2017 marks the centenary of the publication of “On Growth and Form”, by the biologist, mathematician and philologist D’Arcy Thompson. The book - a literary masterpiece - is a visionary synthesis of the geometric biology of form, a call for mathematical and physical approaches to understanding the evolution and development of shape. In the century since its publication, we have seen a revolution in biology following the discovery of the genetic code, which has uncovered the molecular and cellular basis for life, combined with the ability to probe the chemical, structural, and dynamical nature of molecules, cells, tissues and organs across scales. In parallel, we have seen a blossoming of our understanding of spatiotemporal patterning in physical systems, and a gradual unveiling of the complexity of physical form. So, how far are we from realizing the century-old vision that "Cell and tissue, shell and bone, leaf and flower, are so many portions of matter, and it is in obedience to the laws of physics that their particles have been moved, moulded and conformed”?
To address this question, Development is planning a special issue titled “On Growth and Form - 100 years on”. This special issue will be guest edited by L. Mahadevan (Harvard University) working alongside our Editor Thomas Lecuit, and is scheduled for publication in late 2017. It will aim to highlight how physical and mathematical approaches are currently being used to provide insights into (i) the geometry and dynamics of form and morphogenesis in biology across multiple spatial scales – including the impact of mechanical forces and constraints on development, (ii) lineage decisions and cell fate specification, (iii) the developmental and evolutionary aspects of morphological diversity, and (iv) the implications of form, for physiology and function in normal, pathological and synthetic contexts.
We invite you to submit your breakthrough research for consideration in this special issue. We encourage submissions of Research Articles, Research Reports, and Techniques and Resources papers. The special issue will be widely promoted online and at key scientific conferences across the globe, guaranteeing maximum exposure of your work.
Articles must be received by April 30th for consideration in the special issue*. Please refer to our author guidelines for information on preparing your manuscript for Development, and submit your manuscript via our online submission system. Please highlight that your submission is to be considered for the Special Issue in your cover letter.
For any queries about the Special Issue, or for any presubmission enquiries, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
* Please note that not all articles accepted for publication will be included in the special issue and may instead be published in earlier or later issues of the journal.
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