Statistical and Biological Physics

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Bacterial cells communicate with one another by using chemical signal molecules, which they synthesize and secrete into their surroundings. By this means, the behavior of an entire population can be controlled and coordinated. We have shown theoretically how such behavior can be accomplished through an ecological feedback even when only a subset of cells actually emits the signal. Our findings are published in the online journal eLife. more

Cellular protrusions as filopodia or stereocilia are finger-like extensions of a cell projecting into the surrounding environment. Their shape is maintained by actin filaments that are cross-linked into more rigid bundles. Protrusions have an important role in different contexts ranging from cell migration and wound healing to signal transduction. For the functioning of the protrusions proteins have to be transported to the protrusion tips. Molecular motors as myosins can fulfill this task by converting chemical energy from ATP hydrolysis into directed movement along those actin filaments, pulling the proteins as cargo behind them. more