Last night I caught a spectacular special on NOVA/PBS - Hunting the Hidden Dimension (support public television and buy the DVD here!) - about Mandelbrot sets and the application of fractal math to communications, medicine, rainforest preservation, and more. One topic that blew my mind was detection of early cancerous cell formation using fractals – scientists can accurately predict cancerous growth in tiny blood vessels if they start to branch in irregular (non-fractal) patterns. However, current imaging technology is nowhere near being cost-effective to scan a human’s body with precision to identify such tiny patterns. The solution? Using predictive fractal math, you can look at the larger branches of the human cardiovascular system and identify potential tumorous growth.
Also, did you know that cellphone antennae use fractal patterns to not only boost signal reception, but also receive a broader spectrum of wavelengths?