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Mathematics explains how giant whirlpools form in developing egg cells

The swirling currents occur when the rodlike structures that extend inward from the cells' membranes bend together like wheat stalks caught in a strong breeze, report researchers at the Flatiron Institute and the University of Cambridge in a new study

2021-01-13
(Press-News.org) Egg cells are among the largest cells in the animal kingdom. If moved only by the random jostlings of water molecules, a protein could take hours or even days to drift from one side of a forming egg cell to the other. Luckily, nature has developed a faster way: cell-spanning whirlpools in the immature egg cells of animals such as mice, zebrafish and fruit flies. These vortices enable cross-cell commutes that take just a fraction of the time. But until now, scientists didn't know how these crucial flows formed.

Using mathematical modeling, researchers now have an answer. The gyres result from the collective behavior of rodlike molecular tubes called microtubules that extend inward from the cells' membranes, the END


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[Press-News.org] Mathematics explains how giant whirlpools form in developing egg cells
The swirling currents occur when the rodlike structures that extend inward from the cells' membranes bend together like wheat stalks caught in a strong breeze, report researchers at the Flatiron Institute and the University of Cambridge in a new study