The Algorithmic Beauty of Sea Shells

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Springer Science & Business Media, Jan 3, 2003 - Computers - 236 pages
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As mentioned repetitively in the book, the models describing shell patterning are only special applications of a mechanism developed to account for biological pattern formation in general. To illustrate the dose connection) a new chapter originally written for the first German edition - has been added that provides a survey of these general models. Discussed is, for instance, how an embryo can obtain its primary axes, how gene activation can proceed under the influence of such signals in a position-dependent manner, how complex netlike structures such as the vein of leaves can be generated and how legs and wings are initiated during development at precise positions. Other sections of this chapter deal with phenomena at which the intimate connection to the mechanisms worked out for shell patterning are especially obvious. The utilization of travelling waves in blood coagulation, in the conduction of nerve pulses and in the chemotactic orientation of cells are examples. Closeparallels between a shell pattern and phyllotaxis suggest an alternative view of how the helical arrangement of leaves is achieved. Using the shell patterns as a natural exercise book, the computer program supplied with the first edition has been used in the meantime at several universities to teach students in basic properties of dynamic systems. I have been frequently asked to make the programs for general pattern formation available. The programs for the above mentioned models have been added to the accompanying diskette.
 

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Contents

Shell patterns as dynamic systems
1
Pattern formation
19
Oscillations and travelling waves
41
Superposition of stable and periodic patterns
53
Meshwork of oblique lines and staggered dots
71
Branch initiation by global control
91
two or more timedependent patterns
103
Triangles
127
Parallel lines with tongues
143
Shell models in three dimensions
163
The computer program
183
Pattern formation in the development of higher organisms
197
References
227
Index
233
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Meinhardt-Max-Plank-Institut fur Entwicklungsbiologie, Tubingen, Germany

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