A New Breed of Invertebrate: Half-Rat, Half-Silicone Cyborg Jellyfish

Half-Rat, Half-Silicone Cyborg Jellyfish

A team of scientists might have just put Jellyfish Art out of business with their new cyborg jellyfish. By arranging the heart cells of a normal rat on a piece of silicone, they've successfully created their own Franken-jellies. When in salt water with a fluctuating electrical field, the rat's heart muscles on the rubbery silicone contract the lobes downward and back up, which mimics the pulsing movement of a young moon jellyfish swimming.

This obviously is a great step forward in designing better artificial human organs, but I can't help but think that they'd make better pets than real invertebrates. Thanks to the ever-growing trend of at-home jellyfish tanks, everybody's getting their own jellies, but not everybody knows how to take care of them. This would certainly stop all of those unnecessary jelly deaths from newbie aquarists and cnidariologists.

Image via rsc.org

But will we ever see stinging cyborg rat-jellyfish?

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