First post!

I hope that this blog will serve as a resource for all those interested in biology and jellies (with occasional bits of other fun stuff thrown in).  I’ll be working over the next few days to build this little blog.

In the meantime, I’ll direct your attention to a very exciting  jelly-inspired scientific breakthrough– scientists have successfully bio-engineered a “jellyfish” out of silicone and rat heart cells. It is hoped that this technology will eventually help researchers grow complex tissues in the lab. To make this invention possible, biologists and engineers worked together to describe how jellyfish move and swim on a cellular level, and then copied this by directing rat heart cells to grow the same way on a small silicone wafer:


6 thoughts on “First post!

  1. One of my students brought in an interesting question related to this post. He wanted to know if the rat-jellyfish would be able to help humans. I think the answer is partially in the last paragraph of the article.
    “The team now plans to build a medusoid using human heart cells. The researchers have filed a patent to use their design, or something similar, as a platform for testing drugs. “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.””

    However, if you have any new information we would be interested in hearing how the research is developing.

    1. That’s a good question. In fact, very little is known about sex differences in jellies. It’s difficult to sex jellies of some species in the wild, and even harder to keep them in the lab. That would be an interesting study to conduct.

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