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Integrating experiment and theory to elucidate the chemical basis of hair and feather morphogenesis

Painter, K (Heriot-Watt University)
Wednesday 14 March 2012, 14:50-15:40



In his seminal 1952 paper, ‘The Chemical Basis of Morphogenesis’, Alan Turing lays down a milestone in the application of theoretical approaches to understand complex biological processes. The molecular revolution that has taken place during the six decades following this landmark publication has now placed this generation of theoreticians and biologists in an excellent position to rigorously test the theory and, encouragingly, a number of systems have emerged that appear to conform to some of Turing’s fundamental ideas. In this talk I will describe how the integration between experiment and theory has been used to enhance understanding in a model system of embryonic patterning: the emergence of feathers and hair in the skins of birds and mammals.

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