Los 100 de Time 2006

Aquí están. Lo que me llama la atención es que no conocía a ninguno de los científicos y pensadores…

Hay un físico: GeoffreyWest, que ahora es director del Instituto Santa Fe, y que ha investigado sobre las leyes de escala:

The problem that really fascinated West was ageing. The lifetime of a species increases as mass to the one quarter and heart rate decreases as mass to the one quarter. Therefore the total number of heart beats, he realized, is the same across all species (within a particular group of species, such as mammals)

West, Brown and Enquist wrestled with the idea that the scaling laws may be related to the structure and hydrodynamics of the networks that supply nutrients to the cells in an animal's body. After a year of intense activity, the trio discovered that scaling results from the fractal-like structure of the network. They came up with three fiendishly simple universal postulates, grounded in the principle of natural selection, from which the scaling laws can be deduced mathematically. The first of these was that the network fills the whole of an organism's body. The second was that the diameter of the smallest branches in the network does not vary from one species to another since cell size is about the same in all species. And the third was that fluid flows throughout the network with minimum energy loss.

The work has drawn praise from many biologists, including the popular science writer and Oxford professor Richard Dawkins, who describes it as "a theory of enormous power, explaining a huge range of facts with great economy".

Esta entrada fue publicada en Ciencia. Guarda el enlace permanente.


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