In an international research project Nol Chindapol and Jaap Kaandorp (Section Computational Science, University of Amsterdam) in collaboration with researchers from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology have compared branching patterns in corals and neurons.
These results have recently been published in PLOS Computational Biology. In biology tree-like bifurcations are very common. Many authors have observed that most of these bifurcations are being formed in one plane. We demonstrate in this publication that there is a mathematical explanation for this and show that in this way the most optimal branching structure emerges. A picture of this work will be in next weekend’s NRC “Wetenschapsbijlage’’.