Navigation Links
Universal rules discovered that allow anticipation of critical transitions
Date:2/15/2013

Sudden shifts in complex systems such as the climate, financial markets, ecosystems and even the human body can be preceded by surprisingly comparable warning signals. It is crucial to be able to predict such transitions, but this is notoriously difficult. In a presentation for the 2013 AAAS meeting, Marten Scheffer presents recent work revealing that systems that are on the verge of a critical transition often emit comparable signals.

At first glance, it appears improbable that a climate shift, an epileptic seizure, the collapse of a fish population or a sudden transition in a financial system have something in common. However, Marten Scheffer from Wageningen University explains that completely different systems such as the brain, the climate and financial markets obey certain universal laws when they are at a critical transition point that make it possible to recognise early warning signals. This has to do with a phenomenon that is known in mathematics as 'Critical Slowing Down', implying that recovery from small perturbations becomes slow in the vicinity of tipping points.

Since Scheffer and colleagues postulated this idea in a Nature publication in 2009, an avalanche of studies, including eight publications in Nature and Science has provided evidence. Scheffer now makes up the balance but also show that related families of generic early warning signals exist. For instance, certain universal features determine whether complex networks such as webs of species or webs of financial institutes will be robust or fragile.

Despite the overwhelming growth of evidence for these revolutionary ideas, Scheffer emphasises that the applications for universal warning signals are still in their infancy. He has launched an interdisciplinary research program 'SparcS' (http://www.sparcs-center.org/ ) that is now exploring applications in medical sciences as well as in social sciences, ecology and climate research


'/>"/>
Contact: Marten Scheffer
Marten.Scheffer@wur.nl
31-641-804-880
Wageningen University and Research Centre
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Victory stance may be a universal gesture of triumph -- not pride -- study suggests
2. Flu antibody’s one-handed grab may boost effort toward universal vaccine, new therapies
3. Shark rules need teeth, groups tell IUCN
4. Unexpected crustacean diversity discovered in northern freshwater ecosystems
5. University of Alberta led research may have discovered how memories are encoded in our brains
6. Newly discovered foot points to a new kid on the hominin block
7. New immune defense enzyme discovered
8. New genetic mechanism of immune deficiency discovered
9. Housekeeping mechanism for brain stem cells discovered
10. Scientists have discovered genes that increase the risk of osteoporosis and fractures
11. New form of intellectual disability discovered
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/20/2016)... MINNEAPOLIS , May 20, 2016  VoiceIt ... technology partnership with VoicePass. By working ... user experience.  Because VoiceIt and VoicePass take slightly ... two engines increases both security and usability. ... expressed excitement about this new partnership. ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... India , April 28, 2016 ... Infosys (NYSE: INFY ), and Samsung SDS, a ... that will provide end customers with a more secure, ... services.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130122/589162 ) , ... services, but it also plays a fundamental part in enabling ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... , April 15, 2016  A new ... make more accurate underwriting decisions in a fraction ... timely, competitively priced and high-value life insurance policies ... screenings. With Force Diagnostics, rapid testing ... lifestyle data readings (blood pressure, weight, pulse, BMI, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016 Epic Sciences unveiled a ... susceptible to PARP inhibitors by targeting homologous recombination ... The new test has already been incorporated into ... cancer types. Over 230 clinical trials ... pathways, including PARP, ATM, ATR, DNA-PK and WEE-1. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016   Boston Biomedical ... novel compounds designed to target cancer stemness pathways, ... been granted Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. ... of gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. ... designed to inhibit cancer stemness pathways by targeting ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is pleased to announce 24 new Young Investigator ... Members of the Class of 2016 were selected from a pool of 128 ... About the Class of 2016 PCF Young Investigators ... ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... In a new case report published today in ... patient who developed lymphedema after being treated for breast cancer benefitted from an injection ... for dealing with this debilitating, frequent side effect of cancer treatment. , ...
Breaking Biology Technology: