The Chemical Basis of Morphogenesis
"The Chemical Basis of Morphogenesis" is an article written by the English mathematician Alan Turing in 1952 describing the way in which non-uniformity (natural patterns such as stripes, spots and spirals) may arise naturally out of a homogeneous, uniform state. The theory (which can be called a reaction–diffusion theory of morphogenesis), has served as a basic model in theoretical biology, and is seen by some as the very beginning of chaos theory.
Reaction–diffusion systems have attracted much interest as a prototype model for pattern formation. The above-mentioned patterns (fronts, spirals, targets, hexagons, stripes and dissipative solitons) can be found in various types of reaction-diffusion systems in spite of large discrepancies e.g. in the local reaction terms.
It has also been argued that reaction-diffusion processes are an essential basis for processes connected to animal coats and skin pigmentation. Another reason for the interest in reaction-diffusion systems is that although they represent nonlinear partial differential equations, there are often possibilities for an analytical treatment.
- Turing, A. M. (1952). "The Chemical Basis of Morphogenesis" (PDF). Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London 237 (641): 37–72. doi:10.1098/rstb.1952.0012. JSTOR 92463.
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- Turing, Alan M. (14 August 1952). "The Chemical Basis of Morphogenesis". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B 237 (641). pp. 37–72. doi:10.1098/rstb.1952.0012.