m. c. de marco: To invent new life and new civilizations...

How the Tiger Got its Stripes

John Hawks discusses Alan Turing’s paper on “The chemical basis of morphogenesis”:

Turing supposed that coat patterns could be produced by two chemicals, which he called ‘morphogens’, interacting on the more or less two-dimensional space of the hide. If one morphogen causes hair to turn black, for example, and another causes it to remain pale, then differences in the rates at which these chemicals diffuse through the coat, along with various reactions between the two, would determine the patterns.

He also links to a site where you can color your own tiger.