carmendrahl writes: Eukaryotic cells, which are defined by having a nucleus, rarely grow larger than 10 m in diameter. Scientists know a few reasons why this is so. A new study suggests another reason--gravity. Studying egg cells from the frog Xenopus laevis, which reach as big as 1 mm across and are common research tools, Princeton researchers Marina Feric and Clifford Brangwynne noticed that the insides of the eggs' nuclei settled to the bottom when they disabled a mesh made from the cytoskeleton protein actin. They think the frog eggs evolved the mesh to counteract gravity, which according to their calculations becomes significant if cells get bigger than 10 m in diameter.
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