Synchronized swimming: Biology on a micro-scale

Specialized stringy fluids flow through the human joints and help constitute substances such as mucus. These fluids contain long, flexible molecules like polymers or proteins, giving them the ability to stretch and absorb ...

How cells learn to 'count'

One of the wonders of cell biology is its symmetry. Mammalian cells have one nucleus and one cell membrane, and most humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes. Trillions of mammalian cells achieve this uniformity—but some consistently ...

Scientists unravel mysteries of cells' whiplike extensions

Cilia, or flagella—whiplike appendages on cells—perform diverse tasks required to keep the body healthy. When cilia malfunction, the consequences can be devastating, causing a range of problems, from blindness, to lung ...

Structural protein essential for ciliary harmony in comb jellies

Researchers from the University of Tsukuba's Shimoda Marine Research Center and the Japanese National Institute for Basic Biology have identified a protein that keeps millions of tiny surface organelles moving in harmony ...

Making waves: Researchers shed light on how cilia work

Human bodies have some built-in systems to care for themselves. The cells that line our lungs, nose, brain and reproductive system have cilia, which are tiny, hair-like structures designed to sweep out fluids, cells and microbes ...

How our cellular antennas are formed

Most of our cells contain an immobile primary cilium, an antenna used to transfer information from the surrounding environment. Some cells also have many mobile cilia that are used to generate movement. The 'skeleton' of ...

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