Contact and Flow

Physical Analysis of Amoeba

Out of all the types of cell migration, amoeboid movement is studied very extensively due to its use by important biological components such as white blood cells. Despite the attention it has received, this type of cell movement has yet to be fully understood. Examining it from different perspectives helps…

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Geometry is Key: Mathematical Modeling of Whiskers and Antennae

Abstract Rat whiskers can be  modeled by Euler spirals,  curves with linear change in curvature. One hypothesis explaining vibrissae shape is that the linear growth of rat whiskers creates linear curvature. Another hypothesis is that the Euler spiral is an optimal shape to satisfy its sensory needs. The patterning of…

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Comparison of Antenna and Whisker Functions in Different Environments

Animals and insects use whiskers and antennae for orientation, foraging, stalking prey, finding mates, and fighting. This article explores the function of whiskers and antennae in different environments and species. Rats use a whisking motion to contact surfaces and gather sensory information regarding object shapes and textures. Kinetic motion generated…

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The Life Cycle of the Whiskers and Antennae of Animals and Insects 

This article explores the various chemical, cellular, and molecular mechanisms relevant to the life cycle of whiskers (barbels) and antennae. The growth of zebrafish barbel is characterized by elongation, vasculature development, and innervation of taste buds. Catfish barbels perform chemical and mechanical sensing; namely, their hyper-sensitive gustatory system enables catfish…

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Physiological and Behavioral Adaptations in Migratory Animals

Migration is a fascinating phenomenon that occurs in many disparate corners of the animal kingdom. To better understand how it works, its similarities, and its differences in relation to variation across species we have explored eight different examples. The microstructure of the Bean Goose’s feather allows durable and light flight.…

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Bioinformatics and Sensory Function of Mammalian Fur: An Analysis of Coat Patterning, Whiskers, and Trigger Hairs

The Turing pattern, which is further explained in the paper, is an observed pattern in natural systems ranging from cheetah print to coral growth. Alan Turing proposed a mathematical model to describe pattern formation based on reaction and diffusion rates of morphogens, and this model holds true for a vast…

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Taste in Birds

For a long time, it was agreed that birds did not have a sense of taste, or that if they did, it was minimal (Rowland et al., 2015). In fact, research into whether they even had taste buds only began 50 years after taste organs were described for fish, amphibia,…

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Biomolecular Factors for Immunity, Color Change, and Mechanical Strength of the Integument

The skin is a highly complex organ. It contains many components which allow it to fulfil its functions. These components include various cells and proteins which are regulated by intricate biological pathways. Across different organisms, there is a large variety of these components, which exist at several levels of complexity and…

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