Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Stepping Way Out: Scripps Scientists Watch Clam Feet Elongate Far from the Shell

10.11.2003


Scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, have documented what they are calling possibly the most extreme case of animal structure elongation documented to date.




In a paper published in the November 6 issue of the journal Nature, Suzanne Dufour and Horst Felbeck show that a clam from a certain species can extend its foot (clams have only one foot) up to 30 times the length of its shell to reach chemicals in marine sediment necessary for the survival of their symbionts, marine bacteria that live within the clams.

To test the extension process, Dufour set up aquarium tanks with sediment to investigate how clams that require chemicals differ from those that do not. Clams that live in a symbiotic relationship with marine bacteria act as hosts that retrieve chemicals, typically sulfide or methane.


The Nature paper explains that the symbiotic clams in the Thyasiridae family elongate their feet to burrow extensive mines in an effort to reach the sulfide. X-rays taken through Dufour’s plexiglass tanks over several weeks revealed long, branch-like mines extending through the sediment, especially in cases tested under low sulfide conditions, which forced clams to stretch their feet farther. While they had expected some extension, Dufour says the results were "amazing." She found clams with shells measuring 4.5 millimeters that had elongated their feet some 13 centimeters from the shell.

"What I find the most interesting about this work is that only the clams with symbionts make these very long burrows," said Dufour, a graduate student in the marine biology curricular program at Scripps. "The thyasirids in my study that didn’t have symbionts did not make such burrows. To get the sulfide the bacteria need, these clams have evolved the ability to mine the sediment with their feet-it shows that very different species can find amazing ways of cooperating."

The study was supported by Scripps Institution’s graduate department, the Baxter and Alma Ricard Foundation, and the National Science Foundation.


Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, is one of the oldest, largest, and most important centers for global science research and graduate training in the world. The scientific scope of the institution has grown since its founding in 1903. A century of Scripps science has had an invaluable impact on oceanography, on understanding of the earth, and on society. More than 300 research programs are under way today in a wide range of scientific areas. Scripps operates one of the largest U.S. academic fleets with four oceanographic research ships and one research platform for worldwide exploration. Now plunging boldly into the 21st century, Scripps is celebrating its centennial in 2003.

Mario Aguilera | Scripps News
Further information:
http://scrippsnews.ucsd.edu/article_detail.cfm?article_num=613

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New switch decides between genome repair and death of cells
27.09.2016 | University of Cologne - Universität zu Köln

nachricht A blue stoplight to prevent runaway photosynthesis
27.09.2016 | National Institute for Basic Biology

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: New welding process joins dissimilar sheets better

Friction stir welding is a still-young and thus often unfamiliar pressure welding process for joining flat components and semi-finished components made of light metals.
Scientists at the University of Stuttgart have now developed two new process variants that will considerably expand the areas of application for friction stir welding.
Technologie-Lizenz-Büro (TLB) GmbH supports the University of Stuttgart in patenting and marketing its innovations.

Friction stir welding is a still-young and thus often unfamiliar pressure welding process for joining flat components and semi-finished components made of...

Im Focus: First quantum photonic circuit with electrically driven light source

Optical quantum computers can revolutionize computer technology. A team of researchers led by scientists from Münster University and KIT now succeeded in putting a quantum optical experimental set-up onto a chip. In doing so, they have met one of the requirements for making it possible to use photonic circuits for optical quantum computers.

Optical quantum computers are what people are pinning their hopes on for tomorrow’s computer technology – whether for tap-proof data encryption, ultrafast...

Im Focus: OLED microdisplays in data glasses for improved human-machine interaction

The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP has been developing various applications for OLED microdisplays based on organic semiconductors. By integrating the capabilities of an image sensor directly into the microdisplay, eye movements can be recorded by the smart glasses and utilized for guidance and control functions, as one example. The new design will be debuted at Augmented World Expo Europe (AWE) in Berlin at Booth B25, October 18th – 19th.

“Augmented-reality” and “wearables” have become terms we encounter almost daily. Both can make daily life a little simpler and provide valuable assistance for...

Im Focus: Artificial Intelligence Helps in the Discovery of New Materials

With the help of artificial intelligence, chemists from the University of Basel in Switzerland have computed the characteristics of about two million crystals made up of four chemical elements. The researchers were able to identify 90 previously unknown thermodynamically stable crystals that can be regarded as new materials. They report on their findings in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

Elpasolite is a glassy, transparent, shiny and soft mineral with a cubic crystal structure. First discovered in El Paso County (Colorado, USA), it can also be...

Im Focus: Complex hardmetal tools out of the 3D printer

For the first time, Fraunhofer IKTS shows additively manufactured hardmetal tools at WorldPM 2016 in Hamburg. Mechanical, chemical as well as a high heat resistance and extreme hardness are required from tools that are used in mechanical and automotive engineering or in plastics and building materials industry. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS in Dresden managed the production of complex hardmetal tools via 3D printing in a quality that are in no way inferior to conventionally produced high-performance tools.

Fraunhofer IKTS counts decades of proven expertise in the development of hardmetals. To date, reliable cutting, drilling, pressing and stamping tools made of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

European Health Forum Gastein 2016 kicks off today

28.09.2016 | Event News

Laser use for neurosurgery and biofabrication - LaserForum 2016 focuses on medical technology

27.09.2016 | Event News

Experts from industry and academia discuss the future mobile telecommunications standard 5G

23.09.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

New imaging technique in Alzheimer’s disease - opens up possibilities for new drug development

28.09.2016 | Medical Engineering

Innovate coating extends the life of materials for industrial use

28.09.2016 | Materials Sciences

Blockchain Set to Transform the Financial Services Market

28.09.2016 | Business and Finance

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>