"The world needs less rats and more jellyfish, so I thought it would be cool to do a one-for-one swap,"One more thing from the "just because they can" file:Swimming 'Jellyfish' Built out of Rat Cells & Silicone News
These artificial jellies can solve different problems for different scientists, Parker said. A marine biologist might learn more about the architecture of a jellyfish and how it swims. A comparative biologist can compare the pumping action of the Medusoid to that of the heart. For tissue engineers, the exercise was a lesson in design and quality control. And for biological proponent experts, the system is a model that mimics how real propulsive swimmers do it.
Parker is interested in using the Medusoids for cardiovascular drug development and as a step in new designs for artificial hearts.
But look out world:
He also has plans to go bigger.
The next step, he said, is to "pick another animal that has a more difficult anatomy and function, and build it. Give me a year or two!"