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Paris, 16 February 2015

How do vertebrates take on their form ?

A simple physical mechanism that can be assimilated to folding, or buckling, means that an unformed mass of cells can change in a single step into an embryo organized as a typical vertebrate. This is the main conclusion of work by a team involving physicists from the Laboratoire Matière et Systèmes Complexes (CNRS/Université Paris Diderot) and a biologist from the Laboratoire de Biologie du Développement (CNRS/UPMC). Thanks to microscopic observations and micromechanical experiments, the scientists have discovered that the pattern that guides this folding is present from the early stages of development. The folds that will give a final shape to the animal form along the boundaries between cell territories with different properties. This work has shed light on the mechanism for the formation of vertebrates and thus how they appeared during evolution. These findings are published on the website of the European Physical Journal E, on 12 February 2015.

To download the press release: Vertébrés

Bibliography:

Buckling along boundaries of elastic contrast as a mechanism for early vertebrate morphogenesis, Vincent Fleury, Nicolas R. Chevalier, Fabien Furfaro et Jean-Loup Duband. European Physical Journal E, 12 February 2015.
DOI 10.1140/epje/i2015-15006-7

Contacts:

CNRS scientist l Vincent Fleury l T +33 1 57 27 62 48 l vincent.fleury@univ-paris-diderot.fr
CNRS press l Véronique Etienne l T +33 1 44 96 51 37 l veronique.etienne@cnrs-dir.fr


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