During cell division, a ring of proteins forms around a cell's "equator" and then contracts to pinch the cell in half. These proteins arrange themselves into an orderly ring by a random process of searching, grabbing, and pulling each other, scientists have discovered.
Finding this ring-forming mechanism answers a basic question of cell biology from the 1970s, when researchers learned that the ring of proteins contains actin and myosin, the same molecules that generate contractions in muscle cells.
Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.