On Growth and Form Centenary

On 14th April 1917, Nature announced that it had received a new publication entitled “On Growth and Form” by D’arcy Wentworth Thompson.  This book was Thompson’s vision of how mathematical and physical principles define the development and final form of biological structures and 100 years later it is a classic text for researchers who cross the traditional disciplinary boundaries between physics, mathematics and biology.  Nature celebrates the centenary of the publication of “On Growth and Form” with the publication of some interdisciplinary research and supporting comment pieces reflecting evolving fields in biophysics and applied mathematics.  We also present an online collection of research and comment reflecting the diversity of research activity which crosses boundaries between the physical and biological sciences in developing our understanding of morphogenesis in its broadest sense.  We hope you enjoy the collection.

Centenary Nature special - free for one month

From the research journals - free for one month

  • Nature Physics | Letter

    A 3D-printed fetal brain undergoes constrained expansion to reproduce the shape of the human cerebral cortex. The soft gels of the model swell in solvent, mimicking cortical growth and revealing the mechanical origin of the brain’s folded geometry.

    • Tuomas Tallinen
    • , Jun Young Chung
    • , François Rousseau
    • , Nadine Girard
    • , Julien Lefèvre
    •  &  L. Mahadevan
  • Nature Ecology & Evolution | Article

    Variation around colour pattern genes is highly modular in Heliconius butterflies. This modular architecture explains the diversity of colour patterns and provides a flexible mechanism for rapid morphological diversification.

    • Steven M. Van Belleghem
    • , Pasi Rastas
    • , Alexie Papanicolaou
    • , Simon H. Martin
    • , Carlos F. Arias
    • , Megan A. Supple
    • , Joseph J. Hanly
    • , James Mallet
    • , James J. Lewis
    • , Heather M. Hines
    • , Mayte Ruiz
    • , Camilo Salazar
    • , Mauricio Linares
    • , Gilson R. P. Moreira
    • , Chris D. Jiggins
    • , Brian A. Counterman
    • , W. Owen McMillan
    •  &  Riccardo Papa
  • Nature Ecology & Evolution | Article

    Domesticated animals are great models to understand how diversity is generated. Here, the authors show that patterns of cranial shape variation in domestic pigeons mirror cranial variation in birds in general, suggesting that selection on conserved developmental mechanisms can generate tremendous diversity.

    • Nathan M. Young
    • , Marta Linde-Medina
    • , John W. Fondon
    • , Benedikt Hallgrímsson
    •  &  Ralph S. Marcucio
  • Nature Cell Biology | Article

    Orhon et al. report that primary-cilium-mediated fluid flow sensing triggers autophagy through LKB1–AMPK–mTOR signalling, and thereby controls the volume of kidney epithelial cells.

    • Idil Orhon
    • , Nicolas Dupont
    • , Mohamad Zaidan
    • , Valérie Boitez
    • , Martine Burtin
    • , Alain Schmitt
    • , Thierry Capiod
    • , Amandine Viau
    • , Isabelle Beau
    • , E. Wolfgang Kuehn
    • , Gérard Friedlander
    • , Fabiola Terzi
    •  &  Patrice Codogno