Collective behavior in cell communities – University of Copenhagen

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Collective behavior in cell communities

Biological signaling and regulation of cell growth and state may extend across space, combining local action of some molecules with the spatially extended action of molecules that are designed to diffuse more freely.

Combining production with secretion, or cellular growth with mutual inhibition of growth, one may obtain a large variety of both frozen and dynamic patterns including pattern as advanced as embryo formation and somite formation in vertebrates. On the population level, spatio-temporal patterns can also be seen in growing bacterial, respectively yeast colonies. In our center, we work with a variety of these spatio-temporal model systems, spanning from plaque formation of phages as they spread among growing bacterial cultures, to rules of self-assembly in developing embryos.