Science doesn’t get dusty. It turns into poetry. Dare we dream of a more sophisticated future? Here is my last litterary finding:
Crystal models have long been employed in morphology, although their appropriateness has not gone without challenge. A rigid and angular crystal seems very different from the living organism. In recent years, however, the concept crystalline has been much extended, and the sharp distinction between cristalloid and colloid, even that between solid and liquid, has broken down. X-ray analysis shows that many substances, formerly regarded as colloidal, have crystalline arrangement. Also a paracrystalline state,in which the mobility of liquids is combined with a definite configuration, is now recognised.
How about that? It’s developmental biology just after the second world war. Before the DNA structure was elucidated. It’s still deeply impregnated with the “life as a crystal” approached to life as temptatively (but brightfully) defined by Schroedinger… It’s a pure marvel. I like it. I like reading good old science…
Excerpt is from: Ross Granville Harrison. Organization and Development of the Embryo. Yale University Press, 1969.