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A stiff one-armed swimmer in glycerine goes nowhere, but if its arm is elastic, exerting a restorative torque proportional to local curvature, the swimmer can go on its way. Considering this happy consequence and the principles of elasticity, we study a hyperdiffusion equation for the shape of the elastica in viscous flow, find solutions for impulsive or(More)
Aerobic bacteria often live in thin fluid layers near solid-air-water contact lines, in which the biology of chemotaxis, metabolism, and cell-cell signaling is intimately connected to the physics of buoyancy, diffusion, and mixing. Using the geometry of a sessile drop, we demonstrate in suspensions of Bacillus subtilis the self-organized generation of a(More)
Motivated by diverse phenomena in cellular biophysics, including bacterial flagellar motion and DNA transcription and replication, we study the overdamped nonlinear dynamics of a rotationally forced filament with twist and bend elasticity. Competition between twist injection, twist diffusion, and writhing instabilities is described by coupled PDEs for twist(More)
In Drosophila photoreceptors, phospholipase C (PLC) and other signalling components form multiprotein structures through the PDZ scaffold protein INAD. Association between PLC and INAD is important for termination of responses to light; the underlying mechanism is, however, unclear. Here we report that the maintenance of large amounts of PLC in the(More)
The spherical alga Volvox swims by means of flagella on thousands of surface somatic cells. This geometry and its large size make it a model organism for studying the fluid dynamics of multicellularity. Remarkably, when two nearby Volvox colonies swim close to a solid surface, they attract one another and can form stable bound states in which they "waltz"(More)
Benefits, costs, and requirements accompany the transition from motile totipotent unicellular organisms to multicellular organisms having cells specialized into reproductive (germ) and vegetative (sterile soma) functions such as motility. In flagellated colonial organisms such as the volvocalean green algae, organized beating by the somatic cells' flagella(More)
Organisms show a remarkable range of sizes, yet the dimensions of a single cell rarely exceed 100 µm. While the physical and biological origins of this constraint remain poorly understood, exceptions to this rule give valuable insights. A well-known counterexample is the aquatic plant Chara, whose cells can exceed 10 cm in length and 1 mm in diameter. Two(More)
Thin cylindrical tethers are common lipid bilayer membrane structures, arising in situations ranging from micromanipulation experiments on artificial vesicles to the dynamic structure of the Golgi apparatus. We study the shape and formation of a tether in terms of the classical soap-film problem, which is applied to the case of a membrane disk under tension(More)
Vitamin B(12) (cobalamin) is a dietary requirement for humans because it is an essential cofactor for two enzymes, methylmalonyl-CoA mutase and methionine synthase (METH). Land plants and fungi neither synthesize or require cobalamin because they do not contain methylmalonyl-CoA mutase, and have an alternative B(12)-independent methionine synthase (METE).(More)
Supercoiling motions that accompany the growth of bacterial macrofibers (multicellular filamentous structures formed in B. subtilis by cell division without separation) are responsible for rolling, pivoting, and walking of fibers on a surface. Fibers possess a fulcrum about which they pivot and step in a chiral manner; forces and torques associated with(More)