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EU-US ERC funded team reveal how the cells inside us like to dance

May 24, 2011

The exact science of how cells move about within the body has long been a mystery, but new research from an international team of scientists showing that cells like to move about as if part of a dance troop goes some way to filling in these blanks.
The team, made up of researchers from Spain and the United States, investigated the physical forces that determine how cells migrate. Their findings, presented in the journal Nature Materials, show that these patterns of migration are both coordinated and chaotic, meaning that at first glance it can appear as if the cells are dancing as if in a ballroom, and at the same time like they are in a 'mosh pit'.
With a boost from a European Research Council (ERC) grant under the 'Ideas' Thematic area of the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), the study shows that in some cases the cells seem to battle with each other by pulling and pushing around as if in a chaotic dance, yet at the same time they all move together in a relatively coordinated and cooperative manner towards their intended direction.


BILAT-USA (Grant Agreement no: 244434) and Link2US (Grant Agreement no: 244371) Projects are co-funded by the European Union’s Capacities Programme on International Cooperation under the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Cooperation.