Development of the shapes of living organisms and their parts is a field of science in which there are no generally accepted theoretical principles and there is a wide gulf of disagreement between physical scientists and experimental biologists. Here there is an extensive philosophical commentary on this dichotomy in views and an exposition of the type of theory most favoured by physical scientists.
A recurrent theme throughout the book is the need for communication across disciplines and Harrison draws analogy, wherever possible, with problems in physical chemistry, the area in which he started his scientific career...aimed at experimental biologists who wish to understand the basics of reaction-diffusion theory and for mathematicians who wish to communicate with biologists...the diverse range of phenomena discussed in basic terms make this book worthwhile reading. Philip K. Maini, Bulletin of Mathematical Biology "...a discursive yet engaging manner. Those who would like a qualitative introduction to the subject should read the first third of the book; the second third is a good introduction to quantitative reasoning; the last third shows how accurately morphogenesis has been modeled." Edward Cox, Science "...a very distinctive feel to it. It is the work of a teacher and scholar who does not mind revealing his (and others') prejudices, successes, and failures. Harrison writes in a discursive yet engaging manner." Edward Cox, Science "...[a] brave book." R.J.P. Williams, Journal of the American Chemical Society
Preface; Part I. Macroscopics Without Mathematics: 1. Introduction; 2. Morphogen: one word for at least two concepts; 3. Pictorial reasoning in kinetic theory of pattern and form; 4. Structure, equilibrium, kinetics; Part II. Pattern-Forming Processes: 5. The making and breaking of symmetry; 6. Matters needing mathematics: an introduction; 7. Kinetic models for stable pattern: an introduction; Part III. Bringing Experiment and Theory Together: 8. Classifications; 9. Non-linear reaction-diffusion models; 10. Approaching agreement?; References; Index.
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On behalf of Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi I would like to thank NHBS. The book will be very useful for my students.
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