Ever wondered how groups of cells managed to build your tissues and organs while you were just an embryo? Using state-of-the-art techniques he developed, UC Santa Barbara researcher Otger Campàs and his group have cracked this longstanding mystery, revealing the astonishing innerworkings of how embryos are physically constructed.
Cells coordinate by exchanging biochemical signals, but they also hold to and push on each other to build the body structures we need to live, such as the eyes, lungs and heart. And, as it turns out, sculpting the embryo is not far from glass molding or 3D printing. In their new work,”A fluid-to-solid jamming transition underlies vertebrate body axis elongation,” published in the journal Nature, Campàs and colleagues reveal that cell collectives switch from fluid to solid states in a controlled manner to build the vertebrate embryo, in a way similar to how we mold glass into vases or 3D print our favorite items. Or, if you like, we 3D print ourselves, from the inside. (1)
In a world of change…
In a world of chaos, life.
Made out of nothing.
Fragile and yet…
What lies beyond the veil of nothingness?
A universe made out of dust.
An undying cosmos.
Look at the melting glass. It is not sad.
For it knows that this is not the end.
But the beginning…
Frozen in time.
A tear dropping.