Phenomena having the property of a scale invariance (that is, maintaining invariable structure in certain range of scales) are typical for biosystems of different levels. In this review, main manifestations of the scale-invariant phenomena at different levels of biological organization (including ontogenetic aspects) are stated, and the reasons of such wide distribution of fractal structures in biology are discussed. Almost all biological systems can be described in terms of synergetics as open nonequilibrium systems that exist due to substance and energy flow passing through them. The phenomenon of self-organization is typical for such dissipative systems; maintenance of energy flow requires the existence of complex structures that emerge spontaneously in the presence of the appropriate gradient. Critical systems, which form as a results of their activity scale-invariant structures (that are a kind of distribution channels), are optimal relative to the efficiency of substance and energy distribution. Thus, scale invariance of biological phenomena is a natural consequence of their dissipative nature.
Russian Journal of Developmental Biology – Springer Journals
Published: May 23, 2014
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