Scientists Prove Turing’s Tiger Stripe Theory
Researchers from King’s College London have provided the first experimental evidence confirming a great British mathematician’s theory of how biological patterns such as tiger stripes or leopard spots are formed.
The study not only demonstrates a mechanism which is likely to be widely relevant in vertebrate development, but also provides confidence that chemicals called morphogens, which control these patterns, can be used in regenerative medicine to differentiate stem cells into tissue. The findings provide evidence to support a theory first suggested in the 1950s by famous code-breaker and mathematician Alan Turing. He put forward the idea that regular repeating patterns in biological systems are generated by a pair of morphogens that work together as an ‘activator’ and ‘inhibitor’.