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Inverting Algae and Shape-Shifting Droplets

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This talk is divided into two parts: first, I shall describe a generalised elastic theory for the inversion process of the green alga Volvox. I shall analyse the mechanics of type-A inversion in Volvox carteri, and interpret mechanically the arrest of inversion in mutants and chemically treated embryos. Second, I shall give an update on our work on shape-shifting droplets (which flatten into a host of polygonal shapes upon cooling), and discuss the competition between geometry and topology that arises in the polyhedral stages intermediate between the spherical and flattened droplet shapes.

This talk is part of the DAMTP BioLunch series.

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