Aug 18, 2023

Bioelectricity Gives Biologists a Jolt

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical

We’ve explored bioelectricity in cells. We’ve looked at bioelectricity within the human body. Now, functional use of “electrical engineering” is being found in the realms between.

Physicists learn about electrostatics, the laws governing stationary charges. Then they learn about electrodynamics, the laws governing moving charges. Biologists are finding that life utilizes both systems of laws at all scales, from within the cell to tissues, organs, and entire organisms. Here are some recent discoveries in the emerging science of bioelectricity.

How does that tick jump from its twig onto your clothing as you walk through brush? The answer, says Current Biology, is by hopping on an electrostatic bullet train. A cow or other host animal walking through the bushes carries a net static charge. The tick, regardless of its own charge polarity, is “pulled by these electric fields across air gaps of several body lengths.”

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