Promoting Convergence: The Phi Spiral in Abduction of Mouse Corneal Behaviors

Why do mouse corneal epithelial cells display spiraling patterns? We want to provide an explanation for this curi-ous phenomenon by applying an ide alized pro blem so lving process. S pecifically, we applied co mplementary line-fitting methods to measure transgenic epithelial reporter expression arrangements displayed on three mature, liveenucleated globes to clarify the problem. Two prominent logarithmic curves were discovered, one of which displayedthe / ratio, an indicator of an optimal configuration in phyllotactic systems. We then utilized two different compu-ta tional appro aches to expose our current understanding ofthebehavior.Inoneprocedure,whichinvolvedaniso-tropic mechanics-based finite element method, we successfully produced logarithmic spiral curves of maximumshear strain based pathlines but computed dimensions displayed pitch angles of 35(/ spiral is 17), which wasaltered when we fitted the model with published measurements of coarse collagen orientations. We then usedmodel-based r easoning in context of Peircean abduction to select a wor king hypothesis. Our wor k serves as a conciseexample of applying a scientific habit of mind and illustrates nuances of ex ecuting a common method to doin gintegrative science.VC2014 Wiley P erio dicals, Inc. Complexity 20: 22– 38, 2015