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:1/19/2017)... 19, 2017 AquaBounty Technologies, Inc. (AIM: ABTU; ... in aquaculture and a majority-owned subsidiary of Intrexon Corporation ... completed the listing of its common shares on the ... Intrexon. "AquaBounty,s listing on NASDAQ represents an ... exposure to the U.S. markets as we advance plans ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 19, 2017 , ... FireflySci Inc. is a go-getter type of ... growth is accounted to two main factors. The first is the amazing customer ... vendors supplying FireflySci products all around the world. , 2016 was a tremendous sales ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... BETHESDA, Md. , Jan. 18, 2017  Northwest ... company developing DCVax® personalized immune therapies for operable and ... Marnix Bosch , Chief Technical Officer of NW Bio, ... Thursday, January 19, 2017, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel ... Dr. Bosch will chair the session entitled "New Therapeutic ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... ... device-to-computer interconnect using USB or PCI Express, announced the ZEM5310 USB 3.0 FPGA ... FPGA into a compact business-card sized form factor suitable for prototyping, testing, and ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:12/15/2016)... VANCOUVER, Canada and BADEN-BADEN, Germany ... Solutions, a leading global financial services provider, today announced an ... in passive behavioural biometrics, to join forces. The partnership will ... fraud mitigation strategies in compliance with local data protection regulation. ... In ...
(Date:12/15/2016)... 2016  There is much more to innovative access ... engine. Continental will demonstrate the intelligence of today,s solutions ... . Through the combination of the keyless entry and ... elements, the international technology company is opening up new ... "The integration of biometric elements brings our ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Calif. , Dec. 8, 2016  Singulex, Inc., ... Molecule Counting technology, entered into a license and supply ... serving science. The agreement provides Singulex access to Thermo ... Europe is used to diagnose systemic ... United States to aid in assessing the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):