Redefining Geometry in Biology?

Math and biology are two fields that often seem on opposite ends of the spectrum. But today, scientists around the world are finding new and creative ways to combine these two integral fields of knowledge. In fact, less than two months ago, scientists and engineers from Lehigh University, Sevilla University, and the University of London successfully applied complex geometry to create a new shape, iconically named the “scutoid!” While its application to biology may not seem obvious at first, this novel geometric solid actually describes how cells reshape themselves during the processes of cell packing and organ formation.

Check out the video below to learn the essentials behind this ground-breaking discovery, not only in describing new laws of human biology, but also highlighting the importance of collaboration in the world of science!

From Robert Hooke’s famous “Cell Theory” in 1665 (left) to today’s discovery of the Scutoid (right)! Image credits: http://faculty.sdmiramar.edu/dtrubovitz/micro/history/Hooke.htm and https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-05376-1
* Original Video*

The scutoid has even captured the interest of the comedy world, with Stephen Colbert bringing the new discovery to center stage on the Late Night Show in August (Found at 6:30 in video, ignoring political commentary)!

Video Credit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AUAP8cHWd8

For those with a new interest in the discovery, check out the full paper on scutoids in Nature at: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-05376-1

Prathysha Kothare

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