Entering the Age of the Cyborg: Rise of Bio-Hybrids
It's as if folks have never read Mary Shelley. Scientists have recently 3-d printed a "biohybrid animal" complete with rat heart cells, gold and rubber. This is the next step on the way toward the introduction of literal cyborgs. With the implantation of organs as a success currently, the next step could be adding a sentient brain. To date, the creature is being touted as the most successful artificial animal ever.
Harvard professor Kit Kevin Parker was researching how to build a human heart when he noticed his daughter's fascination with watching stingrays which helped inspire him to engineer a muscle with a similar means of locomotion.
Last Summer, the website Futurism.com announced "the cyborgs are here" adding that new biohybrid creatures blur the line between living and nonliving. The University of Tokyo Institute of Industrial Science created a biohybrid robot last year that incorporates living tissue that managed to remain functional for over a week. The biohybrid bot was nothing more than a "finger" but was able to lift and carry a square tab or pick up a ring in laboratory trials. Scientists theorize these robots as being useful in the pharmaceutical industry, allowing researchers to test drugs on muscles of biohybrid robots eliminating the need for animal test subjects.