Skip to comments.Artificial jellyfish created from heart cells
Posted on 07/24/2012 1:01:08 AM PDT by null and void
The artificial jellyfish replica is made from silicone polymer and rat heart cells
... a proof of concept for reverse engineering a variety of muscular organs and simple life forms.
... jellyfish use a muscle to pump their way through the water ... similar to that of a human heart.
The work also points to a broader definition of "synthetic life" in an emerging field of science that has until now focused on replicating life's building blocks...
... to challenge the traditional view of synthetic biology which is "focused on genetic manipulations of cells". Instead of building just a cell, he sought to "build a beast".
The swimming behaviour of the Medusoid closely mimics that of the real thing
They grew the heart muscle cells on top [of a silicone template], with the protein pattern serving as a road map for the growth ... of the rat tissue. This allowed them to turn the cells into a coherent swimming muscle.
When the researchers set the Medusoid free in a container of electrically conducting fluid, they shocked the Medusoid into swimming with synchronised contractions. The muscle cells even started to contract a bit on their own before the electrical current was applied.
...we were able to reproduce some pretty complex swimming and feeding behaviours that you see in biological jellyfish
...we're seeing ways in which we can probably improve on that natural performance. The process of evolution missed a lot of good solutions."
The team aims to carry out further work on the artificial jellyfish.
They also plan to incorporate a simple "brain" so it can respond to its environment and replicate more advanced behaviours like moving towards a light source and seeking energy or food.
(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...
Fanfrickintastic! As if there aren't enough "real" jellyfish already.
What could possibly go wrong???
Yes I can see it now. Artificial bus drivers that don't need to be paid. They occasionally eat a child and run over small cars but they closely mimic the behavior of a real human bus driver.
The only creature on this planet that could be replaced by a artificial blob and for society to be better off would be the politician.
The Jelly heart! Does it come in fabulous colors? How does it taste with peanut butter, Spongebob? Sounds like one of those As Seen On TV products.
Because he could.......
To require a clear and certain objective is not necessary in every endeavor. There is challenge and satisfaction in just plain old fooling around to see what happens
A long way still from biogenesis.
OTOH, we could have a lot of fun debating which cells are most suitable for that job...