In a study published on ScienceDaily, it discusses new research uncovered about how skin is capable of maintaining its structure and organization through each layer in the epidermis. In the epidermis, stem cells are at the very bottom. Stem cells in the epidermis create new somatic cells, which differentiate and move to the top layer of the epidermis. Researchers thought this process was remarkable because cells knew to move to the top of the epidermis instead of remain at the bottom. This process is responsible for how skin is structured. From this study, researchers have discovered the mechanisms behind why stem cells know how to behave this way. In the bottom layer when stem cells divided, other cells in that layer sense that they are being compressed, or that there is an "over-crowding" of dividing cells in that area. When cells in the stem cell layer sense density as a result of the division of stem cells, it triggers them to differentiate as a result of what researchers called "local stress".
I find this research interesting because we know understand the biological mechanisms behind how our skin and tissues keep its structure. This could also explain how the skin regenerates back to the way it was prior to an injury. While this research is strictly informative, I believe that understanding how cells behave this way from a molecular level will provide some basis for medicine. With more research, it could potentially lead to the development of skin treatments to provoke cells to differentiate faster to reduce the time of the healing process. Overall, I find it fascinating that cells are capable of sensing what neighboring cells are doing, and trigger a response as a result of it.