Scientists Create Swimming Cyborg Stingray Out Of Rat Heart Cells, Gold, Silicone

July 11, 2016

cyborg-stingray.jpg

Because some scientists can't wait for science fiction to become science fact, researchers at Harvard have created a cyborg stingray out of silicone and gold that can swim thanks to a layer of genetically engineered rat heart muscles on its underside. Mmmmm -- *picking between teeth* genetically engineered rat heart muscles.

The robo-stingray's muscles will start to contract only when flashed by a specific wavelength of bright light. This is done through a genetic engineering technique called optogenetics, which allows otherwise normal cells to respond to light. To guide his stingray, Parker merely has it follow a flashing, two-pronged light source. When the lights flash, the bot starts undulating. To have the stingray bank and turn, Parker need only flash one side of the stingray with a brighter, or more rapidly flashing light. Both will cause fins to stroke faster or more powerfully.


The bot can swim in a liquid that has suspended nutrients in it to keep the rat heart cells fed and alive. Even after 6 weeks, the stingray bot was still swimming with over 80 percent of its cells still alive and well.

Wow, even after 6 weeks more than 80 percent of its heart cells were still alive and well. That is impressive. Six weeks from today I will be at LEAST 40% more dead than I am right now, which, for the record, will make me 120% dead, or "deader than shit" like they say in the medical professional community. "Six feet under?" No way, I just want to be laid out on top of my grave to scare kids.

Keep going for a video of the thing actually swimming.

Thanks to Taylor, who's never made anything out of rat heart muscles but shepard's pie. God I love that stuff.

  • GeneralDisorder

    So how long until we can power our portables with rat heart cells?

  • TheQiwiMan

    I want the music they used to be played at my funeral, just to make people feel unnecessarily on edge.

  • JimmyJam

    I, for one, welcome our new cyborg stingray overlords.

  • Geekologie

    you would

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