Electric eel

Dec. 10, 2023

Recently, a research group from Nagoya University in Japan found electric eels can release enough electricity to genetically modify small fish larvae.

About Electric eel:

  • The scientific name of this species is Electrophorus Electricus which is a fish that only lives in freshwater areas.
  • They can release up to 860 volts, which is enough to run a machine.
  • They emit a weak electric signal, which they use like radar to navigate, to find a mate, and to find prey.
  • Appearance:
  • It has a slender, snake-like body and flattened head.
  • It has three specialized electric organs—the main electrical organ, the Hunter’s organ and the Sachs’ organ which make up about 80 percent of this fish’s body. 
  • It can deliver a shock because its nervous system contains a number of disc-shaped electrogenic (electricity-producing) cells called electrocytes.
  • Habitat: They dwell mainly on the muddy bottoms of rivers and occasionally swamps, prefering deeply shaded areas.
  • Distribution: Its range spans across Brazil, the Guianas, Suriname, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.
  • Conservation status
  • IUCN: Least concern

What is Electroporation?

  • Electroporation uses an electric field to create temporary pores in the cell membrane. This lets molecules, like DNA or proteins, enter the target cell.