Grant: $422,979 - National Science Foundation - Jul. 1, 2009
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Award Description: This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5). Like humans, ground-dwelling birds (ostriches, emus, chickens, guineafowl, etc.) move by alternate motion of their two legs. Avian bipedal locomotion is well described in two dimensions (from side view), but the movements of the limb bones in three dimensions have never been characterized. This study will use two x-ray systems to record high-speed video of the hind limb skeleton of guineafowl as they stand, move forward at different speeds, and turn. These extremely accurate motion data will provide the first complete description of 3-D hip, knee, and ankle rotations. Simultaneously, a highly sensitive scale will measure the foot's push against the ground. Combining accurate motion (kinematics) and ground force data will allow calculation of the joint forces and torques (kinetics) that bones, muscles, and ligaments must produce/resist. The project's goal is to understand the contribution of non-planar movement and loading to bipedal locomotion in birds. These results will illuminate aspects of limb design among today?s avian diversity, enhance the functional interpretation of fossils, and potentially fundamentally change the scientific community's vision of running vertebrates. Understanding the mechanisms of 3-D limb movements in birds could lead to advances in therapies/prosthetics for human gait disorders. The proposed research will have broader impacts in graduate and undergraduate student training, enhancement of research infrastructure through biplanar x-ray motion analysis, and broadening participation by including local high-school science teachers in summer lab experience.
Project Description: The project's goal is to measure the 3-D motion and forces in the hind limb of a non-human biped during locomotion. We expect that these results will: overturn prior ideas about how humans, birds, and other animals with upright posture control their legs; provide insight into joint design; and inform paleontological reconstruction of extinct forms. During the first two months of this project, significant progress was made using cadavers to refine data measurement, analysis, and visualization techniques. These preliminary studies pave the way for recording walking, running, and turning behaviors.
Jobs Summary: Professor of Biology: PI on grant - Stephen Gatesy - job was retained. (Total jobs reported: 1)
Project Status: Less Than 50% Completed
This award's data was last updated on Jul. 1, 2009. Help expand these official descriptions using the wiki below.