fractals

For more information about fractals check out the ZME Science articles below.

ZME Science posts about fractals

Biology, Diseases, Health & Medicine, News, Research

Distinguishing cancer cells using fractal geometry offers faster diagnosis

The images show the same cell in an RICM image (on the right) and a bright-field image (left). Small cell protrusions, invisible in bright-field images, can be visualised with RICM. © MPI for Intelligent Systems

Fractals are non-regular geometric shapes that have the same degree of non-regularity on all scales. Fractals are the kind of shapes we see in nature, basically, and even though the term was first coined only a coupled of decades ago or if this is the first time you’ve heard about fractals, chances have it that you already interact with them on a daily basis. Think of the spirals of pinecone seeds, leaves, trees and rivers (these look like trees, ever noticed that?), electricity driven patterns, galaxies or good old broccoli! Fractal geometry, due to its ubiquity, has always fascinated scientists. Now, researchers at Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart and…

Biology, Research

Bacteria growth limited by time, not only concentration. Revises 1950′s Alan Turing theory

Ring patterns form in a micro-colony of engineered bacteria. Credit: Stephen Payne, Pratt School of Engineering, Duke.

How do organs such as the heart or kidneys know when to stop growing? A number of theories have been proposed to answer this, the most entrenched of which dating back from 1952, when the infamous Alan Turing used math to show how biological cell patterns form and how these knew when to stop division. Turing envisioned that the cells knew when to stop growing based on their concentration in a certain location. Researchers at Duke University designed a gene circuit to coax bacteria to grow in a predictable ring pattern. Their findings suggest that the bacteria can sense their environment and that the  engineered gene circuit functions as a timing mechanism. Counter…