Kerry Bloom’s lab is collaborating with CISMM to understand the structure and forces in the mitotic spindle of yeast.
A geometric model of the mitotic spindle of yeast is challenged by the addition of physically-based forces. The resulting simulation reveals a complex mixture of symmetry and chaos. Color, motion, and careful removal of substructures are used to reveal fundamental behaviors. The model is up to the challenge — the location of ring-like cohesin molecules remains steady against the pounding of external molecules and the stiffness of the DNA. Pressure and entropy counteract one another in a careful balance. A multidisciplinary team of biologists, physicists, computer scientists, applied mathematicians, and engineers worked together to develop and refine the presented model. A supercomputer was used to simulate the motion, and then again to enable rendering of the complex, changing, translucent video sequence. Plain-language narration describes the behavior, while the simulation is repeated from various viewpoints and with varying rendering styles to provide clear explanation.
The 147MB 1280×960 Mpeg2 video file can be found here: Yeast Mitotic Spindle Model