Although externally the vertebrate body is bilaterally symmetric, the internal organs, such as heart, spleen, pancreas, and lungs, exhibit marked left-right (L-R) asymmetry in their patterning and positioning. This lateral asymmetry is conserved in all vertebrates, suggesting that it is of ancient origin and defects in the establishment or maintenance of L-R asymmetry can result in serious health defects . The mechanism by which L-R asymmetry is first established is a major question in developmental biology. In recent years, work by a number of groups has demonstrated that a cilia-driven leftward flow (know as ‘nodal flow’) of extra-cellular fluid across the embryo node is required for initiation of the symmetry breakage during embryogenesis .
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Ciliary Behavior and Signal Transmission in the Embryonic Nodes: A Computational Fluid Dynamics Model
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Chen, D, Norris, D, & Ventikos, Y. "Ciliary Behavior and Signal Transmission in the Embryonic Nodes: A Computational Fluid Dynamics Model." Proceedings of the ASME 2008 Summer Bioengineering Conference. ASME 2008 Summer Bioengineering Conference, Parts A and B. Marco Island, Florida, USA. June 25–29, 2008. pp. 837-838. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/SBC2008-192264
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