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It normally takes about 21 days for chicken embryos to develop into chicks. By observing chicken hindlimb formation, a CNRS / Université de Paris research team has just discovered that the mechanism at the origin of embryonic development consists of a sequence of reflexive contractions. The researchers were able to artificially recreate the same process and accelerate it by as much as a factor of 20. Their findings have been published in the European Physical Journal on August 15, 2019.
In its first days of life, a chicken embryo may be likened to a flat disc internally organized into concentric rings. During its development, the embryo stretches, rolls up and twists, this segregates the concentric rings into as many folded tissues, which eventually give rise to various anatomical features. The scientists realized that during formation of the future chick's tail, one of these rings is stretched and mechanically deforms the...
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