Motility is the ability to move spontaneously from one location to another by consuming energy. In biology, the term usually refers to single-celled and simple multicellular organisms, and encompasses swimming, crawling, gliding and swarming motion.

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News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    An experimental study of living cells suggests that single myosin molecules are capable of generating unusually large forces. The observation is supported by a theoretical model — and demonstrates the complexity of in vivo force generation.

    • Andrew W. Holle
    •  & Ralf Kemkemer
  • News and Views |

    A two-state hopping experiment combined with a dynamical systems model reveals that cancer cells are deterministically driven across barriers, whereas normal cells cross only with the help of stochastic fluctuations.

    • Ulrich S. Schwarz
    Nature Physics 15, 524-525
  • Research Highlights |

    This study reports that surfing motility is a conserved yet diverse form of motility in bacteria.

    • Ashley York
  • News and Views |

    Many microorganisms use light-sensitive receptors to migrate. A case in point is the microalga Euglena gracilis, which avoids light intensity increases by swimming in polygonal trajectories — providing an elegant solution to navigational challenges.

    • Nicolas Waisbord
    •  & Jeffrey S. Guasto
    Nature Physics 14, 1161-1162
  • News and Views |

    Cells in embryonic tissues generate coordinated forces to close small wounds rapidly without scarring. New research shows that large cell-to-cell variations in these forces are a key system feature that surprisingly speeds up wound healing.

    • M. Shane Hutson
    Nature Physics 14, 639-641