When Nature announced that biologists had artificially created a jellyfish I was very excited. Jellies represent some of the earliest life on the planet and a synthetic version could offer some insight into life's origins. How in the world did they turn rat cells into a jellyfish? Did they find a way to trigger some ancient expression mechanism? Stem cells? Genetic engineering?
No. Turns out that some Cal-Tech dorks glued some rat heart cells to a piece of silicon. Put it in water and zap it with a pulsing electric field and it wiggles – a phenomenon that has been well known for decades.
Now I like bath toys as much as the next guy but really… if this can make it into Nature why can't I seem to find funding for my own experiment?