The Non-Statistical Nature of Biological Structure and Its Implications on Sampling for Stereology

  • Ewald R. Weibel
Part of the Lecture Notes in Biomathematics book series (LNBM, volume 23)


For any life scientist the talk of random processes in relation to the structure of living systems must at least elicit deep scepticism. Life does not occur by chance; it is rather deeply rooted in a strictly conserved heritage of order that ascends in a continuous line from the most primitive living system — such as viruses or bacteria — to the highest levels of organisation found in mammals and man, allowing for considerable versatility by variations on a common set of themes. Chance interactions of molecules and of cells may certainly occur — but only within the narrow confines imposed by the inherent ordering patterns which are defined by the structure of the biological organism. The existence of such an ordering pattern makes the difference between a living cell and the simple mixture of all its chemical constituents in a test tube.


Test Line Modular Design Efficient Resorption Myosin Filament Myosin Molecule 
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    Weibel, E.R. (1972): A stereological method for estimating volume and surface of sarcoplasmic reticulum. J. Microscopy 95, 229 (Stereology 3).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ewald R. Weibel
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnatomyUniversity of BerneSwitzerland

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