I just thought that it might be an idea to pop my undergrad final-year project up online. This was the project that eventually led me to join the Bistol Centre for Complexity Sciences, spark my interest in mechanisms that provide biological form and focus on mathematical/computational biology. It was therefore a pretty important time in my academic life, even if the project results were rather small scale (as with all undergrad projects bar Claude Shannon’s!).
It was on the BZ reaction, a peculiar chemical system that oscillates between two different states (helpfully identified by blue and red if you chuck some ferrotin dye in). People suggest that this might be a model system for studying the process of creating biological form: morphogenesis. A really, really key paper on the matter was written by Turing in 1952 (only a year after they discovered DNA!), which discusses how an embryo can form from a homogeneous chemical mixture – called ‘The Chemical Basis Of Morphogenesis‘. If you haven’t read it and you find the topic interesting then you must (free access link). Anyway, here’s my thesis – I read it back over now and realise that I could do so much more with it now that I am almost four years more experience, which is a testament to PhD I guess!