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Soft matter on new ways to self-organization

The groove of the self-organized active nematic ribbon

29-Sep-2020

Nematic materials, such as the liquid crystals in our displays, contain molecules that align themselves in parallel. When they are constructed from microtubules and kinesins, materials found in our cells, they become active and move and deform without the supply of energy from the outside. In a ...

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When proteins work together, but travel alone

If a protein can perform its function only when assembled into a complex, what is then the benefit of complex disassembly?

20-May-2020

Proteins, the microscopic “workhorses” that perform all the functions essential to life, are team players: in order to do their job, they often need to assemble into precise structures called protein complexes. These complexes, however, can be dynamic and short-lived, with proteins coming ...

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How living matter self-organizes through chemical signals

Scientists show new mechanism of self-organization of living matter

08-Jul-2019

Cells and microorganisms produce and consume all sorts of chemicals, from nutrients to signaling molecules. The same happens at the nanoscale inside cells themselves, where enzymes catalyze the production and consumption of the chemicals needed for life. In new work published in Physical Review ...

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Maelstroms in the heart

New, promising imaging technique for cardiac arrhythmias

23-Feb-2018

Every five minutes in Germany alone, a person dies of sudden cardiac arrest or fibrillation, the most common cause of death worldwide. This is partly due to the fact that doctors still do not fully understand exactly what goes on in the heart during the occurrence. Until now, it was impossible to ...

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Algae with light switch

The adhesion of Chlamydomonas, a unicellular alga, to surfaces is light-dependent

02-Oct-2017

Sunlight allows green algae to do more than just carry out photosynthesis.. Some unicellular algae actually use light to switch the adhesion of their flagella to surfaces on and off – a phenomenon first discovered by physicists at the Göttingen Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and ...

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