[…] the description of the [system’s] state consists of two parts, the mechanical and the chemical
[…] the interdependence of the chemical and mechanical data adds enormously to the difficulty […]
A. M. Turing. The chemical basis of morphogenesis, 1952.
How organisms shape themselves has always been a fascinating scientific question. The giant leap in experimental technics experienced over the past two decades exposed biological forms as the emerging product of dynamic interactions between genes, biomolecules and physical signals. An integrated understanding of morphogenesis appears now as one of the next reachable frontier of biology.
The resulting amount of data is, however, so huge and complex that their interpretation is now facing a complexity ceiling.
Our goal, in MOSAIC, is to develop new mathematical tools to help interpret this humongous mass of geometric, molecular and physical information. For this, we are developing a dual approach where conceptual models are used to identify self-organizing principles and realistic simulations to test non-trivial hypotheses in silico. Our very close connections with developmental biologists enable us assess theses models and simulations against quantitative observations.