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Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2008 Mar;9(3):255-62. doi: 10.1038/nrm2357.

Self-organization in cell biology: a brief history.

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Eric Karsenti is at the Cell Biology and Biophysics Unit, European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Meyerhofstrasse 1, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany.


Over the past two decades, molecular and cell biologists have made important progress in characterizing the components and compartments of the cell. New visualization methods have also revealed cellular dynamics. This has raised complex issues about the organization principles that underlie the emergence of coherent dynamical cell shapes and functions. Self-organization concepts that were first developed in chemistry and physics and then applied to various morphogenetic problems in biology over the past century are now beginning to be applied to the organization of the living cell.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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