PerspectiveCell Biology

Arranging a Cellular Checkerboard

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Science  26 Aug 2011:
Vol. 333, Issue 6046, pp. 1099-1100
DOI: 10.1126/science.1211158

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Summary

Biological patterns are all around us, ranging from the complex patterns on butterfly wings to the baroque architecture of kidney tubules. These patterns reflect the organization of millions of cell types in intricate yet reproducible ways to build tissues and organs. Even more remarkable, these patterns often arise through the self-assembly of undifferentiated cells. Understanding how this occurs is a key challenge for biologists. On page 1144 in this issue, Togashi et al. (1) implicate the interactions between nectin adhesion molecules in this process.