From baking a cake to building a house of cards, scaling up in size often doesn’t work out. So how does the human body scale up its complex tissues during development? Researchers investigated this in mice, focusing on the intricate bones of the nose that develop from cartilage. It takes two weeks for the sheets of cartilage that form these bones to take shape. Then over the next four days (left to right), micro CT imaging revealed that the overall structure remained roughly the same but increased in size. The tissue grew out in all directions but didn’t change thickness much, suggesting the cells probably lined up along the sides and spread outwards. However by genetically labelling cells researchers were surprised to find cells actually formed into interlocking columns. Controlling the dimensions of these columns is likely important for scaling up. More research should sniff out just how this happens.
Written by Lux Fatimathas
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