Unpredictability may be pretty predictable after all

December 4th, 2007 - 6:26 pm ICT by admin  

London, December 4 (ANI): In what may have significant implications for medicine, mathematics, the environment etc., scientists have developed an analytical model that may soon be able to calculate when things take place.

The model allows the calculation of the average arrival time of a randomly-moving object in a complex environment.

Prof. Joseph Klafter from Tel Aviv Universitys School of Chemistry, who created this model with his colleagues from the University of Pierre & Marie Curie in Paris, says that the new model is based on their new theory on the statistical concept of First Passage Time (FPT).

The researchers believe that some day their model may be helpful in determining how much time cancer cells may take to spread inside a patients body, or even when will the next computer virus attack the hard-drive.

Scientists have not been ignorant as to how randomly-moving objects arrive at a certain destination, but still none of the theories created thus far could predict the time it would take for an object to move between given addresses in a complex environment, like through the human body or the World Wide Web.

Our new theory is exciting because it can be applied to a wide range of concepts in nature and mathematics, Nature magazine quoted Prof. Klafter, the Heinemann Chair of Physical Chemistry at Tel Aviv University, as saying.

It can be used by biologists, by ecologists, and even help computer scientists predict when the next big virus will hit their computer, he added.

The new theory generated interest from around the world, especially among biophysicists who are looking for models to understand how long it takes for molecules to arrive at certain points in biological cells.

Ive received responses from researchers who are interested in using this model to analyse enzymes in cells. Enzymes are important for controlling functions in the body. If a biologist can estimate the FPT of a certain enzyme (at the place where this molecule reacts), then perhaps one could interfere with or manipulate the system to help prevent a disease or make a bodily function more efficient, Prof. Klafter said.

This theory can be applied to anything that moves randomly. It can be used for predicting when an enzyme will reach a target cell, how long a hungry animal will forage for food when food when is scarce or even how viruses spread through the Internet, he added.

He, however, admitted that it would take months, or maybe even years, for real-life experiments to prove the validity of his theory. (ANI)

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