Fractals in Biology and Medicine: From DNA to the Heartbeat

  • Sergey V. Buldyrev
  • Ary L. Goldberger
  • Shlomo Havlin
  • C.-K. Peng
  • H. Eugene Stanley


The purpose of this chapter is to describe some recent progress in applying fractal concepts to systems of relevance to biology and medicine. We review several biological systems characterized by fractal geometry, with a particular focus on the long-range power-law correlations found recently in DNA sequences containing noncoding material. Furthermore, we discuss the finding that the exponent a quantifying these long-range correlations (“fractal complexity”) is smaller for coding than noncoding sequences. We also discuss the application of fractal scaling analysis to the dynamics of heartbeat regulation, and report the recent finding that the normal heart is characterized by long-range “anticorrelations” which are absent in the diseased heart.


Myosin Heavy Chain Noncoding Sequence Strand Bias Diffusion Limited Aggregation Invasion Percolation 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sergey V. Buldyrev
  • Ary L. Goldberger
  • Shlomo Havlin
  • C.-K. Peng
  • H. Eugene Stanley

There are no affiliations available

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