Interbody Communication for Healing


Examine resistance of embryos to exogenous threats, resultant survivability, in small vs. large numbers. Evaluate mode of interbody information communication across embryos.


Embryos have increased strength in numbers, collectively communicate to counter exogenous threats in an inter-embryo healing effect


  • Embryos assist each others’ healthy morphogenesis in resistance to the threat of teratogens, in a novel and collectivist Cross-Embryo Morphogenic Assistance (CEMA) phenomenon
  • The CEMA effect requires adjacency but not physical contact between embryos
  • The effect is stronger the greater the number of embryos, with the least defects and greatest survivability at a cohort size of 300 embryos or above (in the case of tadpole), evidencing a positive correlation between population density and individual fitness
  • The CEMA effect positively corrects not only for damage from chemical teratogens but also molecular-biological perturbations
  • CEMA inter-embryo communication of information is transmitted through short-range extracellular diffusible calcium and ATP signaling mechanisms, at least in part (as the information content in those chemical signals alone are insufficient to facilitate the changes seen in neighbors)
  • These CEMA signaling mechanisms change gene expression in neighbors, who over/underexpress specific genes as a function of group size
  • The CEMA effect appears to operate across a genetically diverse population
  • The CEMA embryo to embryo signaling seems to be triggered in response to embryo stress/injury as a biological stress signal to neighbors and does not operate across unperturbed embryos
  • The CEMA effect has been for the first time substantively computationally modeled at a systems level using local interactions as the model driver (vs. a typical central controller), indicating peer to peer lateral communication in a wave across embryos starting from an injured embryo, attenuated by distance
  • The CEMA effect has serious implications for evolutionary development and developmental genetics/epigenetics, underscoring that the relationship between genomic information and anatomical outcome is far from straightforward by adding the new environmental stimulus of one’s social external environment as a positive factor

Pre-print publication below (currently in journal review):

Embryos Assist Each Other’s Morphogenesis: Calcium and ATP signaling mechanisms in collective resistance to teratogens