PASADENA (CBSLA) — Jellyfish live throughout the world’s oceans and could one day be the key to new discoveries, according to researchers.

A picture taken on March 16, 2018 shows jellyfish at the sea center Oceanopolis in Brest, western of France. / AFP PHOTO / Fred TANNEAU (Photo credit should read FRED TANNEAU/AFP via Getty Images)

Scientists at Caltech have collaborated with Stanford University on a new project that relies on jellyfish swimming at increased speeds.

The engineers developed a prosthetic, similar to a cardiac pacemaker, that can be implanted in jellyfish and speed up the pulsing motion they use to propel themselves forward, which then enables the animals to swim up to three times faster than usual.

The device works by delivering electric impulses, but since jellyfish don’t have pain receptors, scientists say they’re not harmed during the process.

By swimming more efficiently, researchers hope jellyfish can become partners in ocean exploration.

The hope is that some day in the future, the speedier jellyfish can be equipped with sensors that record information about the ocean.

The study, “Low-power microelectronics embedded in live jellyfish enhance propulsion,” was published on Jan. 29 in the journal Science Advances.


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