Could Leicester mathematicians have solved 78 year old mystery

Researchers in the University of Leicester’s Department of Mathematics have developed a solution to a 78 year old mystery.

In previous research, it was suggested that adaptation of an animal to different factors looks like spending of one resource and that the animal dies when this resource is exhausted. In 1938, Hans Selye introduced “adaptation energy” and found strong experimental arguments in favour of this hypothesis. However, this term has caused much debate because, as it cannot be measured as a physical quantity, adaptation energy is not strictly energy.

Now, in new paper “Evolution of adaptation mechanisms: Adaptation energy, stress, and oscillating death”, an international team of researchers, led by Professor Alexander N. Gorban from the University of Leicester, has developed a solution to Selye’s riddle which has puzzled scientists for almost 80 years. Soon to be published in the Journal of Theoretical Biology, a preprint version is available from arXiv: