Fin to limb transition in tetrapods using tomography

Sofie Sanchez is a paleontologist, associate professor at the Department of Organismal Biology and member of the Center for Photon Science. Sofie uses photons to obtain three-dimensional images of fossils using an imaging technique called tomography using synchrotron light.

In a recent interview from 2020 with Uppsala University, Sophie explains her current research.

I am interested in the fin-to-limb transition ... so how you have the transition from the fin of the ray-finned fish for example to the limb of a human.

To study this transition, Sofie is interested in looking at the inner structure of bones using high-resolution three-dimensional images captured by high-energy light. At sub-micron resolution, it is possible to access the bone's trabecular structure and vascular elements, which are the channels where you have blood vessels.

[T]he blood vessels ... supply all the nutrients to the animal and based on their quantification and their orientation you get information about their biology and physiology. And that is really important to understand the life history and how the animal was developing 300 or even more million years ago.

Sofie Sanchez
Last modified: 2021-04-22