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Better understanding the nature of work and labour within the globalised political economy is a focus of the 'Work, Labour & Globalisation Research Group'. This involves researching the effects of new forms of labour, its transnational character and the gendered aspects of contemporary migration. A Scottish perspective is provided by the Scottish Centre for Employment Research (SCER). But the research specialisms of the Department of Work, Employment & Organisation go beyond this to also include front-line service work, leadership, the implications of new technologies at work, regulation of employment relations and workplace innovation.

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The endothelium solves problems that endothelial cells do not know exist

McCarron, John G. and Lee, Matthew D. and Wilson, Calum (2017) The endothelium solves problems that endothelial cells do not know exist. Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, 38 (4). pp. 322-338. ISSN 0165-6147

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Abstract

The endothelium is the single layer of cells that lines the entire cardiovascular system and that regulates vascular tone and blood-tissue exchange, recruits blood cells, modulates blood clotting and determines the formation of new blood vessels. To control each function, the endothelium uses a remarkable sensory capability to continuously monitor vanishingly small changes in the concentration of many simultaneously arriving extracellular activators that each provide cues to physiological state. Here, we suggest that the extraordinary sensory capabilities of the endothelium does not come from single cells but from the combined activity of a large number of endothelial cells. Each cell has a limited, but distinctive, sensory capacity and shares information with neighbours so that sensing is distributed among cells. Communication of information among connected cells provides a system-level sensing substantially greater than the capabilities of any single cell and, as a collective, the endothelium solves sensory problems too complex for any single cell.