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LabBits: A media tip sheet from the MBL in Woods Hole
Date:7/28/2008

tdoctoral student Nicolas Minc, and David Burgess, professor of biology at Boston College, are placing sea urchin eggs in snug, microscopic chambers shaped like triangles, squares, rectangles, stars, and ice cream cones to see whether the cell will still split 50-50. A cell's shape, which is naturally circular, is known to play an important role in where it divides. "We're trying to figure out the plane of division when cells are placed in oddly shaped chambers," Dr. Chang says. "Is it in the same place or way off the middle?"

Cell division is an ancient process. All multicellular organisms have similar proteins for the task, so any information gathered from the sea urchin research is relevant to human biology as well. Chang and Burgess hope to apply their findings to the established theories of cell division or possibly come up with a model of their own.


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Contact: Diana Kenney
dkenney@mbl.edu
508-289-7139
Marine Biological Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert  

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