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BACKGROUND Epithelial junctional networks assume packing geometries characterized by different cell shapes, neighbor number distributions and areas. The development of specific packing geometries is tightly controlled; in the Drosophila wing epithelium, cells convert from an irregular to a hexagonal array shortly before hair formation. Packing geometry is(More)
Planar cell polarity (PCP) proteins form polarized cortical domains that govern polarity of external structures such as hairs and cilia in both vertebrate and invertebrate epithelia. The mechanisms that globally orient planar polarity are not understood, and are investigated here in the Drosophila wing using a combination of experiment and theory. Planar(More)
In sexually reproducing organisms, embryos specify germ cells, which ultimately generate sperm and eggs. In Caenorhabditis elegans, the first germ cell is established when RNA and protein-rich P granules localize to the posterior of the one-cell embryo. Localization of P granules and their physical nature remain poorly understood. Here we show that P(More)
Subdividing proliferating tissues into compartments is an evolutionarily conserved strategy of animal development [1-6]. Signals across boundaries between compartments can result in local expression of secreted proteins organizing growth and patterning of tissues [1-6]. Sharp and straight interfaces between compartments are crucial for stabilizing the(More)
We introduce the concept of self-tuned criticality as a general mechanism for signal detection in sensory systems. In the case of hearing, we argue that active amplification of faint sounds is provided by a dynamical system that is maintained at the threshold of an oscillatory instability. This concept can account for the exquisite sensitivity of the(More)
Asymmetric cell divisions are essential for the development of multicellular organisms. To proceed, they require an initially symmetric cell to polarize. In Caenorhabditis elegans zygotes, anteroposterior polarization is facilitated by a large-scale flow of the actomyosin cortex, which directs the asymmetry of the first mitotic division. Cortical flows(More)
In the developing fly wing, secreted morphogens such as Decapentaplegic (Dpp) and Wingless (Wg) form gradients of concentration providing positional information. Dpp forms a longer-range gradient than Wg. To understand how the range is controlled, we measured the four key kinetic parameters governing morphogen spreading: the production rate, the effective(More)
BACKGROUND Asymmetric division of the C. elegans zygote is due to the posterior-directed movement of the mitotic spindle during metaphase and anaphase. During this movement along the anterior-posterior axis, the spindle oscillates transversely. These motions are thought to be driven by a force-generating complex-possibly containing the motor protein(More)