Volume 10 Issue 1, January 2009

Volume 10 Issue 1

'Mechanical heart' by Nicola Hawes, inspired by the Focus starting on p21

From The Editors

Research Highlights


  • Review Article |

    During anaphase, the mitotic spindle reorganizes in preparation for cytokinesis. Kinesin motor proteins and microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) bundle the interpolar microtubule plus ends and generate the central spindle, which regulates cleavage furrow initiation and the completion of cytokinesis.

    • Michael Glotzer
  • Review Article |

    Cells respond to a wide range of signals from the surrounding extracellular matrix. Research into the complex interplay between cell adhesion and the cytoskeleton, combined with advanced surface nanoengineering technologies, can shed light on the mechanisms by which cells sense the neighbouring nanoenvironment.

    • Benjamin Geiger
    • , Joachim P. Spatz
    •  & Alexander D. Bershadsky
  • Review Article |

    Mechanical forces regulate basic cellular processes, such as proliferation, differentiation and tissue organization during embryogenesis. What are the mechanisms that underlie force-induced mechanotransduction during development? And what is the role of actomyosin-mediated contractile forces in the regulation of cell and tissue structure and function?

    • Michele A. Wozniak
    •  & Christopher S. Chen
  • Review Article |

    Neurons that sense touch, sound and acceleration respond rapidly to specific mechanical signals. But what are the proteins that transduce these signals? Current studies are directed towards characterizing channel proteins as candidate transduction molecules and determining how they are mechanically gated.

    • Martin Chalfie
  • Review Article |

    Blood flow is crucial for vascular morphogenesis and physiology. Endothelial cells respond to blood flow by transducing mechanical forces into biochemical signals that regulate cellular responses. Chronic exposure to disturbed flow causes the constant activation of these cellular responses, which cause vessel dysfunction and disease.

    • Cornelia Hahn
    •  & Martin A. Schwartz
  • Review Article |

    Cells sense their physical surroundings by translating mechanical forces and deformations into biochemical signals. Defects in mechanotransduction are implicated in the development of many diseases, ranging from muscular dystrophies, cardiomyopathies and loss of hearing to cancer progression and metastasis.

    • Diana E. Jaalouk
    •  & Jan Lammerding