Morphological bifurcations involving reaction-diffusion processes during microtubule formation

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Science  08 Apr 1994:
Vol. 264, Issue 5156, pp. 245-248
DOI: 10.1126/science.8146654


Nonlinear chemically dissipative mechanisms have been proposed as providing a possible underlying process for some aspects of biological self-organization, pattern formation, and morphogenesis. Nonlinearities during the formation of microtubular solutions result in a chemical instability and bifurcation between pathways leading to macroscopically self-organized states of different morphology. The self-organizing process, which contains reactive and diffusive contributions, involves chemical waves and differences in microtubule concentration in the sample. Patterns of similar appearance are observed at different distance scales. This behavior is in agreement with theories of chemically dissipative systems.