We take our shape for granted. As we do the contours of our eyes and the curves of our heart. But for everything to be sculpted the way Nature has found it best for us to be, cells need to know when to multiply and when to stop multiplying, in addition to knowing how to remain close to one another while dealing with external forces such as the gravitational pull. It all comes down to a very delicate balance between biology and physics. Even a single cell needs to be able to counter surrounding tensions without which it would simply collapse and hence lose its three-dimensional status. Within every cell many different proteins are busy making sure that the cell's tension is sufficient for it not to collapse, whilst others promote cell proliferation and cell binding as an organ is gradually formed. Yes-associated protein - YAP - is one such protein that not only has a role in cell proliferation and tissue regeneration but also in organ shape and alignment.
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