The Symmetry Breaking Working Group was established in 2015 to focus on the initial mechanisms within multicellular systems that lead to the emergence of complex structures and patterns. The goals of this Working Group are to: 1) identify and control the extrinsic and intrinsic parameters governing the initiation of emergent behaviors of multicellular systems, and 2) examine the spatiotemporal dynamics of emergent behaviors that arise from asymmetric patterning events that occur at the very earliest stages of cell differentiation and self-organization.The majority of our working group’s efforts have focused on examining these properties in human pluripotent stem cells. This past year, we have further identified the molecular mechanisms of local inter- and intracellular interactions that result in larger-scale emergent behaviors of multicellular systems, including biomolecular, biophysical and bioelectrical properties. We have focused primarily on examining the initiation and propagation of asymmetric properties within thecontext of “organoids” created from pluripotent stem cell sources that constitute the basis ofseveral ongoing EBICS research projects throughout the various Working Groups.
The bioelectric code: An ancient computational medium for dynamic control of growth and form. Biosystems. 164:76-93.. 2018.