HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
How the octopus forms an elbow

The octopus arm is extremely flexible. Thanks to this flexibility--the arm is said to possess a virtually infinite number of "degrees of freedom"--the octopus is able to generate a vast repertoire of movements that is unmatched by the human arm. Nonetheless, despite the huge evolutionary gap and morphological differences between the octopus and vertebrates, the octopus arm acts much like a three-jointed vertebrate limb when the octopus performs precise point-to-point movements. Researchers have now illuminated how octopus arms are able to form joint-like structures, and how the movements of these joints are controlled.

The new findings, which appear in the April 18th issue of Current Biology, are reported by Tamar Flash of the Weizmann Institute of Science, Binyamin Hochner and German Sumbre of Hebrew University, and Graziano Fiorito of the Stazione Zoologica di Napoli.

The extreme motility of the octopus arm demands a highly complex motor control system. Past work from Dr. Hochner's group showed that when retrieving food to its mouth, the octopus actually shapes its arm into a quasi-articulated structure by forming three bends that act like skeletal joints. This puts an artificial constraint of sorts on the arm's movement and simplifies the otherwise complex control of movement that would be needed for the arm to fetch food from a distant point to the octopus's mouth.

In the new work, the researchers sought to identify how the octopus manages to transform its extremely flexible arm into a structure that acts like a jointed appendage. By recording muscle activity as the arm creates the joint-like bends, the researchers found that the arm generates two waves of muscle contraction that propagate toward each other, setting the second, or medial, joint at their collision point. This is a remarkably simple mechanism for adjusting the length of the arm segments according to where the object is grasped along the arm. The arm also forms a proximal jo
'"/>

Contact: Heidi Hardman
hhardman@cell.com
617-397-2879
Cell Press
17-Apr-2006


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Toward improved forms of a time-tested cholesterol-fighter
2. Creating new life forms that may help eradicate cancer affecting women
3. Chromium picolinate shows greater benefits in diabetes care than other forms of chromium
4. Low-pathogenic forms of bird flu do cause illness among birds
5. National Science Foundation supports UCR study of polar lake life forms
6. Scientists discover new life forms in the Arctic Ocean
7. JDRF forms partnership with MacroGenics
8. The CReSA is working on a new strategy to combat spongiforms
9. Figuring out function from bacterias bewildering forms
10. Studies show that rockfish thrive with offshore platforms as their home base
11. UCSD forms stem cell collaboration with major Australian centers

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:12/5/2018)... ... December 03, 2018 , ... Quanta System announced today ... the distribution and marketing of cutting-edge aesthetic devices in the US. Since inception ... 2018. Cartessa’s success can be attributed in-part to the company’s independent business ...
(Date:12/5/2018)... ... December 04, 2018 , ... ... designated as a UroLift® Center of Excellence. The designation recognizes that Dr. Choi ... and demonstrated a commitment to exemplary care for men suffering from symptoms associated ...
(Date:12/5/2018)... ... 04, 2018 , ... Biolytic Lab Performance Inc. is proud ... on Biolytic’s Molecule Synthesis Platform. , Now restructured with all the same ... fastest in oligonucleotide synthesis, the 192c incorporates a multitude of enhancements to new ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/20/2018)... ... November 19, 2018 , ... Patients with missing teeth in Sandy ... from Dr. Dan Myers at THE DENTIST Centers without a referral. Dr. Myers ... for the last 20 years. He now offers skilled dental care in two practice ...
(Date:11/13/2018)... ... November 12, 2018 , ... AseptiScope(TM), Inc. announces it is ... studies, published last week, confirm pose a significant health risk. The two ... that stethoscopes are often improperly or rarely disinfected. In the AJIC November 6 ...
(Date:11/11/2018)... ... 2018 , ... Triple W, an innovator of connected health devices, today announced ... DFree ®, the first health tech wearable device for incontinence that monitors how ... bathroom. The announcement was made during CES Unveiled New York, an invite-only tech event ...
(Date:11/7/2018)... , ... November 07, 2018 , ... Diversified Technologies, ... algae at AzCATI, the Arizona Center for Algae Technology and Innovation at ASU. Funded ... development and trials for those involved with algal and predator control applications. , Algae ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: