This Looks Like A Normal Animal…Until You Hear Its Bizarre Story
Most of the time, science is a wonderful and awe-inspiring thing. But every once in a while, science can take a turn for the worse (which can be so creepy). This month, we can say for certain that a handful of scientists crossed that line when they created one of the world’s first artificial lifeforms.
If you saw this cute little stingray during your beach vacation, you would never suspect it to be an artificial organism, right? But it is.
This semi-robotic stingray came to be when researcher Kit Kevin Parker saw his daughter become entranced while watching stingrays at the aquarium. Parker wondered if it might be possible for him to create a muscle that moved in much the same way.
The artificial stingray is made of a 3-D printed rubber body reinforced with a 3-D printed gold skeleton. They adapted heart cells from a rat to respond to light. The researchers also grew the cells on the rubber body in a specific pattern to mimic a real stingray’s appearance.
The result is an artificial stingray that’s fully capable of moving around its environment in response to light.
Should we consider this a scientific miracle or some sort of horrible abomination? Personally, I think it’s pretty cool, but then again, I am a science-fiction nerd.