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UF scientists trace origin of shark's electric sense

lectrosensory system will raise eyebrows, scientists say.

"It's a very interesting paper for two reasons," said Glenn Northcutt, a distinguished professor of neuroscience at the University of California, San Diego, and a leading expert in vertebrate neurobiology. "For the first time, someone has shown which molecules may be responsible for guiding the development of the receptors of the lateral line system. I think this will hold true and is a very important finding. But I'm skeptical about the claim the neural crest gives rise to electroreceptors. It still requires a definitive experiment, where the developing neural crest cells are marked with dye, the embryo develops and the dye clearly shows up in the electroreceptors."

Dye tests are a classical way of mapping cell movements during development, and have been used to explore the origins of limbs and brain cells. In the current research, scientists used genetic markers to trace neural crest cells.

"Dye labeling would be interesting and further test the idea that electroreceptors contain neural crest cells," Cohn said.


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Source:University of Florida


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