Obstacles Help Organisms Move More Quickly

Mike Shelley, Jun Zhang, and researchers from the Applied Math Lab find that obstacles in an organism's path could help it move quicker rather than slower. The NSF and DOE-supported study bases its findings off of both live microscopic worms (the nematode C. elegans) and a computer model. This comparative study between experiment and simulation enahances the understanding of biological locomotion strategies of such organisms in complex geometries. Moreover, the simulated dynamics reproduces life-like behaviours that had been interpreted as coming from sensing and response of the worm to its local environment. The full Press Release is available from NYU Today.