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Closed bilayer membranes (vesicles) display a plethora of non-spherical shapes under equilibrium conditions, unlike drops and bubbles which are kept spherical by surface tension. Even more complex behaviour arises under applied flow. Intriguingly, a vesicle can adopt asymmetric shapes even under symmetric forcing such as uniaxial extensional flow. Narasimhan, Spann & Shaqfeh (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 750, 2014, pp. 144-190) explain the mechanism of this peculiar instability and trace its origin todoi:10.1017/jfm.2014.373 fatcat:bft5ybkh2va2vnybbtl6en3i5a