Essays on Science and SocietyIBI* Series Winner

Learning Biology by Recreating and Extending Mathematical Models

Science  25 May 2012:
Vol. 336, Issue 6084, pp. 993-994
DOI: 10.1126/science.1214192

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Biological systems are dynamic. Proteins fold into three-dimensional shapes to serve as catalysts, motors, or regulators. A fertilized egg divides exponentially, and gradients and internal cell states choreograph fetus formation. Neurons become active or are inhibited in shifting spatial and temporal patterns as an animal moves through its environment. Flocks of birds migrate together, and schools of fish form and disperse to avoid predators and forage for food. The only constant in biological systems is change.