Pigment pas de deux puts stripes on zebrafish | Science News

Be a Champion for Science

Get your subscription to

Science News when you join.


Pigment pas de deux puts stripes on zebrafish

Researchers watch yellow and black cells dance into patterns on fish fins

2:24pm, January 21, 2014

COLOR DANCE  Zebrafish owe their stripes to the coordinated movement of at least two types of pigment-producing cells.

View the video

Scientists have long puzzled over how animals’ stripes, spots, dots, blazes and other color patterns arise. One of the most popular theories was proposed in 1952 by British mathematician Alan Turing, who showed that two chemicals spreading across a surface could spontaneously react to create patterns. By varying how chemicals diffuse and react under different conditions, Turing could reproduce many patterns seen in nature (SN: 7/17/10, p. 28).

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join the Society today or Log in.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from this issue of Science News