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Intracellular protein transportation governed by simple rules


This is a fascinating example of how complex processes can be controlled with simple physical and chemical rules. At first glances, it would appear to be enormously challenging to identify the proteins that need to be transported to a certain location, to spot any that have been transported to the wrong place and to stop them radiating off from their ultimate destination. Yet the cell manages this in a really simple way without any additional receptors or regulatory mechanisms. Other self-organising systems, too - such as insect colonies - often work on relatively simple principles. They would otherwise be unable to handle the multitude of tasks they need to perform. "These findings represent a milestone. They will change the way research in cellular biology is done. It’s only when we as scientists understand the principles by which life works that we are truly able to understand life. Focusing on the many different signalling pathways within the cell doesn’t really help that much," says Philippe Bastiaens.
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