Published On: Tue, Jul 31st, 2018

Scientists Discover a New Shape: Scutoid

What has six sides on top, five sides on the bottom, and a triangle on one side? A scutoid.

Scientists discovered the new shape, which was previously thought to be a prism, in the skin and organ cells of fruit flies and zebrafish. As reported by USA Today, the University of Seville researchers published their findings in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

University of Seville Biology faculty teacher Luisma Escudero said in a press release the cells act as building blocks to form organs and protect against foreign bodies.

"The epithelial cells are the construction blocks with which an organism is formed," Escudero said. "They are like pieces of Tente or Lego from which animals are made.

"The epithelia form structures with multiple functions like forming a barrier against infections or absorbing nutrients. In this way, during the development of an embryo, it changes from a simple structure formed from only a handful of cells to an animal with very complex organs."

The cells' ability to attach to each other in a unique way helps give organs their shape, Escudero added.

"Our findings pave the way to understand the three-dimensional organization of epithelial organs," the study's abstract reads.

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Scientists Discover a New Shape: Scutoid