1 Tahrcountry Musings: Electric eels study inspires invention of new biomedical devices.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Electric eels study inspires invention of new biomedical devices.

Here is yet another example of how study of wildlife can benefit man. Benefits from study of wildlife are a cornucopia waiting to be tapped in future. Scientists who have studied electric eels feel that the cells electric eels use to shock predators and prey can be mimicked and engineered to power implanted biomedical equipments. The researchers are from Yale University and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
Electric eels channel the output of thousands of specialized cells called electrocytes to generate electricity. The scientists have deciphered the mechanism of how natural electric eel cells work. Electric eel produces electric charges powerful enough to stun a person or kill small fish.The artificial cells deliver better performance than the real ones and can generate electric potentials of up to 600 volts.
You would be surprised to know that an electric eel is not an eel at all. It belongs to a family of bony fish known as knifefish. The scientific name is Electrophorus electricus. It is the only member of the family Electrophoridae.


Anand Sharma said...

This is good news.Gives fitting reply to people who ask why bother about conservation

Cherian Jacob said...

Fascinating stuff