Sunday, September 27, 2009

Trees remind me of angiogenesis

Over the weekend, I was busy working in the yard. I was pruning some trees and in particular, a few of our large oak trees reminded me of angiogenesis. The term angiogenesis refers to the growth of new blood vessels. The Latin word "angio" refers to blood vessels and I think that we all know that the word "genesis" refers to creation. So, we have the creation of new blood vessels.

Angiogenesis is seen in tumors as they grow and invade into surrounding tissues. When you look at the patterns of angiogenesis, one thing is simple: new vessels grow to optimize blood flow to areas that are lacking oxygen.

That's where these trees remind me of angiogenesis. I found sections where a bunch of new branches were sprouting up from certain sections. In these areas, some of the branches were dead, so new branches were forming. The tree knows how to grow new branches to optimize exposure to sunlight. Trees get their oxygen through photosynthesis (which is dependent on sunlight), so that's why I was reminded about angiogenesis as I was working in the yard.

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