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A theory of biological pattern formation

  • The paper addresses the formation of striking patterns within originally near-homogenous tissue, the process prototypical for embryology, and represented in particularly puristic form by cut sections of hydra regenerating a complete animal with head and foot. Essential requirements are autocatalytic, self-enhancing activation, combined with inhibitory or depletion effects of wider range - “lateral inhibition”. Not only de-novo-pattern formation, but also well known, striking features of developmental regulation such as induction, inhibition, and proportion regulation can be explained on this basis. The theory provides a mathematical recipe for the construction of molecular models with criteria for the necessary non-linear interactions. It has since been widely applied to different developmental processes.

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Author:Alfred Gierer, H. Meinhardt
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2006/10/31
Release Date:2006/10/31
Tag:autocatalysis; hydra regeneration; lateral inhibition; pattern formation
Source:Kybernetik : Zeitschrift für Nachrichtenübertragung, Nachrichtenverarbeitung, Steuerung u. Regelung im Organismus u. in Automaten ; 1 (12), S. 30-39
Institutes:BBAW / Veröffentlichungen von Akademiemitgliedern
Dewey Decimal Classification:000 Wissenschaft, Allgemeines / 00 Informatik, Wissen, Systeme / 000 Informatik, Informationswissenschaft, allgemeine Werke