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Scientists spot a new shape: Newly identified 3D form called the 'scutoid' lets cells pack together without wasting energy

Researchers have discovered a new geometric shape that’s been hiding in plain sight.

A team studying the cells that give rise to embryos and can be found lining our organs and blood vessels pinpointed a three-dimensional shape that occurs as they bend and pack together.

The new shape, dubbed the scutoid, allows these epithelial cells to organize with the most efficiency, as opposed to the column or bottle-like shapes scientists previously attributed to this process.

Epithelial cells are the building blocks of embryonic development, and must endure the twisting and packing that happens as organs form.

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