Jellyfish: the key to heart health?

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Using advances in marine biomechanics, materials science, and tissue engineering, a team of researchers at Harvard University and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have turned inanimate silicone and living cardiac muscle cells into a freely swimming "jellyfish."

The finding serves as a proof of concept for reverse engineering a variety of muscular organs and simple life forms.

The researchers' method for building the tissue-engineered jellyfish, dubbed "Medusoid," was published this week in a Nature Biotechnology paper.

Similar to the way a human heart moves blood throughout the body, jellyfish propel themselves through the water by pumping.

In figuring out how to take apart and then rebuild the primary motor function of a jellyfish, the aim was to gain new insights into how such pumps really worked.

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