Scientists Built A Living Robot From Rat Heart Cells - TechTheLead

Scientists Built A Living Robot From Rat Heart Cells

stingray-robot-rat (1)

In #todaymagic news, scientists from Harvard University managed to shock the best of us, tech geeks. They actually built a bio robot from rat heart cells. 

Let us rephrase: there is a living robot moving at this very moment, thanks to rat hearts. The creature is made up of four layers of material – a silicone one that acts as its body, a skeleton made of gold wire, another layer of silicone that insulates that skeleton and helps the 200.000 artificial heart rat cells added to “grow with the exact muscular architecture we want”, says Kit Parker, the bio-engineer team leader. Built in the lab, the robot has the shape of a stingray. 

How does it move around? Well, the cells are able to contract when they’re hit with a specific wavelength of light. If that happens multiple times in a row, the robot is able to alter its position and wander about. If Parker uses a stronger light to the side of the stingray, it might even make it turn around. If you think about it, it’s like remotely controlling the robot.

No, you won’t see it outside of that Harvard lab any time soon, because the stingray’s rat cells can survive only in a liquid filled with nutrients. Plus, they’d be defenseless outside, without an immune system to speak of.

Why should you care about it at all? Besides the fact that Parker hopes to be another step towards genetically engineering a full heart, it’s seriously mind-blowing: “We turned a rat into a light guided stingray. Hell, […] this is the coolest thing they’re going to see all year.”



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