Strained relationships: Using the forces that shape living cells to design new materials

Life is flexible. All living cells are basically squishy balloons full of water, proteins and DNA, surrounded by oily membranes. Those membranes stand up to significant amounts of stretching and bending, but only recently have scientists started to fully appreciate the useful organization and functions that result from all that stress.

A group at UW-Madison came up with a clever synthetic system to study the forces that shape cell membranes by floating tiny bubbles inside a liquid crystal. Check out my write up of this high-tension research:

Strained relationships: Using the forces that shape living cells to design new materials

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