Scientists discover a structural similarity to human cells and stars.
Published in the Journal of “Physical Review C”, researchers found that the endoplasmic reticulum of human cells are structurally similar to structures found within and neutron stars. In fact, researchers call the structural similarities resemble multi-level parking garages.
Researchers Greg Huber and D.K. Berry analyzed the endoplasmic reticulum of human cells and compared it to the shapes of neutron stars. Scientists thought the neutron star structures were similar to organelles found inside human cells and using simulations, researchers found the same shapes found in the Endoplasmic Reticulum of human cells within the center of neutron stars.
Scientist refer to the inner working of neutron stars “Nuclear pasta” and researchers argue that the structural similarities illustrate how both systems have similar dynamic functions.
“These ramps may impact the thermal and electrical conductivities, viscosity, shear modulus, and breaking strain of neutron star crust. “
Researchers argue that the structural similarities demonstrate the biological importance of these shapes.
Greg Huber explained in the statement how nuclear force creates these parking garage structures. “For neutron stars, the strong nuclear force and the electromagnetic force create what is fundamentally a quantum-mechanical problem,” Huber explained.
“In the interior of cells, the forces that hold together membranes are fundamentally entropic and have to do with the minimization of the overall free energy of the system. At first glance, these couldn’t be more different.”
It is key to understand that the cell structures found within humans are about a nanometer in length, while the structures that form within neutron stars are even smaller. “Seeing very similar shapes in such strikingly different systems suggests that the energy of a system may depend on its shape in a simple and universal way,” co-author of the study Charles Horowitz explained in a statement.
This researchers illustrates how certain biological structures are similar to the stars in the sky.
The endoplasmic reticulum is a network of tubes found within the cytoplasm of eukaryotic cells. The function of the endoplasmic reticulum is to make and create proteins and lipids. While there are two types of Endoplasmic Reticulum, smooth and rough, the organelle is found in nearly every cell except red blood cells and sperm.