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Recherche animale, Recherche fondamentale

23 - 06 - 2015

Video: the physics of an embryo

A new way of looking at life thanks to physicists? By studying chicken embryos, physicists are trying to understand the origin of birth defects such as spina bifida (see video below).

  When chick embryos pique the interest of physicists  “Research located at the interface between biology and physical sciences show that in unity there is strength, in science too” reminds an article (french) by Didier Chatenay, director of the CNRS. This is why CNRS physiciens (french) are devoted to embryology, the science that studies the development on an individual, from the egg cell until birth. What are the mechanisms involved in the formation of an embryo? To answer this question, the researchers filmed in vivo the formation of a chicken embryo and showed that the difference in cell size alters the flexibility of tissues. The goal of this research is to figure out the origin of some birth defects such as spina bifida.   What are the other animal models used in embryology ?  Chickens are not the only experimental model used to study the development and abnormalities of embryos. The other animals used are : The african frog (Xenopus) and the zebrafish  (Danio rerio) in the vertebratesThe fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) and the worm (Caenorhabditis elegans) in the invertebrates Interested in the topic ? Watch this accelerated video of the growth of a chick embryo.