What hath science done?

ríomhaire

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 31, 2004
Messages
20,874
Reaction score
414
http://www.nature.com/news/artificial-jellyfish-built-from-rat-cells-1.11046


Bioengineers have made an artificial jellyfish using silicone and muscle cells from a rat’s heart. The 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 Biotechnology.
[...]
In 2007, Parker was searching for new ways of studying muscular pumps when he visited the New England Aquarium in Boston, Massachusetts. “I saw the jellyfish display and it hit me like a thunderbolt,” he says. “I thought: I know I can build that.” To do so, he recruited John Dabiri, a bioengineer who studies biological propulsion at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena. “I grabbed him and said, ‘John, I think I can build a jellyfish.’ He didn’t know who I was, but I was pretty excited and waving my arms, and I think he was afraid to say no.”
 

Eejit

The Freeman
Joined
May 19, 2004
Messages
13,514
Reaction score
216
That's awesome and all, but will it blend?
 

Remus

Companion Cube
Joined
Mar 9, 2006
Messages
7,919
Reaction score
45
Bioengineer? More like god.
You're overreacting. This thing isn't what I would call an independent, organic, living creature. It's more like a proof of concept for the technology to create synthetic organs, like human hearts. This "jellyfish" requires electricity from the scientists for it to function.
 

ríomhaire

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 31, 2004
Messages
20,874
Reaction score
414
It also only does one thing and can't eat or repair itself, let along reproduce. It's more like mechanical engineering using life as parts than making life.
 

Krynn72

The Freeman
Joined
May 16, 2004
Messages
26,084
Reaction score
918
It also is a Jellyfish made from rat bits. Both of which are Satan's creatures, not God's.
 

MFL

AlbatrossofTime
Joined
Apr 29, 2004
Messages
1,256
Reaction score
296
I want to give it my loving.

edit: Woo! 700! *dances*
 

Stylo

The Freeman
Joined
Jan 6, 2011
Messages
1,655
Reaction score
324
Yah, this thing is barely "artificial life" the only thing living about it is the cells and tissue. Without the electric pulses, it's essentially a flap of rat muscle.

But it's pretty cool though. Possibilities for being able to test drugs on it and even go on to use it as a platform for creating new organs are impressive.
 

Wanted Bob

Companion Cube
Joined
Oct 17, 2006
Messages
5,212
Reaction score
49
That's really cool, I would love to see if they could make it "autonomous" (by that I mean not requiring an electric field) by adding some pacemaker cells or something like that.

EDIT: Well, looks like that's what they are planning anyways.
 

<RJMC>

The Freeman
Joined
Jan 21, 2004
Messages
11,049
Reaction score
69
I for one welcome our new medusoid overlods
 

morgs

The Freeman
Joined
May 7, 2007
Messages
4,202
Reaction score
300
They said it was hauled from the Challenger Deep, but I'm positive that beast never swam in terrestrial waters until a week ago. There is tranquilizer gun in the shark cage, but I'm not sure it would work on this species … you're welcome to try.
 

Warped Dan

Vortigaunt
Joined
Mar 9, 2012
Messages
162
Reaction score
8
I'm willing to bet that some team out there has done this before but its only gone public now. 2012 Doomsday people.

...I'm just waiting for the day when Griffins are made
 

Raziaar

I Hate Custom Titles
Joined
Sep 13, 2003
Messages
29,758
Reaction score
132
You're overreacting. This thing isn't what I would call an independent, organic, living creature. It's more like a proof of concept for the technology to create synthetic organs, like human hearts. This "jellyfish" requires electricity from the scientists for it to function.
Pfft.... I feel like god when I make a science experiment volcano. Your definition of god is too strict!
 

Dog--

The Freeman
Joined
Apr 16, 2005
Messages
9,743
Reaction score
25
You're overreacting. This thing isn't what I would call an independent, organic, living creature. It's more like a proof of concept for the technology to create synthetic organs, like human hearts. This "jellyfish" requires electricity from the scientists for it to function.
Really, I don't see why this is so great. I agree with you. You can run an electric current through a dead body and it will twitch and move. Doesn't mean it alive or anything. Pretty much any organic tissue will move with an electric current. They used to do that back in the old days (run electricity through a body) as a sideshow. Apparently it still amuses people :/
 

Remus

Companion Cube
Joined
Mar 9, 2006
Messages
7,919
Reaction score
45
Really, I don't see why this is so great.
It is great, for progress in creating artificial organs, and drug testing.

People are thinking OMG they are trying to create synthetic animals!11 That's not the point of this.
 

Dog--

The Freeman
Joined
Apr 16, 2005
Messages
9,743
Reaction score
25
It is great, for progress in creating artificial organs, and drug testing.

People are thinking OMG they are trying to create synthetic animals!11 That's not the point of this.
I don't know, I feel like while it may be a step forward in that regard, it is a definite baby step if anything.
 

Wanted Bob

Companion Cube
Joined
Oct 17, 2006
Messages
5,212
Reaction score
49
I don't know, I feel like while it may be a step forward in that regard, it is a definite baby step if anything.
For artificial organs, I agree that is a while off. Using this technology though I feel like it's not a stretch to design some organic "model" for which to test how drugs affect a certain tissue.
 

Darkside55

The Freeman
Joined
Jun 12, 2009
Messages
12,089
Reaction score
90
“You’ve got a heart drug?” says Parker. “You let me put it on my jellyfish, and I’ll tell you if it can improve the pumping.”
Very cool.
 
Top