Biophysicists Uncover Powerful Symmetries in Living Tissue

The original version of this story appeared in Quanta Magazine.

Luca Giomi still remembers the time when, as a young graduate student, he watched two videos of droplets streaming from an inkjet printer. The videos were practically identical—except one wasn’t a video at all. It was a simulation.

“I was absolutely mind-blown,” said Giomi, a biophysicist at Leiden University. “You could predict everything about the ink droplets.”

The simulation was powered by the mathematical laws of fluid dynamics, which describe how gases and liquids behave. And now, years after admiring those ink droplets, Giomi still wonders how he might achieve that level of precision for systems

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