Scientists find the shocking truth about electric fish

June 26, 2014 6:32 PM

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Scientists find the shocking truth about electric fish

Writing June 27, 2014 in the journal Science, a team of researchers led by Michael Sussman of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Harold Zakon of the University of Texas at Austin and Manoj Samanta of the Systemix Institute in Redmond, Washington identifies the regulatory molecules involved in the genetic and developmental pathways that electric fish have used to convert a simple muscle into an organ capable of generating a potent electrical field.

The work establishes the genetic basis for the electric organ, an anatomical feature found only in fish and that evolved independently half a dozen times in environments ranging from the flooded forests of the Amazon to murky marine environments.

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