Thursday 2 May 2013


Each term I make a research comic for the Oxford University Biochemical Society magazine called Phenotype. This term's topic; cilia! These organelles can be found on a huge number of eukaryotic cells, ranging from nearly every cell in your body, to free living single cell microorganisms and protozoan parasites. The most famous function of cilia is swimming or moving a cell's surroundings, like the sperm flagellum (flagellum and cilium are different names for the same structure) or the cells in your lungs which help keep them clear of mucous.

Cilia are famous for their movement, but cilia are one of our the most multifunctional cell structures and have extremely important sensory and development functions. Can you guess which four if the five classic senses (touch, taste, smell, hearing, sight) need flagella to work?

This term's research comic feature in OUBS Phenotype is all about the diverse functions of cilia/flagella. Check out the comic here, or download the whole issue for free here.

Software used:
Autodesk Sketchbook Pro: Drawing the cells.
Inkscape: Page layout.

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