Nicolas Desprat

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Mechanical deformations associated with embryonic morphogenetic movements have been suggested to actively participate in the signaling cascades regulating developmental gene expression. Here we develop an appropriate experimental approach to ascertain the existence and the physiological relevance of this phenomenon. By combining the use of magnetic tweezers(More)
We compare and synthesize the results of two microrheological experiments on the cytoskeleton of single cells. In the first one, the creep function J(t) of a cell stretched between two glass plates is measured after applying a constant force step. In the second one, a microbead specifically bound to transmembrane receptors is driven by an oscillating(More)
We used a novel uniaxial stretching rheometer to measure the creep function J(t) of an isolated living cell. We show, for the first time at the scale of the whole cell, that J(t) behaves as a power-law J(t) = At(alpha). For N = 43 mice myoblasts (C2-7), we find alpha = 0.24 +/- 0.01 and A = (2.4 +/- 0.3) 10(-3) Pa(-1) s(-alpha). Using Laplace Transforms, we(More)
Phenotype switching is commonly observed in nature. This prevalence has allowed the elucidation of a number of underlying molecular mechanisms. However, little is known about how phenotypic switches arise and function in their early evolutionary stages. The first opportunity to provide empirical insight was delivered by an experiment in which populations of(More)
Living cells sense the rigidity of their environment and adapt their activity to it. In particular, cells cultured on elastic substrates align their shape and their traction forces along the direction of highest stiffness and preferably migrate towards stiffer regions. Although numerous studies investigated the role of adhesion complexes in rigidity(More)
The maintenance of cooperation in populations where public goods are equally accessible to all but inflict a fitness cost on individual producers is a long-standing puzzle of evolutionary biology. An example of such a scenario is the secretion of siderophores by bacteria into their environment to fetch soluble iron. In a planktonic culture, these molecules(More)
In recent years, sociobiology has been extended to microorganisms. Viewed through this lens, the microbial world is replete with cooperative behaviors. However, little attention has been paid to alternate hypotheses, making many studies self-confirming. Somewhat apart is a recent analysis of pyoverdin production-a paradigmatic public good and social(More)
We propose a new and simple method for the measurement of microbial concentrations in highly diluted cultures. This method is based on an analysis of the intensity fluctuations of light scattered by microbial cells under laser illumination. Two possible measurement strategies are identified and compared using simulations and measurements of the(More)
Populations of isogenic embryonic stem cells or clonal bacteria often exhibit extensive phenotypic heterogeneity that arises from intrinsic stochastic dynamics of cells. The phenotypic state of a cell can be transmitted epigenetically in cell division, leading to correlations in the states of cells related by descent. The extent of these correlations is(More)
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