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TheJournalofCellBiology 456 The Journal of Cell Biology | Volume 165, Number 4, 2004

Summary: TheJournalofCellBiology
456 The Journal of Cell Biology | Volume 165, Number 4, 2004
Research RoundupResearch Roundup
Tilt back to turn left
perating an eggbeater vertically creates a vortex, but
a slight tilt makes fluid move across a bowl. Julyan
Cartwright (CSIC, Granada, Spain), Oreste Piro, and Idan
Tuval (CSIC-UIB, Palma de Mallorca, Spain), now claim that
a similar backward tilting of mouse cilia may create a flow
that defines the left side of the embryo.
A slight tilt turns a set of vortices (left) into directed flow (right).
Flow had already been established as a determinant of
left­right asymmetry, at least in mice. Leftwards flow is
created by a group of 30 cilia in the mouse node, a fluid-
filled region on the surface of the embryo. Interference
with this flow creates a mirror image (situs inversus) of the
normal left­right asymmetry of internal organs. Situs inversus
happens in either half the cases (if mutation results in no


Source: Alon, Uri - Departments of Molecular Cell Biology & Physics of Complex Systems, Weizmann Institute of Science


Collections: Biology and Medicine