Cell “Quakes” May Help Cells Respond to the Outside World

Animal cells get their structural integrity from their cytoskeleton, a shapeshifting mesh of filaments inside a cell that helps the cell organize its structure and communicate with its environment. A few years ago, scientists noticed that parts of the cytoskeleton would occasionally rearrange very rapidly, causing an earthquake-like disturbance in part of the cell. They named these disturbances cytoquakes, but no one understood how or why they happened.