Nature

The geometry of life: when mathematics meets synthetic biology

Tiling patterns can be found thoughout the natural world – from honeycomb to fish scales. But now researchers have come up with a new way to create patterns in petri dishes – using bacteria. By engineering bacterial cells to express uniquely adhesive proteins on their surface, the team could create linear patterns – formed as colonies of cells stuck together when they grew. What’s more, by varying the exact proteins expressed and modelling where to place the bacterial cells , they were able to control the resulting geometry – creating a range of complex patterns

Research paper: 4-bit adhesion logic enables universal multicellular interface patterning

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