Alan Turing and the Patterns of Life

Speaker: 
Przemysław Prusinkiewicz
Date: 
Tue, Oct 9, 2012
Location: 
PIMS, University of Calgary
Conference: 
Alan Turing Year
Abstract: 
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.