A project has identified the mechanism responsible for generating our fingers and toes, and revealed the importance of gene regulation in the transition of fins to limbs during evolution.  

Their conclusion involves a theoretical model for pattern formation known as the Turing mechanism. In 1952, mathematician Alan Turing proposed equations for pattern formation, which describe how two uniformly-distributed substances, an activator and a repressor, trigger the formation of complex shapes and structures from initially-equivalent cells. 

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