape thanks to the elastic polymer, thereby propelling itself forward.
“We thought if we’re really good at this, we’re going to recreate that vortex, and we did,” noted project leader Kit Parker, a biophysicist at Cambridge University. “We took a rat apart and rebuilt it as a jellyfish. We built an animal. It’s not just about genes, but about morphology and function.”
Parker’s lab specializes in creating synthetic models of human heart tissues for regenerating organs and testing drugs. Researchers have already filed a patent to use their design as a platform to test drugs.
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