|Turing 1952, Fig 3.|
|Graphic edited from paper.|
|Young 1984, Fig 1.|
|Young 1984, Fig 2 (left) & Fig 3 (right).|
I came across Young's model sometime while I was in high-school, roughly a decade after his paper was published. I was already playing with more conventional cellular automata using software I had written, so I added a module to play around with Young's model.
One of the random interactions I simulated resulted in animated, mobile spots that would wander around the screen and occasionally replicate. Apparently, it doesn't take a very complicated system to start gaining some life-like features. Unfortunately, I hadn't written the program to display the random settings it had chosen. There was no way for me to save them. (I've since then rewritten the code to save any random settings. I will find those amoeba again!)
When I started graduate school, I had to set aside my explorations into theoretical biology like this. I'm now done with graduate school and find myself with sufficient free time to post to this blog, so I know I'll find the time to continue exploring the simulation of biological patterns.
Given the wide range of patterns seen in biology, I strongly suspect there are a great many more interesting results to be found exploring combinations of the simplified activator/inhibitor system described by Young's model.
- Turing, A. M. (1952). The Chemical Basis of Morphogenesis. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences, Vol 237, No. 640. p37-72.
- Young, D. A. (1984). A local activator-inhibitor model of vertebrate skin patterns. Mathematical Biosciences,72, 51–58.
- Wired article
- Graphic source:
- My images in a Flickr album
- Cellular automata