Voltage gated calcium channels ‘read’ electric patterns in embryos to create cartilage and bone

Scientists have revealed how the electrical patterns formed within an embryo initiate a cascade of molecular changes that culminate in the development of cartilage and bone. Prior studies have shown these electrical patterns appear like blueprints of the tissues and organs that eventually take shape as the embryo matures. The new study demonstrates that voltage gated calcium channels ‘read’ the electrical pattern, setting off the expression of genes that guide differentiation to mature cells.