IMR Press / FBL / Volume 13 / Issue 12 / DOI: 10.2741/3030

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Open Access Article
Cytoskeletal thermal ratchets and cytoskeletal tensegrity: determinants of brain asymmetry and symmetry?
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1 The School of Biological Sciences, The University of Sydney, Camperdown 2006, Australia

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Academic Editor: Massimo Giulio

Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2008, 13(12), 4649–4656;
Published: 1 May 2008
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early evolution of life)

Evolution can be viewed as a dynamic process that leads to increased complexity. This process appears to be driven by the interplay between a breaking of symmetry in biological organisms that leads to increased differentiation and complexity on one hand, and the intrinsic tendency of physical systems to maintain symmetry on the other. Thus thermal ratchets act to break symmetry, suggesting they may have played an important role is the evolution of complexity, while physical systems, including biological ones, have a tendency to maintain symmetry. We propose that, in the brain, development is driven by a combination of asymmetry-creating properties of cytoskeletal thermal ratchets and by the symmetry-maintaining properties of cytoskeletal tensegrity architecture.

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