It has often been observed that mathematics is astonishingly effective as a tool for understanding the universe. But, asks Phil Wilson, why should this be? Is mathematics a universal truth, and how would we tell?
How does the uniform ball of cells that make up an embryo differentiate to create the dramatic patterns of a zebra or leopard? How come there are spotty animals with stripy tails, but no stripy animals with spotty tails? Lewis Dartnell solves these, and other, puzzles of animal patterning.