Navigation Links
Scientists discover 'dancing' algae
Date:4/20/2009

Scientists at the Cambridge University have discovered that freshwater algae can form stable groupings in which they dance around each other, miraculously held together only by the fluid flows they create. Their research was published today in the journal Physical Review Letters.

The researchers studied the multicellular organism Volvox, which consists of approximately 1,000 cells arranged on the surface of a spherical matrix about half a millimetre in diameter. Each of the surface cells has two hair-like appendages known as flagella, whose beating propels the colony through the fluid and simultaneously makes them spin about an axis.

The researchers found that colonies swimming near a surface can form two types of "bound states"; the "waltz", in which the two colonies orbit around each other like a planet circling the sun, and the "minuet", in which the colonies oscillate back and forth as if held by an elastic band between them.

The researchers have developed a mathematical analysis that shows these dancing patterns arise from the manner in which nearby surfaces modify the fluid flow near the colonies and induce an attraction between them. The observations constitute the first direct visualisations of the flows, which have been predicted to produce such an attraction. They have been implicated previously in the accumulation of swimming microorganisms such as bacteria and sperm cells near surfaces.

These findings also have implications for clustering of colonies at the air-water interface, where these recirculating flows can enhance the probability of fertilization during the sexual phase of their life cycle.

Professor Raymond E. Goldstein, the Schlumberger Professor of Complex Physical Systems in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP) and lead author of the study, said: "These striking and unexpected results remind us not only of the grace and beauty of life, but also that remarkable phenomena can emerge from very simple ingredients."

Funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the work is part of a larger effort to improve our knowledge of evolutionary transitions from single-cell organisms to multicellular ones. This greater understanding of the nature of self-propulsion and collective behaviour of these organisms promises to elucidate key evolutionary steps toward greater biological complexity.

Moreover, the flagella of Volvox are nearly identical to the cilia in the human body, whose coordinated action is central to many processes in embryonic development, reproduction, and the respiratory system. For this reason, the study of flagellar organisation has potentially broad implications for human health and disease.


'/>"/>

Contact: Genevieve Maul
genevieve.maul@admin.cam.ac.uk
44-122-333-2300
University of Cambridge
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. Gladstone scientists uncover potential mechanism of memory loss in Alzheimers disease
2. Three Studies by Independent Scientists Highlighting Pressure Cycling Technology (PCT) to be Presented this Week at the British Mass Spectrometry Societys 29th Annual Meeting
3. Social Network for Scientists Marks Ten Years Online
4. Scientists synthesize memory in yeast cells
5. Scientists synthesize memory in yeast cells
6. University of Leicester scientists discover technique to help friendly bacteria
7. Scientists discover how cancer may take hold
8. Yale scientists make 2 giant steps in advancement of quantum computing
9. New Scientists Boost Disease-based Research at Boston Biomedical Research Institute
10. Scientists say sabercat bit like a pussycat
11. New Corporate Website Launched - Focus on Life Scientists, Flow Cytometrists, & Clinicians
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/23/2017)... New Orleans, La. (PRWEB) , ... March 23, ... ... of real-time, industrial monitoring solutions, today announced the hire of Dr. Sigmund “Sig” ... for APMT customer applications, strategic partnerships and joint development activities. , “Dr. Floyd’s ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... 2017 Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: REGN), today announced ... U.K. Biobank and GSK to generate genetic sequence data from ... initiative will enable researchers to gain valuable insights to support ... range of serious and life threatening diseases. ... Genetic evidence has ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... , ... March 22, 2017 , ... ... human tissue regeneration from small lab samples to full-size tissues, bones, even whole ... establish a vascular system that delivers blood deep into the developing tissue. ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... 22, 2017  Ascendis Pharma A/S (Nasdaq: ASND), ... technology to address significant unmet medical needs in ... full year ended December 31, 2016. ... company as we broadened our pipeline and pursued ... disease company with an initial focus on endocrinology," ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:3/22/2017)... March 21, 2017   Neurotechnology , a ... technologies, today announced the release of the ... provides improved facial recognition using up to 10 ... single computer. The new version uses deep neural-network-based ... and it utilizes a Graphing Processing Unit (GPU) ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... NEW YORK , March 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... Customer Marketing Cloud used by retailers such as ... in its platform — Product Recommendations and Replenishment. Using ... to give more personalized product and replenishment recommendations ... purchases, but also on predictions of customer intent ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... -- Vigilant Solutions , a vehicle location and ... today the appointment of retired FBI special agent ... development. Mr. Sheridan brings more than 21 ... on the aviation transportation sector, to his new role ... served as the Aviation Liaison Agent Coordinator (ALAC) in ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):