Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New discovery: Plaice are spotted (on the inside)

22.02.2010
Have you seen a spotted plaice? Probably. However, marine biologist Helen Nilsson Sköld at the University of Gothenburg is the first person to research the spotted insides of plaice.

Many species of animal have skin or fur with intricate pigmentation patterns, which they use for camouflage, communication, regulation of body heat and protection against the sun. A study conducted by researchers at the Department of Marine Ecology at the University of Gothenburg has found that several species of fish also have highly-coloured internal pigmentation.


The spotted skin of a plaice.
Photographs: Helen Nilsson Sköld


The spotted insides of a plaice.
Photographs: Helen Nilsson Sköld

Adapts to its surroundings

In a study published in Pigment Cell & Melanoma Research, marine biologist Helen Nilsson Sköld and her colleagues show that the number of internal pigment cells has a direct link to the degree of transparency of the fish. Transparent fish can change colour using their internal pigment cells, thus enhancing external skin pigmentation and their ability to adapt to the background colours of their surroundings.

Bewildering display of colour

Mysteriously, plaice also have a high number of internal pigment cells in, for instance, the ear and brain and around their internal organs. Plaice however are not particularly transparent. The internal pigment cells of this fish cannot be seen easily from the outside, which makes its internal display of colour somewhat bewildering.

Unknown functions

According to Helen Nilsson Sköld and her colleagues, the fact that less transparent fish also have this internal pigmentation indicates that the pigment cells may have other, as yet unknown, functions.

"We believe that the internal pigment cells either function as vessels for excess pigment or perhaps provide various forms of protection or contribute to the immune system. We hope to investigate this subject further," says Helen Nilsson Sköld.

Contact:
Helen Nilsson Sköld, Department of Marine Ecology,
University of Gothenburg
+46 (0)706 827391.
helen.skold@marecol.gu.se

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://www.gu.se/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity
22.09.2017 | DFG-Forschungszentrum für Regenerative Therapien TU Dresden

nachricht The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet
22.09.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>