Scientists Make Jellyfish Faster
Researchers have used very small electronic devices to make jellyfish stronger and faster.
The scientists say they developed these electronic jellyfish in the hopes of sending them to study and explore the world's oceans.
A report on the experiment was published in the journal Science Advances.
Jellyfish are unusual creatures. They move through seawater by contracting, or reducing the size of, their muscles.
For the experiment, the researchers put an electronic device, about 2 centimeters in length, inside a moon jellyfish, a common kind of jellyfish.
The researchers said the device caused the creatures to move their bodies more often. They swam around three times faster than usual. These jellyfish use "10 to 1000 times less external power per mass than other aquatic robots reported in literature," noted Nicole Xu and John Dabiri, the two lead authors of the report.
Jellyfish are known to release mucus at times when they are tense or feeling stressed. No such reaction was noted during the study. The jellyfish swam normally after the electronic device was removed, the researchers said.
"Care is taken not to harm the jellyfish," Dabiri explained.
The next step will be to test ways to control where the jellyfish go. Another possible step: to develop small sensors that could take long-term measurements of ocean conditions, added Xu and Dabiri.
"It's very sci-fi futuristic," said Xu, a bioengineer at Stanford University in California. "We could send these bionic jellyfish to different areas of the ocean to monitor signs of climate change or observe natural phenomena."
One of the first goals will be deep dives, added Dabiri, who studies mechanical engineering and serves as a professor at the California Institute of Technology. Deep dives are important because of a major gap in human understanding of the deep oceans.
"Basically, we'd release the bionic jellyfish at the surface, have it swim down to increasing depths, and see just how far we can get it to go down into the ocean and still make it back to the surface with data," he said.
"Jellyfish have existed for over 500 million years, and over that time, their body structure has remained largely unchanged, said Xu. "So it's interesting to figure out what makes them so special and how we can learn from them."
She added, "Because we use animals with natural swimming motions, the hope is that they won't disturb the environment in the same way that a submarine might, so we can expand the types of environments we can monitor."
I'm John Russell.
1.electronic device 电子装置
An electronic device amplified the speaker's voice.
2.go down 下降
I went down on my knees and prayed for guidance.
3.climate change 气候变化
Carbon emissions exacerbate the global climate change problem.
4.deep dives 深潜
The balloonist liked to deep dive as a hobby.
5."So it's interesting to figure out what makes them so special and how we can learn from them."
it's interesting to 做某事有趣
It's interesting to watch a good salesman in action.
It's interesting to see how he's combining with Welbeck at the moment-they've done very well together.
6."So it's interesting to figure out what makes them so special and how we can learn from them."
figure out 弄明白
They're trying to figure out the politics of this whole situation
I simply couldn't figure out his intention.
水母可不是一般的生物 。它们通过自我收缩或减小自己的肌肉尺寸在海水中移动 。
研究人员称，这种装置使它们更频繁地移动身体，且它们的游泳速度也比平常快三倍 。报告的两位主要作者妮可·徐和约翰·达比利指出，与其他文献中报道的水生机器人相比，这些水母每质量所消耗的外部功率少10到1000倍” 。
已知水母在紧张或感受到压力时会释放粘液 。然而在研究过程中并未发现水母有此类反应 。研究人员称，在移除电子设备后，水母的游动会恢复常态 。
研究的下一步是测试控制水母去向的方法 。徐和达比利补充道，可能进行的一个步骤是：开发能够对海洋状况进行长期测量的小型传感器 。
“这看起来非常科幻，”加州斯坦福大学的生物工程师徐工程师表示 。“我们可以将这些仿生水母送到海洋的不同区域，以监测气候变化或观测自然现象 。”
达比利补充说，其中一个首要目标是深潜 。他的研究领域是机械工程专业，时任加州理工学院教授 。深度潜水之所以重要，是因为人类对深海的了解还存在很大缺口 。
“水母已经存在了超过5亿年，且一直以来它们的身体结构基本保持不变，”徐工程师说道 。“因此，弄清楚是什么使它们如此特别以及我们能从它们那学到什么是很有趣的 。”