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New book summarizes research on symmetry breaking in biology

COLD SPRING HARBOR, N.Y. (May 18, 2010) -- Symmetry breaking events are critical for the survival of all living systems. They are required for cell division, development, and movement in all organisms from single-celled species to human beings. Moreover, in multicellular organisms, symmetry breaking allows the generation of cells with different fates and underpins the complex arrangement of tissues and organs achieved during embryogenesis.

A new book from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, Symmetry Breaking in Biology, surveys current advances in the field. Written and edited by experts in the field, this volume explores how symmetry breaking occurs in biology and the roles of these events at numerous different levels. The contributors examine the mechanisms by which cells polarize, divide asymmetrically, and produce asymmetric structures, providing examples from bacteria, yeast, plants, invertebrates, and mammals.

"We hope that this collection of reviews will serve the purposes of both summarizing what we have learned so far, and of highlighting the central questions that remain for future investigation," write the editors, Rong Li and Bruce Bowerman, in the preface to the book.

Including discussions of the molecular basis of polarization mechanisms, asymmetric division of stem cells during development, the generation of left-right asymmetry of the body axis in mammals, and theoretical approaches to symmetry breaking, the volume is a vital reference for molecular, cell, and developmental biologists, as well as physical scientists interested in how and why symmetry breaking occurs in living systems.


Contact: Ingrid Benirschke
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Page: 1

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