A New Shape Has Been Found, Which Is Apparently Something That Can Happen

I’m not entirely satisfied that there’s any definition of the word ‘shape’ that would indicate that there are a finite number of extant geometric shapes in existence, just waiting to be discovered, but scientists have apparently found a new one, according to a paper published in the journal Nature.

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The scutoid, so-christened in the paper published last Friday, is a kind of fucked-up prism shape that allows epithelial cells to form complex, curved forms. The scutoid is defined as a prism with a five-sided shape on one end, a six-sided shape opposite, and one triangular side on the long edges.

Pictured: Geometry. (Image: Nature)

Researchers at the Department of Cellular Biology at the University of Seville and Seville Institute of Biomedicine initially arrived at the shape after doing mathematical modelling to find the most efficient shapes for packing together in either flat surfaces or curves, which was then confirmed after employing microscopy and computer imaging on cells from fruit flies and zebrafish.

The name ‘scutoid’ was derived from the scutellum of a beetle, because of a resemblance they apparently share, if you have the eyes of a scientist.

Pictured: What with the triangle and the what have you. (Image: Nature)

While I guess discovering a new shape is cool for its own sake, the researchers also believe that the discovery has further implications in things like growing artificial organs. Also, it’s almost definitely going to inform the design of a series of nesting stools sold by IKEA at some point in the next few years.