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Like a Circle in a Spiral...

It seems that the delicate structures of helices and spirals pervade more of our world than we initially thought. In following a potential plot theme for my next trilogy, I stumbled upon an article which examined the molecular structure of human femur bones.

Roland Kroger, at York University, UK, in collaboration with colleagues from Imperial College, London, used electron microscopes to image cross sections of human thigh bones. From these images, they were able to construct three-dimensional representations. Collagen protein structures have long been a source of study in science, but the crystalline compound of the mineral hydroxyapatite, less so.

Their results revealed a slightly curved finger shape at the nano-scale, clustered together to form hand-like patterns. Each ‘hand’ layered on top of one another in twisted stacks. The overall effect is one of a twisting helical architecture. Since collagen is already a helical protein, the combined bone lattice rotates upon itself, just as the fibres in rope twist, giving it strength. Kroger believes that it is this spiral structure which gives bone its mechanical durability.

The complex geometric patterns of nature appear to be present on macro, micro and nano levels. The golden ratio of molluscs, the shape of our ears, the structure of bone, the molecules of DNA, cyclones and waves, hurricanes and galaxies, all conform to this inescapable stable architecture.

If the forces of nature are so refined, so perfect, so ordered, why do we spend so much time interfering with its parameters? Let’s unravel DNA and splice a new bit in from somewhere else… Let’s seed the clouds with silver iodide and increase the intensity of storms… Let’s blast the ionosphere with Ultra Low Frequency waves and de-stabilise the atmospheric layers… I could go on.

For now, at least, our interference in natures perfection have been mostly reversible. Thus far, our meddling rights itself, reverting to unspoiled virgin territory after varying lengths of time. There will, however, come a time when nature is wholly unable to rectify our mistakes. The beautiful helical structures that have underpinned our existence for millions of years, may finally collapse. Entropy will gather momentum, until we become little more than a footnote in warning to other sentient beings in far off galaxies. Another dead rock, spinning around a hot star. Will we ever learn?

Sam Nash is the author of the sci-fi conspiracy thriller, The Aurora Mandate. Release date 19th June 2018. Preorders from Amazon. You can find her at or on Twitter @samnashauthor or Alternatively, you can download her free prequel novella series. Kindle: ePub:

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