How do leopards get their spots?

Readers of this blog will probably be familiar with Alan Turing the father of the modern computer, WWII code-breaker and pioneer of artificial intelligence. You may therefore be surprised to learn that he was also a groundbreaking biologist.
   Researchers at King’s College London found the interaction between two morphogens control how mice get ridge patterns in their mouths, exactly as Alan Turing predicted in  his 1952 paper The Chemical Basis of Morphogenesis. Turing proposed that animals’ stripes and spots are caused by the interaction of a pair of chemicals,  he called “morphogens.” One of the chemicals, he suggested, triggered cell activity, while the other reduced it. The way in which they interact dictated where cells grew, creating the patterns on the fur of animals.
    It seems Turing’s genius had no limits.

from The Universal Machine


About driwatson
I'm a New Zealand author, computer scientist and blogger specialising in Artificial Intelligence. I also have an interest in the history of computing and have just written a popular science book called "The Universal Machine - from the dawn of computing to digital consciousness."

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