8 research outputs found

    Possible origins of macroscopic left-right asymmetry in organisms

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    I consider the microscopic mechanisms by which a particular left-right (L/R) asymmetry is generated at the organism level from the microscopic handedness of cytoskeletal molecules. In light of a fundamental symmetry principle, the typical pattern-formation mechanisms of diffusion plus regulation cannot implement the "right-hand rule"; at the microscopic level, the cell's cytoskeleton of chiral filaments seems always to be involved, usually in collective states driven by polymerization forces or molecular motors. It seems particularly easy for handedness to emerge in a shear or rotation in the background of an effectively two-dimensional system, such as the cell membrane or a layer of cells, as this requires no pre-existing axis apart from the layer normal. I detail a scenario involving actin/myosin layers in snails and in C. elegans, and also one about the microtubule layer in plant cells. I also survey the other examples that I am aware of, such as the emergence of handedness such as the emergence of handedness in neurons, in eukaryote cell motility, and in non-flagellated bacteria.Comment: 42 pages, 6 figures, resubmitted to J. Stat. Phys. special issue. Major rewrite, rearranged sections/subsections, new Fig 3 + 6, new physics in Sec 2.4 and 3.4.1, added Sec 5 and subsections of Sec

    Ventral Cell Rearrangements Contribute to Anterior-Posterior Axis Lengthening between Neurula and Tailbud Stages in Xenopus laevis

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    AbstractStudies of morphogenesis in early Xenopus embryos have focused primarily on gastrulation and neurulation. Immediately following these stages is another period of intense morphogenetic activity, the neurula-to-tailbud transition. During this period the embryo is transformed from the spherical shape of the early stages into the long, thin shape of the tailbud stages. While gastrulation and neurulation depend largely on active cell rearrangement and cell shape changes in dorsal tissues, we find that the neurula-to-tailbud transition depends in part on activities of ventral cells. Ventral explants of neurulae lengthen automously as much as the ventral sides of intact embryos, while dorsal explants lengthen less than the dorsal sides of intact embryos. Analyses of cell division, cell shapes, and cell rearrangement by transplantation of labeled cells and by time lapse recordings in live intact embryos concur that cell rearrangements in ventral mesoderm and ectoderm contribute to the autonomous anterior-posterior axis lengthening of ventral explants between neurula and tailbud stages

    Conception and development of the Second Life¬ģ Embryo Physics Course

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