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Titolo:
Scale invariance in biology: coincidence or footprint of a universal mechanism?
Autore:
Gisiger, T;
Indirizzi:
Univ Montreal, Grp Phys Particules, Montreal, PQ H3C 3J7, Canada Univ Montreal Montreal PQ Canada H3C 3J7 es, Montreal, PQ H3C 3J7, Canada
Titolo Testata:
BIOLOGICAL REVIEWS
fascicolo: 2, volume: 76, anno: 2001,
pagine: 161 - 209
SICI:
1464-7931(200105)76:2<161:SIIBCO>2.0.ZU;2-4
Fonte:
ISI
Lingua:
ENG
Soggetto:
SELF-ORGANIZED CRITICALITY; FOREST-FIRE MODEL; NON-LINEAR TRANSFORMATIONS; 1/F NOISE; CELLULAR AUTOMATA; FOSSIL RECORD; PUNCTUATED EQUILIBRIUM; ECOLOGICAL-SYSTEMS; INSECT POPULATION; DYNAMICAL-SYSTEMS;
Keywords:
scale invariance; complex systems; models; criticality; fractals; chaos; ecology; evolution; epidemics; neurobiology;
Tipo documento:
Review
Natura:
Periodico
Settore Disciplinare:
Agriculture,Biology & Environmental Sciences
Life Sciences
Citazioni:
164
Recensione:
Indirizzi per estratti:
Indirizzo: Gisiger, T Inst Pasteur, Unite Neurobiol Mol, 25 Rue Dr Roux, F-75724 Paris 15, France Inst Pasteur 25 Rue Dr Roux Paris France 15 4 Paris 15, France
Citazione:
T. Gisiger, "Scale invariance in biology: coincidence or footprint of a universal mechanism?", BIOL REV, 76(2), 2001, pp. 161-209

Abstract

In this article, we present a self-contained review of recent work on complex biological systems which exhibit no characteristic scale. This propertycan manifest itself with fractals (spatial scale invariance), flicker noise or 1/f-noise where f denotes the frequency of a signal (temporal scale invariance) and power laws (scale invariance in the size and duration of events in the dynamics of the system). A hypothesis recently put forward to explain these scale-free phenomomena is criticality, a notion introduced by physicists while studying phase transitions in materials, where systems spontaneously arrange themselves in an unstable manner similar, for instance, toa row of dominoes. Here, we review in a critical manner work which investigates to what extent this idea can be generalized to biology. More precisely, we start with a brief introduction to the concepts of absence of characteristic scale (power-law distributions, fractals and 1/f-noise) and of critical phenomena. We then review typical mathematical models exhibiting such properties: edge of chaos, cellular automata and self-organized critical models. These notions are then brought together to see to what extent they can account for the scale invariance observed in ecology, evolution of species, type III epidemics and some aspects of the central nervous system. This article also discusses how the notion of scale invariance can give important insights into the workings of biological systems.

ASDD Area Sistemi Dipartimentali e Documentali, Università di Bologna, Catalogo delle riviste ed altri periodici
Documento generato il 05/04/20 alle ore 23:42:54