The human immune system uses chaos theory to work effectively

Researchers at the Niels Bohr Institute at Copenhagen University have found that the dynamics of chaos can play a vital role in organizing the immune system. This is a real discovery, since it was previously believed that life should a priori gravitate towards ordered forms and resist chaos. But when it comes to such complex systems as the immunity of a living organism, all the principles have to be revised.

In mathematics, the theory of chaos dynamics describes the highly complex processes of transformation of microinfluence into a macroresult, when something small gives rise to monstrous consequences. A classic example is the "butterfly effect", in which the flapping of the wings of an insect is capable of creating a hurricane through a chain of actions on the opposite side of the planet. In the immune system, the NF-κB protein turned out to be such a "butterfly", which can trigger the activation of individual genes and thereby change the state of cells.

The problem with the NF-κB protein is that it is extremely unstable and constantly, but chaotically, changes its concentration. This means that at a given moment in time a certain set of genes is activated and the system is in one position, and at another moment everything can change radically. Because of this, the immune system is constantly "updated", different processes take place in it and it does not "stagnate", does not accumulate vulnerabilities and is capable of repelling different attacks.

The most valuable thing in this discovery, according to its authors, is the beginning of understanding the influence of the state of the NF-κB protein on the state of cells. Once we understand the mechanism, we will be able to figure out how to influence it, how to switch the immune system to a state of maximum fight against a specific ailment. Or it will be possible to take a sample of cells and understand the current state of the immune system in order to find the best way to influence the body, to choose drugs or another method of therapy.