General, Research, Technology

Scientists have learned to control the movements of jellyfish. But why is this needed?

Today, humanity is successfully exploring space underwith the help of satellites and telescopes, but with exploration of the depths of the seas and oceans, things are much worse with us. The thing is that under water on devices controlled from the outside there is a lot of pressure, so their production costs a lot of money. However, in order to study the composition of water and other features of various regions of the oceans, some researchers attach sensors to the bodies of dolphins and whales. Thanks to this, they can learn a lot of interesting things about different areas of the seas and oceans, but sometimes the aquatic inhabitants swim completely not where they should be. In this regard, scientists from Stanford University (USA) decided to equip tiny jellyfish with sensors, the movements of which can be controlled using electric pulses. Sounds interesting, right?

Jellyfish help scientists study the oceans

According to the science journal Science Advances,jellyfish were chosen by scientists for a reason. The fact is that they are rather primitive creatures and, according to scientists, equipping their bodies with electronics is much more humane than torturing whales and dolphins. In addition, unlike other aquatic creatures, jellyfish do not feel pain and their muscles can be easily controlled using electrical impulses. According to the leaders of scientific work, John Dabiri and Nicole Xu, with the help of electrodes they were able not only to change the direction of movement of the jellyfish, but also significantly increase their speed.

Can animals be controlled?

Since jellyfish do not have pain receptors,researchers had to deliver electrical discharges directly to their muscles. Using small control modules, they alternately activated different groups of electrodes and thereby forced certain muscle groups to contract. After some time, they realized which muscles needed to be used to set jellyfish in motion and realized that with electrical stimulation, jellyfish move much faster than usual.

Do you know how jellyfish restore lost tissue?

Researchers have a question - why thesecreatures move so slowly, if this is far from the limit of their capabilities? At the moment, there is no exact answer to this question, but there is a very interesting assumption. Scientists believe that jellyfish do not develop the highest possible speed, since they simply do not have a good reason for this. They always feel great, because at great depths they have practically no enemies, and they have more than enough food.

Jellyfish can move quickly, but they don’t have special reasons for this.

It may seem to some that when drivingjellyfish, scientists cause them a lot of inconvenience. However, the researchers did not identify substances in their fluids that usually signal stress. So they are sure that the management technology developed by them does not harm the animals in any way. But it’s not clear whether these creatures will starve to death if scientists manage them for too long? It turns out that in this case a person is a parasite that uses someone else’s body to perform tasks that are necessary only for him.

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Be that as it may, at the moment it remainsjust hope that jellyfish really help scientists with the study of the depths of the sea and do not receive from this strong damage. Perhaps it is thanks to them that researchers will be able to timely identify and eliminate problems that arise in nature, such as increasing temperature or acidity of water.

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