Bioengineer Kevin Kit Parker of Harvard University and his team of scientists at the California Institute of Technology have successfully created a “jellyfish-like creature,” what they call a Medusoid, out of rat heart cells and a silicone film.
The “creature” moves thanks to a pulsating electric current generated in its saltwater tank.
“The muscular contraction creates vortices—doughnut-shaped rings of water—below the creature’s body. For jellyfish, vortices propel it forward and push food toward its mouth.” – Lab-Made Jellyfish Hints at Heart Fix, The Wall Street Journal
Watch with excitement (or terror) as it swims around and stuff:
Now, you may be wondering what the point of a pseudo-jellyfish made out of heart cells could be. Actually, it may be used to help scientists study the movements of real jellyfish, or the various aspects of the heart muscle itself.
Or they could just use it as a really awesome “fishing bait.”
What’s next? A jellyfish made out of human heart muscles, of course!