It looks like a sci-fi alien and moves like a jellyfish – but was made in a lab
It RESEMBLES an other-worldly alien from a science fiction film, and has a name to match.
But real-life scientists created the multi-limbed Medusoid, which swims with the help of pulsating rat heart cells.
The artificial creature, measuring several centimetres across, is made of transparent elastic silicone. It propels itself through water with pumping movements when stimulated with electricity, but has no brain –yet.
Experts hope to evolve self-contained future versions that are able to respond to their environment, and even seek energy or food.
Tissue engineers in the Nited States based the design of the Medusoid on jellyfish, believed to be the most primitive multi-organed animals.
Professor John Dabiri, a member of the team from the California Institute of Technology, said: “I was surprised that with relatively few components – a silicone base and cells that we arranged – we were able to reproduce some pretty complex swimming and feeding behaviours that you see in jellyfish.”
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Thursday 20 June 2013
Temperature: 12 C to 21 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: South east
Temperature: 11 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: West