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How many lakes are in Alaska? Thermokarst lakes on Alaska’s North Slope are self-similar and fractal. Painting by Cherissa Dukelow

Mathematics of scale: Big, small and everything in between

What do earthquakes, wealthy Italian families and your circulatory system have in common? Scientists use fractals, self-similarity and power laws to translate from local to global scales.
Miners in several countries have suffered the side-effects of the gold bonanza. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

Silicosis’s toxic legacy offers deadly lessons for today

Canada rushed to counter a deadly lung disease afflicting gold miners in the early 20th century. The "quick fix" cure that was invented is a symbol of the lurch towards global industrialization.

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