Monday, March 12, 2012

Cell Like Patterns in the Soil

Some pictures of patterns in non-living matter
The soil near Rameshwaram, possibly near brackish water. The white is probably the deposited salt. The cracking in the soil due to drying. And amazingly regular 'cells' formed in this breakup pattern. Almost appear to have a charachteristic size. Anybody with pointers to theories for this is welcome to comment. Interestingly looking at the size of the cells, it appears to reduce as the front gets closer to water. Something like  a dry state dependent cell-size. Beautiful to look at, and intriguing to think about.
And a nice cellular image to go with that. Seen above an image from Nowark et al. (2009, J. Cell. Biol.) showing a hexagonal geometry in mouse lens fibre cells.
Brings to mind the aphorism "just because things look the same, doesn't mean their underlying causes are the same". And yet.

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