3D images of sharks’ spiraled intestines reveal they work like Nikola Tesla’s one-way valve


3D images of sharks’ spiraled intestines reveal they work like Nikola Tesla’s one-way valve to allow fluid to only flow in one direction without backflow

  • Scientists created 3D images of shark intestines from 22 different species
  • They found the spiraled organs slow the movement of food as it moves to the gut
  • It also pushes the food downward in a way that does not allow it to move up
  • This is similar to Nikola Tesla’s one-way valve that only lets fluid move in one direction, without backflow or assistance from any moving parts 

How sharks eat has been a mystery among the scientific community, but a new study reveals the apex predators’ intestines work just like famed inventor Nikola Tesla’s one-way valve.

By creating 3D images of intestines from 22 shark species, such as spiny and smooth dogfish sharks, at team of scientists led by California State University found the spiral-shaped organs slow the movement of food and direct it downward through the gut – an entire process that relies only on gravity.

This is similar to Tesla’s innovation that allows fluid to flow in one direction, without backflow or assistance from any moving parts.

The findings also reveal a shark’s intestines allows the giant fish to retain food longer, which is why it can go days without eating. 

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By creating 3D images of intestines from 22 shark species, at team of scientists led by California State University found the spiral-shaped organs slow the movement of food and direct it downward through the gut ¿ an entire process that relies only on gravity

By creating 3D images of intestines from 22 shark species, at team of scientists led by California State University found the spiral-shaped organs slow the movement of food and direct it downward through the gut – an entire process that relies only on gravity

For centuries, scientists have only had sketches of sharks’ digestive system to help them piece together how the organs  function.

But the latest study, published in Proceedings of the Royal Society, incorporated modern technology to finally uncover the mystery. 

The team used a a computerized tomography (CT) scanner to create 3D images of shark intestines from preserved specimens.

This method allowed scientists to collect information without having to dissect the sharks.  

This is similar to Tesla's innovation that allows fluid to flow in one direction, without backflow or assistance from any moving parts. Pictured is a sketch of Tesla's valve

This is similar to Tesla's innovation that allows fluid to flow in one direction, without backflow or assistance from any moving parts. Pictured is a sketch of Tesla's valve

This is similar to Tesla’s innovation that allows fluid to flow in one direction, without backflow or assistance from any moving parts. Pictured is a sketch of Tesla’s valve

The findings also reveal a shark's intestines allows the giant fish to retain food longer, which is why it can go days without eating. Pictured is the intestines of a Pacific spiny dogfish shark

The findings also reveal a shark's intestines allows the giant fish to retain food longer, which is why it can go days without eating. Pictured is the intestines of a Pacific spiny dogfish shark

The findings also reveal a shark’s intestines allows the giant fish to retain food longer, which is why it can go days without eating. Pictured is the intestines of a Pacific spiny dogfish shark

Adam Summers, a professor based at University of Washington Friday Harbor Labs and co-author of the study, said in a statement: ‘CT scanning is one of the only ways to understand the shape of shark intestines in three dimensions.

‘Intestines are so complex — with so many overlapping layers, that dissection destroys the context and connectivity of the tissue.

‘It would be like trying to understand what was reported in a newspaper by taking scissors to a rolled-up copy. The story just won’t hang together.’

The scientists plan to create models of several different shark intestines using a 3D printer, which will allow them to see how materials move through the organs in real time.

And it should operate in the same way as Tesla’s one-way valve.  

The scientists plan to create models of several different shark intestines using a 3D printer, which will allow them to see how materials move through the organs in real time. Pictured is the intestines of a smooth dogfish shark

The scientists plan to create models of several different shark intestines using a 3D printer, which will allow them to see how materials move through the organs in real time. Pictured is the intestines of a smooth dogfish shark

The scientists plan to create models of several different shark intestines using a 3D printer, which will allow them to see how materials move through the organs in real time. Pictured is the intestines of a smooth dogfish shark

Tesla patented his one-way valve in 1920, which is similar to traditional valves but without moving parts.  

It has a design that allows fluid to flow unimpeded in one direction, but in the other direction, the fluid is blocked.

Tesla gave the following explanation in his patent: ‘The interior of the conduit is provided with enlargements, recesses, projections, baffles, or buckets which, while offering virtually no resistance to the passage of the fluid in one direction, other than surface friction, constitute an almost impassable barrier to its flow in the opposite [direction].’ 



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Written by bourbiza

bourbiza is an entertainment reporter for iltuoiphone News and is based in Los Angeles.

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