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Biological physics

Liquid crystals in living tissue

Evidence has been found that a biological tissue might behave like a liquid crystal. Even more remarkably, topological defects in this liquid-crystal system seem to influence cell behaviour. A materials physicist and a biologist discuss what the findings mean for researchers in their fields. See Letter p.212

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Figure 1: Defects in systems of epithelial cells.


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Correspondence to Linda S. Hirst or Guillaume Charras.

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Hirst, L., Charras, G. Liquid crystals in living tissue. Nature 544, 164–165 (2017).

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