This is totally disgusting-sounding, but still worth knowing about. Scientists have been messing around with the heart cells of a rat, experimenting and practicing in hopes to eventually use the same techniques to perfect engineering human organs. They are calling it the “Frankenstein” jellyfish–meaning that by taking cells from the rat’s heart, they were able to coach them atop a mold of silicon to bring it to life, swimming and operating as a real jellyfish would.
Kevin Kit Parker and John Dabiri from California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, whose motto is “copy nature but not too much,” compare their research to other kinds of building: “Some engineers build things out of concrete, copper and steel—we build things out of cells,” says Parker. By studying the way cells operate and manipulate underwater, the duo hopes to come up with new ways to fix damaged heart valves.
Parker and Dabiri’s impressive research is recognized by scientists all over the world, and is predicted that it will be most influential in implantable medical devices.