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Researchers from SFU come up with mathematical model for General Adaptation Syndrome

April 01, 2016, 18:51 UTC+3

After nearly 80 years of attempts, mathematicians have managed to develop a model of adaptive energy

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MOSCOW, April 1. /TASS/. After nearly 80 years of attempts, mathematicians have managed to develop a model of adaptive energy.

The scientists from the Siberian Federal University (SFU) under the guidance of Alexander Gorban, director of the Centre for Mathematical Modeling of the University of Leicester (United Kingdom), have developed a mathematical model of adaptation of living creatures to the habitat. Elena Smirnova and Ludmila Pokidysheva, two academicians from the SFU, are among main authors.

In this research, scientists have followed the concept of adaptive energy proposed in 1938 by the Canadian physiologist Hans Selye. In the original definition, the adaptive energy is a certain vital resource of an organism, which is wasted in any adaptation process. The exhaustion of adaptive energy supply could lead to the death of an organism. This term raised wide discussions in the scientific community as it was hard to introduce a measure of this quantity.

Finally, the mathematicians came up with the appropriate model of adaptive energy, allowing, in particular, to forecast recurrent crisis and remissions in the adaptation process. Exemplarily, characteristic features of immune reaction can be analyzed for different organisms. Meanwhile, scientists have clarified that the fluctuations in the course of adaptation are not determined by the changeability of external factors, but by the adaptation mechanism itself.

Alessandro Giuliani from the High Institute of Health Service in Italy said, “Gorban and his colleagues dared to create the adaptation theory in terms of thermodynamics. They searched for the strong foundations providing a solid outlook before focusing on details”.

The results of the research have been published in the Journal of Theoretical Biology.

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