|Living plastic jellyfish|
(Scroll down for video) Scientists have now created a living plastic being.
Scientists in the U.S. have created a synthetic creature like jellyfish with artificial materials and rat heart cells.
The creature, known as "medusoide", looks like a flower of eight petals and swims when an electric current is introduced into the water.
The project was led by Dr. Kevin Kit Parker, a biophysicist at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
"Morphologically, we have built a jellyfish. Functionally, we have built a jellyfish. Genetically, this is a rat," said Dr. Parker.
Dr. Parker created medusoide to learn more about how the heart muscles pump.
The creature was made by growing a single layer of cells of the rat heart muscle within a silicone.
The structure contracts when struck by the electric current and then folds back to its original form, which results in a pumping movement.
Dr. Parker said the team had created a new category of artificial organisms based on function rather than genetics.
He said the plan was now to create a medusoide using human cells to test new drugs.