Increasing evidence points to a role for complex physical phenomena, including mechanical forces and bioelectricity, as drivers of patterning in development and regeneration. We developed a genetic algorithm-based approach to search the space of biophysical simulations for pattern-forming processes and use it to demonstrate that Turing-like patterns can arise purely bioelectrically, without requiring any variation in gene expression. We also identify several bioelectric components that can reinforce and enhance such patterns manifested in cell transmembrane voltages.
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Massachusetts Institute of Technology