Alan Turing Lecture

Alan Turing and the Patterns of Life

Przemysław Prusinkiewicz (University of Calgary)

October 9, 2012
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

In 1952, Turing published his only paper spanning chemistry and biology: "The chemical basis of morphogenesis". In it, he proposed a hypothetical mechanism for the emergence of complex patterns in chemical reactions, called reaction-diffusion. He also predicted the use of computational models as a tool for understanding patterning. Sixty years later, reaction-diffusion is a key concept in the study of patterns and forms in nature. In particular, it provides a link between molecular genetics and developmental biology. The presentation will review the concept of reaction-diffusion, the tumultuous path towards its acceptance, and its current place in biology.

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