Alan Turing mathematically predicted the colour of lizard scales


Ocellated lizard (Timon lepidus) skin


A simple, decades-old mathematical model developed by Alan Turing can predict how subtle colour patterns will develop in a lizard’s scaly skin.

Over seventy years ago, the computer scientist Alan Turing proposed a model for how a bunch of identical cells in a developing animal would come to form intricate colour patterns on its skin.

Historically, many biologists dismissed his model as too simple to capture all the intricate biological processes involved in such development. But Michel Milinkovitch at the University of Geneva …


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