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Press Release 11-049

How the Slime Mold Gets Organized

Cells at the tip of the slime mold's fruiting body organize into an epithelial layer and secrete proteins as do some animals cells

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Illustration showing how formation and function of some slime mold cells are similar to animal cells

When food is scarce, the separate cells of the slime mold aggregate and form what is called a fruiting body. Cells at the tip of the fruiting body organize into a formation very similar to the epithelial layer of cells found in many organs of higher animals. Researchers found that the proteins responsible for organizing cells at the tip of the slime mold's fruiting body are genetically very similar to those that perform the same function in animal cells.

Credit: Zina Deretsky, National Science Foundation


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Cover of the March 11, 2011 issue of the journal Science.

The researchers' findings are described in the March 11, 2011 issue of the journal Science.

Credit: Copyright AAAS 2011


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