"Bioconvection Patterns" in Cultures of Free-Swimming Organisms

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Science  02 Jun 1961:
Vol. 133, Issue 3466, pp. 1766-1767
DOI: 10.1126/science.133.3466.1766


The moving polygonal patterns in dense cultures of Tetrahymena and other ciliates and flagellates look like "Benard cells," but are not due to thermal convection. They seem to be due to a similar dynamic instability that occurs when the energy input is internal and mechanical. The high concentration in the patterns may be useful in fertilization.

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