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Scientists Create Artificial Jellyfish from Rat Cells: VIDEO

Scientists have built a synthetic jellyfish from silicone and cells from a rat's heart:

MedusoidThe synthetic creature, dubbed a medusoid, looks like a flower with eight petals. When placed in an electric field, it pulses and swims exactly like its living counterpart.

“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”.

The hope is to create something similar from human heart cells to test drugs that would improve cardio functions.

Watch it move, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. It is still far from a living creature. It can't move without an electric field and it can't reproduce.

    Posted by: simon | Jul 23, 2012 2:11:20 PM

  2. Frankenrat. That's so cool, like something out of a sci-fi story.

    Posted by: Mike B. | Jul 23, 2012 2:16:57 PM

  3. I for one welcome our rat heart jellyfish overlords!

    Posted by: John | Jul 23, 2012 2:22:47 PM

  4. yeah, no, not freaky at all, not at all.

    Posted by: thumper | Jul 23, 2012 2:27:11 PM

  5. I'm pretty sure this will not end well, but wow!

    Posted by: BobN | Jul 23, 2012 2:35:54 PM

  6. I for one welcome our new rat-jellyfish overlords

    Posted by: Steve | Jul 23, 2012 2:42:58 PM

  7. I've got a very bad feeling about this.

    Posted by: patrick | Jul 23, 2012 2:51:43 PM

  8. This is far too close to how the Blob started.

    Posted by: johnny | Jul 23, 2012 4:34:27 PM

  9. Can it feel pain?

    Posted by: Tallulah | Jul 23, 2012 6:27:18 PM

  10. It's altogether ooky.

    Posted by: ruddigore | Jul 23, 2012 7:18:19 PM

  11. I'm more concerned as to why somebody thought this needed to be done. Are there not more important things to be done in science-land?

    Posted by: Top to Bottom | Jul 24, 2012 12:01:11 AM

  12. Kill it, Kill it NOW.
    And many other perverse
    combinations these folks
    have up their ivory-tower
    This will not end, much less well.

    Posted by: BrokebackBob | Jul 24, 2012 10:02:52 AM

  13. I'm with you poster
    Top to Bottom, I bet
    there is some perverted
    billionaire donor behind
    this. The RepubliThugs(tm)
    will need some new life form
    to help control all of us.
    Their timeline is very very

    Posted by: BrokebackBob | Jul 24, 2012 10:05:21 AM

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