Shocking embryonic limbs into shape

September 20, 2019

Every vertebrate, whatever its eventual form, starts embryonic life in the same way - as a hollow ball or disc of cells called a blastula. In theory, knowing the mechanism through which the blastula is formed into the shape of an animal could help correct defects and even, one day, regenerate body parts. But evolution and genetics are of little help in understanding this process. Now, however, Vincent Fleury and Ameya Vaishnavi Murukutla from Université Paris Diderot, Paris, France have used experiments with chicken embryos to propose a mechanism for vertebrate limb formation. These findings have been published in the journal EPJ E.

Fleury first suggested in 2005 that animal morphogenesis starts by parts of the round blastula being pulled out and deformed in a process that could be thought of as 'string pulling'. His group later showed that the blastula consists of a series of concentric rings, like Russian dolls, and that each forms a different part of the animal.

The novelty of the current study arises from the use of electric shocks to trigger limb formation much more suddenly and rapidly than in natural embryogenesis. The principle behind this is the same phenomenon of bioelectricity that was pioneered by the eighteenth-century Italian physician Galvani, who showed that an electric shock would stimulate even dead muscles into motion. In this study, the researchers extracted early chicken embryos from eggs, incubated them, applied an electric shock and observed them through a powerful microscope. The shock greatly accelerated the formation of the limb and tail buds. Therefore, Fleury and Murukutla were able to see the concentric rings making up the blastula deform in a cascade, with each one's deformation inducing the next to change shape. The authors suggest that knowledge of this phenomenon might eventually lead to the electrical engineering of the tissues of living animals, or of human patients.

V. Fleury and A. V. Murukutla (2019), Electrical stimulation of developmental forces reveals the mechanism of limb formation in vertebrate embryos, Eur. Phys. J. E 42:104. DOI 10.1140/epje/i2019-11869-8


Related Electric Shock Articles from Brightsurf:

Early steroids improve outcomes in patients with septic shock
Some critically ill patients with septic shock need medications called vasopressors to correct dangerously low blood pressure.

Less aggressive treatment better for heart patients who go into shock
Less is sometimes more when treating heart patients who go into shock after a heart attack.

Shock to bacteria activates nature's electrical grid
The ocean floor and the ground beneath our feet are riddled with tiny nanowires -- 1/100,000th the width of a human hair -- created by billions of bacteria that can generate electric currents from organic waste.

Battery breakthrough gives boost to electric flight and long-range electric cars
Researchers at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University, have developed a new battery material that could enable long-range electric vehicles that can drive for hundreds of miles on a single charge, and electric planes called eVTOLs for fast, environmentally friendly commutes.

New testing system predicts septic shock outcomes
PME professor Savas Tay and his collaborators have developed a new, extremely sensitive method that can quantify bacteria, an antibiotic resistant gene, and immune molecule levels within sepsis patients, far more rapidly than current protocols.

Theory of detonation-driven hypervelocity shock tunnels and its demonstration
The hypersonic ground testing is a critical issue for hypersonics.

WWI helmets protect against shock waves just as well as modern designs
Biomedical engineers have demonstrated that, despite significant advancements in protection from ballistics and blunt impacts, modern military helmets are no better at protecting from shock waves than their World War I counterparts.

Newly discovered immune cells contribute to toxic shock
Recently discovered immune cells called MAIT cells play a key role in group A streptococcal toxic shock, researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden report.

Researchers create model to predict children likely to go into septic shock
Researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus have developed a unique model allowing them to predict which children arriving in emergency departments are most likely to go into septic shock, a life-threatening condition.

SCAI stages of cardiogenic shock stratify mortality risk
A new shock classification scheme released by the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) and endorsed by the American College of Cardiology (ACC), American Heart Association, the Society of Critical Care Medicine and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons was recently applied in a retrospective study analyzing patients in the cardiac intensive care unit (CICU) at the Mayo Clinic.

Read More: Electric Shock News and Electric Shock Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to