1 november, Torbjörn Lundh (Chalmers): DNA has not all the answers

Abstract. One of the more intriguing questions in embryology is how we, from one uniform egg, through successive cell-divisions, become those complex creatures we are. This riddle has engaged people for centuries. Today, when we are faced with overwhelming genetic information, we are mainly occupied by the question how this DNA-code is realized into a developing organism. In the seminar, we are going to look at a few embryonic developments, and a couple of mathematical models which are used today in morphogenesis (a term which was introduced by Goethe when he was studying how biological organisms got their shape). We will also speculate if some other mathematical tools could be useful in the study of embryogenesis, such as quasi-conformal mappings for example.