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November 14, 2002
Left and Right, Revisited
I've posted a correction in my original post below. And I've also located the paper that got me thinking about the whole thing. These folks knocked out a protein that's needed for nodal cilia to form in the embryo - what they got were nonviable mouse embryos that were left/right randomized. The flow produced by the normal cilia goes to the left, and they believe that this is a key left-right differentiation pathway. (You can see Quicktime movies of the cilia here.)
So although I botched the prokaryotic/eukaryotic cilia/flagella details, I think my point stands. I've had some interesting e-mail about my thoughts on human perception of chirality - as soon as I wrap my brain around them, I'll post some more. For all six or eight of you that care, that is - now that's service!
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