Flexi-Cells Explained

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Flexi-cells explained in a brief item ScienceNOW 31 Oct 2005 (whole item is quoted). "Red blood cells are amazingly flexible: they can deform and squeeze through even the tiniest capillaries. But how do they do it? Scientists know the cell’s protein skeleton consists of thousands of linked hexagons with a central rod-shaped filament holding its shape. And now, a new model suggests that those filaments aren’t just scaffolding: as the cell deforms, elastic fibers actually twist the filaments around, giving the oxygen carriers plenty of limberness, researchers report online 21 October in Annals of Biomedical Engineering."

Editorial Comment: If human scientists had invented a flexible support structure system like the one described above, no doubt the editors of Annals of Biomedical Engineering would have recognised creative engineering and given them the credit. They have no excuse for not recognising it here. It took clever biomedical researchers to work out the structure of this cellular scaffolding. It took a smarter biological engineer to design and build it (and the rest of the cell) in the first place. (Ref. erythrocytes, cytoskeleton, bio-engineering)

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