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Biology: Fractal Geometry Gets the Measure of Life's Scales

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Science  04 Apr 1997:
Vol. 276, Issue 5309, pp. 34
DOI: 10.1126/science.276.5309.34

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Living organisms come in a vast range of sizes--from microbes to whales, they span at least 21 orders of magnitude. For more than a century, biologists have been trying to figure out how body size and physiology are related, but so far they have come up with a big conundrum. Now, on page 122, a team of researchers reports a new mathematical model--a unique combination of the dynamics of energy transport and the mathematics of fractal geometry--that may finally help solve the puzzle.