- Xabier Barandiaran. "Behavioral Adaptive Autonomy. A milestone in the Alife route to AI?". Video Summary [asf: 15.5 Mb].
- Alessandro Fontana & Walter Fraccaro. "A Functional Model of Cell Genome". Video Summary [asf: 6.1 Mb].
- Carlos Gershenson. "Introduction to Random Boolean Networks" (Tutorial). Video Summary [asf: 2.1 Mb] Full paper [pdf]. Slides [pdf].
- Patrick Grim, Evan Selinger, William Braynen, Robert Rosenberger, Randy Au, Nancy Louie & John Connolly. "Reducing Prejudice: A Spatialized Game-Theoretic Model for the Contact Hypothesis". Video Summary [asf: 2.9 Mb]. More Info
- Inman Harvey. "Homeostasis and Rein Control: From Daisyworld to Active Perception". Video Summary [asf: 9.1 Mb].
- Paul Dwight Kuo & Wolfgang Banzhaf. "Small World and Scale-Free Network Topologies in an Artificial Regulatory Network". Video Summary [asf: 1.5 Mb].
- Hod Lipson. "Recent Work in Evolution and Fabrication of Robots". Video Summary [asf: 3.8 Mb]. Once More Unto the Breach: Co-evolving a Robot and its Simulator (with Josh Bongard), and Functional Freeform Fabrication for Physical Artificial Life (with Evan Malone)
- Liviu Panait & Sean Luke. "Learning Ant Foraging Behaviors" and "Ant Foraging Revisited". Video Summary [asf: 3.5 Mb]. More info and MASON software
- Evan Malone & Hod Lipson . "Functional Freeform Fabrication for Physical Artificial Life". Video Summary [asf: 2.5 Mb].
- Dusan Misevic, Richard Lenski & Charles Ofria. "Sexual Reproduction and Muller's Ratchet in Digital Organisms". Video Summary [asf: 1.5 Mb]. Best student paper award
- Gentaro Morimoto & Takashi Ikegami. "Evolution of Plastic Sensory-motor Coupling and Dynamical Categorization". Video Summary [asf: 4.9 Mb].
- Satoshi Murata. "Self-Reconfigurable Robot --- A Platform of Evolutionary Robotics". Video Summary [asf: 2.8 Mb]. Full talk Audio 51:19 [mp3: 64Kbps, 23.4 Mb] (Introduced by Takashi Ikegami). Impressive robots which can assamble and dissassamble themselves for achieving different tasks. More details and videos
- Shin Nishimura & Masaki Sasai. "Inertia of Chemotactic Motion as an Emergent Property in a Model ofan Eukaryotic Cell". Video Summary [asf: 2.4 Mb].
- Jason Noble & Manuel de Pinedo. "Mechanistic and Ecological Explanations in Agent-based Models of Cognition ". Video Summary [asf: 3.3 Mb].
- Luis M. Rocha. "Evolving Memory: Logical Tasks for Cellular Automata" and "The Role of RNA Editing in Dynamic Environments" (with Chien-feng Huang). Video Summary [asf: 2.7 Mb].
- Chris Salzberg, Antony Antony & Hiroki Sayama. "Complex genetic evolution of self-replicating loops". Video Summary [asf: 4.4 Mb].
- Yoon Sik Shim, Sun Jeong Kim & Chang Hun Kim. "Evolving Flying Creatures with Path Following Behaviors". Video Summary [asf: 3.8 Mb].
- Hideaki Suzuki and Tim Hutton. "Workshop: Artificial Chemistry and its Applications". Video Summary [asf: 5.8 Mb].
- Keiske Suzuki & Takashi Ikegami. "Self-repairing and Mobility of a Simple Cell". Video Summary [asf: 1.3 Mb].
- Reiji Suzuki & Takaya Arita. "Drastic Changes in Roles of Learning in the Course of Evolution". Video Summary [asf: 2.1 Mb].
- Eörs Szathmáry. "Origin and Evolution of Various Genetic Systems". Video Summary [asf: 5.0 Mb]. Full talk Audio 57:23 [mp3: 64Kbps, 26.2 Mb] (Introduced by Phil Husbands). Different issues on major evolutionary transitions from the point of view of theoretical biology.
- Eric Vaughan, Ezequiel Di Paolo & Inman Harvey. "The Evolution of Control and Adaptation in a 3D Powered Passive Dynamic Walker". Video Summary [asf: 2.8 Mb]. More videos
- Richard Watson & Daniel Weinreich. "Life as it is? Population genetics basics for evolutionary computation experts" (Tutorial). Video Summary [asf: 10.1 Mb].
- George M. Whitesides. "Emergence in Synthetic Systems". Video Summary [asf: 7.3 Mb]. Full talk Audio 55:07 [mp3: 24Kbps, 7.9 Mb] (Introduced by Jordan Pollack). Very interesting examples of complex behaviours emerging in very simple systems, such as bubbles. With applications in nanotechnology.
- Peter Wills. "Stepwise Evolution of Molecular Biological Coding". Video Summary [asf: 4.5 Mb]. "Ethics of Artificial Life". Video Summary [asf: 5.7 Mb]
- Stephen Wolfram. "A New Kind of Science & the Future of Artificial Life". Video Summary [asf: 5.7 Mb]. Full talk Audio 55:22 [mp3: 24Kbps, 7.8 Mb]. Examples of mathematical tools which could be useful for understanding living systems.
Contributed by Nadia Gershenson (video) and Carlos Gershenson (audio, video, and html). We thank Jordan Pollack for his great support in the webcast.
Webserver space kindly provided by the Centrum Leo Apostel of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Note: Audio files are in downloadable mp3 format for portable mp3 players or mp3 software players. Video files are in asf format and can be played e.g. with windows media player. If you have problems, suggestions, or comments with the file formats, please contact Carlos Gershenson.
Cells By Design, The Potential For Synthetic Biology, The Scientist
In the future, bioengineers will create new organisms based on the same strategies that engineers use to design computer chips, bridges, and skyscrapers. Mathematical modeling will drive the design of useful, artificial organisms, instead of relying on the blind, trial-and-error methods of natural selection.
Biofactories: Above is a depiction of the genetic network engineered into Escherichia coli for production of amorphadiene via the DXP or mevalonate isoprenoid pathway. The black triangles represent the PLAC promoter. Genes isolated from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, E. coli, and Haematococcus pluvialis were used to construct the network. (From V.J.J. Martin et al., Nat Biotechnol, 21: 796-802, 2003.)
Advocates say synthetic biology will develop because of the rapidly decreasing cost of DNA synthesis and sequencing.(...)
Just as cheap transistors preceded the computer revolution, commoditization of DNA synthesis will spur huge changes in biological construction.
New Mars Data Gives Life Clue, BBC News
New data showing that patterns of water and methane in Mars' atmosphere overlap may have important implications for the idea that the planet could harbour life.
The finding does not, by itself, suggest life
The finding comes from the Mars Express probe in orbit around the Red Planet.
If microbes are making methane seen in Mars' atmosphere, they would rely on water, (...).
But other scientists have pointed out that this overlap could just as easily be explained by alternative processes.
Not all of these processes necessarily involve microbial life.
Martian Methane Hints At Oases Of Life, Nature News
In the first published study to track methane on Mars, researchers have concluded that life is the only plausible source of the gas. The putative martians are hiding in a few isolated spots and the rest of the planet is totally sterile, they say.(...)
Methane and water vapour seem to be seeping out from below the surface.
He and his colleagues used the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (...) to detect minute traces of methane in the red planet's atmosphere; they found levels of 10 parts per billion. This matches other researchers' estimates, and suggests that methane is being continually released from the surface.
Polar Microbes Get Helping Hand, Nature News
You might think that the polar deserts are barren, lifeless places. But you would be wrong. A British microbiologist has shown how the freezing and thawing of ice can turn polar rocks into a haven for microorganisms.
The polar deserts are teeming with buried microbes.
© Canadian Space Agency
What is more, he believes that meteor impacts, rather than being purely destructive, could also create oases for life by heating rocks and melting ice, either on Earth or on other icy worlds in the Solar System.(...)
This seems to be a paradox: how do photosynthetic microbes live underneath opaque rocks?
Living matter self-assembles into complex organisms that can contain billions of cells, and researchers have tapped biological molecules like DNA and viruses to self-assemble technologically useful structures and materials.
Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Brown University have showed how self-assembly mechanisms that bring together charged membranes and oppositely charged polymers like biological molecules can be understood in terms of simple rules, and have applied the rules to make virus-membrane complexes with pore sizes that can be used to organize molecules.
From Earth's Primitive Atmosphere To Chiral Peptides - The Origin Of Precursors For Life, Chem. & Biodiversity
Excerpts: (...) After the formation of our planet and its atmosphere, prebiotic chemical evolution started its course with the formation of the first building blocks for the formation of biomolecules. In the case of proteins, those building blocks were amino acids that had to be formed in the primitive atmosphere, and then had to react to peptides and proteins as the main pillar of first life. In this paper, we describe the processes in the primordial atmosphere (...) leading to the synthesis of amino acids until the formation of homochiral peptides, and, thus, show a plausible pathway towards the origin of life.
Evolution's No-Fly Zone, Science Now
Wings made little difference for speciation. About one-third of both winged and flightless insects had become new species when their range was sliced up by a geographical barrier--in this case, a dry valley. In addition, the absence of wings did not appear to hamper dispersal, (...). Apparently, says Brooks, "flightless insects have other means of dispersal than flying, and flying insects do not fly as far as they might." He adds that insects may fly more for finding food and mates than for long-distance travel.
When bugs fly. Wingless insects, like this darkling beetle (Apterotheca costata), don't become genetically isolated more often than their winged counterparts do.
Credit: Anthony O'toole
Evolution: A Is For Adaptation, Nature
Excerpt: Studies of a bacterial virus have revealed an unexpected weapon that helps it to overcome its host's rapidly changing defences. (...) the mechanism might be widespread.
Adapt or die. This axiom has been used so many times, in so many different contexts, that its origin is difficult to trace. But it aptly describes an intriguing mechanism exploited by viruses that infect Bordetella bacteria. This mechanism guarantees the viruses' survival in the face of host adaptations that would otherwise severely limit their ability to infect and multiply.
Gene Made Apes Smarter, Science Now
(...) another gene may have given the brains of apes, including humans, a major cognitive boost millions of years ago.
Brain boost. A neurotransmitter-recycling gene may have given chimps (left) a cognitive advantage over Old World monkeys (right).
Credit: Gerald And Buff Corsi/California Academy Of Sciences; Martin Harvey/Corbis
The gene, called GLUD2, (...) helps recycle one of the brain's most important neurotransmitters, glutamate. But there are actually two types of GDH: the one coded by GLUD2, which is found mostly in nerve tissues, and a second type, (...), which is found in many different cells and performs a variety of functions.
(...) the brain-specific gene, GLUD2, is found only in apes and humans but not in Old World Monkeys, (...).
Competition Boosts Chimp Comprehension, Science Now
Excerpt: Chimpanzees seem to understand competition better than cooperation. Chimps searching for a hidden food prize are better at recognizing clues from a competitor striving for the same treat than those from a helpful observer. (...)
(...) whether apes--especially our closest genetic cousins, the chimpanzees--can understand what others are thinking. Experiments have shown that chimpanzees can easily tell whether someone else can see the same thing they do and can even hide things from humans and other chimps. But they're not as good at comprehending helpful hints.
Researchers probing our past have often studied two kinds of DNA: the paternally inherited Y chromosome and the maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). When comparing people in far-flung regions, they found that mtDNA was more similar than were the Y chromosomes. This evidence of more homogenized mtDNA suggested that throughout human history, women have spread their genes farther than men. But some geneticists were skeptical, (...).
(...) the proportionally smaller group of reproducing males must have traveled farther than their female counterparts.
On the move. A genetic study suggests that during human history, more men than women--like these Dogon people of Mali--traveled widely.
Credit: Wolfgang Kaehler/Corbis
Lessons From Snakes: The Better Part Of Valor, ScienceDaily
Excerpts: (...) found that when test snakes were confronted with danger their first reaction was to retreat. Smaller snakes, although just as likely to flee or strike as larger snakes, were more likely to issue warnings. But, over all, test snakes of all sizes were more likely to exercise the better part of valor: they ran away. Rather, slithered. (...) "We found that antipredator behavior varied with body size," said Johnson. "The bigger the snake, there was less defensive response and fleeing became more common." Were the bigger snakes older and wiser? Perhaps. "Younger snakes may exhibit an elevated defense response," (...).
Mystery From The Deep Creates Elongated Puzzle, China Daily
They found the protorosaur, which has a 1.7-metre-long neck and a trunk less than 1 metre long, was a marine species. "So it is unlike most protorosaurs which were living on land," says Li.
Two fossil specimens of the strange long-necked protorsaur found near Xinmin in Guizhou Province. [China Daily]
(...) Dinocephalosaurus share additional diagnostic characters with the other protorosaurs, such as elongated cervical ribs and very low neural spines on the neck vertebrae.
But its limbs indicate full marine habits - and different from all the other protorosaurs, which retain juvenile characteristics throughout adulthood, they are relatively short and broad.
A Triassic Aquatic Protorosaur with an Extremely Long Neck, Science
Excerpt: By Middle Triassic time, a number of reptile lineages had diversified in shallow epicontinental seas and intraplatform basins along the margins of parts of Pangea, including the giraffe-necked protorosaurid reptile Tanystropheus from the Western Tethys (Europe and the Middle East), which grew to ~5 to 6 m long. Here we report another long-necked fossil, Dinocephalosaurus, from southwestern China, recently collected in Middle Triassic marine deposits ~230 million years old. (...) Its extremely elongated neck is explained as an adaptation for aquatic life, perhaps for an increase in feeding efficiency.
Genes From Engineered Grass Spread for Miles, Study Finds, NY Times
Excerpt: A new study shows that genes from genetically engineered grass can spread much farther than previously known, a finding that raises questions about the straying of other plants altered through biotechnology (...).
(...) have developed a strain of creeping bentgrass for use on golf courses that is resistant to the widely used herbicide Roundup. (...)
Critics worry that the grass could spread to areas where it is not wanted or transfer its herbicide resistance to weedy relatives, creating superweeds that would be immune to the most widely used weed killer.
Genes from Engineered Grass Spread Far, NPR ME
Excerpt: A grass genetically modified to be resistant to a popular herbicide can spread new genes to other grass plants located miles away, scientists discover. The findings raise questions about how well altered plant genes can be contained. Hear NPR's Christopher Joyce.
Omega-3s Without That Fishy Odor, Science Now
Scientists have for the first time genetically modified plants to contain a particularly healthy kind of fatty acid in their seeds. The most beneficial of so-called omega-3 fatty acids are found only in fish, so growing omega-3-rich transgenic plants instead could increase public consumption while relieving pressure on fisheries, researchers say. (...)
Flax on Friday? Plants biologists have engineered flaxseeds to contain heart-friendly fats normally only found in fish.
CREDIT: CLARENCE A. RECHENTHIN/USDA/NRCS TEXAS STATE OFFICE
Plants don't contain either, but precursors of these fatty acids are fairly abundant in flaxseed, canola oil, soybeans, and walnuts. The human body can synthesize DHA from these precursors, although not efficiently.
Alternative Energy for Biomotors, The Scientist
It makes sense to use these off-the-shelf engines as they're 1,000 times smaller than anything humans can yet build. But recent research indicates that by the time bioengineers are ready to begin assembling their intracellular delivery vehicles, they will have a wider range of motors to choose from. Tiny pistons borrowed from HIV and other viruses, G-protein springs, and even nucleic acid-based motors are finding their way to the drawing board. Each uses a different source of energy to accomplish a different task, (...).
A biomolecular 'piston' derived from viral peptides should respond to changes in pH.
Erica P. Johnson
Smart Biomaterials, Science
Excerpt: In addition to biomaterials that direct specific cellular behaviors, researchers are also developing smart biomaterials that respond to specific cellular signals. (...) The presence of these MMP [matrix metalloproteinase, Ed.] sites allows native cells to control gel remodeling such that these cells replace the synthetic gel material with tissue. When these biomaterials are further supplemented with specific growth factors, such as bone morphogenetic proteins, these gels support the infiltration of cells and the formation of mineralized tissue for the healing of critical-sized cranial defects in rats.
- Source: Smart Biomaterials, Daniel G. Anderson, Jason A. Burdick, Robert Langer, Science : 1923-1924, 04/09/24
Biology and the Inkjets, Science
Excerpt: Inkjet technology has entered the biology lab because of its ability to generate, under surprisingly benign conditions, tiny droplets of reproducible size and deposit them at a spot with positional accuracy of 100 micrometers or better. (...).
To lay down mammalian cells, along with growth factors and immobilizing matrices, in layers, a step toward what Boland calls "organ printing," he and his colleagues are using a basic HP printer modified so that the printing substrate can pass straight through the printer without curling around a roller.
Enzymes: By Chance, Or By Design?, Nature
Excerpt: Enzymes are well known for speeding up reactions. But have they evolved to use quantum mechanics to exert their effects?
(...) Scrutton, meanwhile, believes that even if vibration-assisted tunnelling does occur, it is not absolutely essential. In his view, the available evidence suggests that many enzymes are already optimized for tunnelling without the help of vibrations. For example, his group has found that the enzyme trimethylamine dehydrogenase doesn't seem to exploit vibrations in its natural form but does make use of them in a mutant form.(...)
Excerpts: Researchers at Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School have created a novel, elegant, and safer system for controlling gene expression - turning genes on and off as needed - that involves an intervention as simple as giving a drug. Potentially, with this technique, a gene could even be activated by natural conditions in the body - for example, in a diabetic patient, a rise in glucose concentration would automatically turn on the gene responsible for insulin production.
Safer Route to Gene Therapy Found, BBC News
Current methods of switching genes on and off usually involve complicated systems and have serious side effects like cancer. (...) The new method involves inserting a special DNA sequence into the patient's own genes or into the therapeutic gene introduced by gene therapy. (...) This piece of DNA holds coding for making something called ribozyme. Ribozyme contains the instructions for switching genes on, but has a natural tendency to split itself in half meaning the instructions cannot be read and the genes remain switched off. Drugs can stop ribozyme splitting so the "therapeutic" genes are switched on.
A special sequence of DNA was inserted
Drug Companies on the Defensive, NPR TOTN
Excerpt: Are America's big drug companies more interested in profits, or cures? Join NPR's Ira Flatow and guests as we search for the truth about America's pharmaceutical companies.
Researchers Eliminate Leukemia In Mice, bio.com
Excerpts: Scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have corrected a flaw in cancer cells that lets them evade the normal cell-death process, and as a result they eliminated leukemia cells from mice. With this achievement, the researchers confirm that a key anti-cell-death molecule called BCL-2 is required by many types of cancer cells to survive, and that silencing it with designer drugs may prove to be an effective new avenue for cancer therapy.
Using drugs to manipulate apoptosis, or "programmed cell death" in cancers "is a new paradigm that hasn't been well explored yet,"(...).
New Anti-Inflammatory Strategy For Cancer Therapy, bio.com
Excerpt: A new strategy for cancer therapy, which converts the tumor-promoting effect of the immune system's inflammatory response into a cancer-killing outcome, is suggested in research findings by investigators at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine.
The findings provide new insight into the immune system's response to inflammation, the connection between inflammation and malignancy, and how the delicate balance between cancer promotion and inhibition can be manipulated in the patient's favor, according to the study's senior author, Michael Karin, Ph.D., UCSD professor of pharmacology, American Cancer Society Research Professor, and a member of the Rebecca and John Moores UCSD Cancer Center.
Cancer: An Inflammatory Link, Nature
Excerpt: Moreover, most solid tumours contain many non-malignant cells, including immune cells and blood-vessel cells, that are important in inflammation. But the crucial molecular pathways that permit communication between abnormally growing cancer cells and these inflammatory cells remain unknown. A complex network of pro-inflammatory mediators is probably involved, because deletion of certain key molecules can reduce cancer susceptibility in mice. Two mouse models of inflammation-associated cancer now implicate the gene-transcription factor NF-B and the inflammatory mediator known as tumour-necrosis factor- (TNF-) in cancer progression.
Mending And Malignancy, Nature
Excerpt: How, then, does injury contribute to cancer risk?
To answer this question, we consider tissue response to injury. (...) This repair programme includes movement of cells to patch defects, as well as rapid production of cells that can differentiate (...). The ultimate source of these differentiated cells within the injured tissue is stem cells.
Stem cells are also increasingly being viewed as playing a role in cancer. Their capacity for self-renewal and unlimited replication make them appealing candidates as the cell of origin for cancer.
- Source: Mending And Malignancy, Philip A. Beachy, Sunil S. Karhadkar, David M. Berman, DOI: 10.1038/431402a, Nature 431, 402, 04/09/23
Strep Bacteria Uses A Sword And Shield To Win Battle, ScienceDaily
Excerpts: A single gene called cylE within the important bacterial pathogen Group B Streptococcus (GBS), controls two factors that act together as a "sword" and "shield" to protect the bacteria from the killing effects of the immune system's white blood cells, (...). GBS is the leading cause of serious bacterial infections such as meningitis and pneumonia in newborns and is increasingly recognized as a serious pathogen in adult populations, including the elderly, pregnant women and diabetics. (...). These findings could lead to new therapeutic approaches that disarm the bacteria and allow the immune system to do its work. (...)
Theory Predicts The Uneven Distribution Of Genetic Diversity Within Species, Nature
Excerpt: Global efforts to conserve species have been strongly influenced by the heterogeneous distribution of species diversity across the Earth. This is manifest in conservation efforts focused on diversity hotspots. The conservation of genetic diversity within an individual species is an important factor in its survival in the face of environmental changes and disease. (...) Contrary to previous studies, our results imply that diversity loss due to severe extinction events is high and focusing conservation efforts on highly distinctive groups can save much of the diversity.
Invasion In Space And Time: Non-Native Species Richness And Relative Abundance, Ecol. Lett.
Excerpts: Ecologists have long sought to understand the relationships among species diversity, community productivity and invasion by non-native species. Here, four long-term observational datasets were analyzed using repeated measures statistics to determine how plant species richness and community resource capture (i.e. productivity) influenced invasion. Multiple factors influenced the results, including the metric used to quantify invasion, interannual variation and spatial scale. (...) Our analysis suggests that while non-natives were most likely to establish in species rich communities, their success was diminished by high resource capture by the resident community.
- Source: Invasion In Space And Time: Non-Native Species Richness And Relative Abundance Respond To Interannual Variation In Productivity And Diversity, E. E. Cleland, M. D. Smith, S. J. Andelman, C. Bowles, K. M. Carney, M. C. H.-Devine, J. M. Drake, S. M. Emery, J. M. Gramling, D. B. Vandermast, DOI: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2004.00655.x, Ecology Letters, Oct. 2004
- Contributed by Pritha Das - prithadas01yahoo.com
Uncertainty In Integrated Regional Models, Econ. Sys. Res.
Excerpts: This paper examines the nature of uncertainty in integrated econometric+input-output (ECIO) regional models. We focus on three sources of uncertainty: (a) econometric model parameter uncertainty; (b) econometric disturbance term uncertainty; and (c) input-output coefficient uncertainty. Through a series of Monte Carlo simulations we analyse the relative importance of each component as well as the question of how their interaction may propagate through the integrated model to affect the distributions of the endogenous variables. Our results suggest that there is no simple answer to the question of which source of uncertainty is most important in an integrated model. (...)
Avoiding Brotherly Love, Science Now
Female jungle fowl have a sneaky way of avoiding incest
Rough love. Hens can resist their brothers' sperm, if not their sexual advances.
Credit: T. Pizzari And C.K. Cornwallis
Mating with close relatives often leads to no good, so most animals try to avoid it. So pity the female red jungle fowl. With randy and aggressive brethren, they don't have much choice when it comes to mates. But the hens can avoid the ill effects of inbreeding by picking which sperm fertilize their eggs, scientists have discovered.(...)
Females stored fewer sperm from brothers and fewer of those sperm reached their eggs (...).
2004 Visualization Challenge, Science
Excerpt: A multicolored deer tick latched onto the ear of a hamster ... water molecules shuttling across a cell membrane ... a bat's sonar locking onto its prey ... the cauldron of Mount Etna getting ready to rumble. The following pages bring to life intricate interactions, from the workings of cells to the geological processes that threaten cities. These stunning visualizations won top honors in the second Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge, co- sponsored by Science and the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Web Tool May Banish Broken Links, BBC News
Excerpt: Students have developed a tool which could mean broken weblinks are history.
Peridot, developed by UK intern students at IBM, scans company weblinks and replaces outdated information with other relevant documents and links.
It works by automatically mapping and storing key features of webpages, so it can detect significant content changes.
The students said Peridot could protect companies by spotting links to sites that have been removed, or which point to wholly unsuitable content. (...)
"The way we identify the content is through a process called fingerprinting (...).
How to Compute Using Globally Coupled Oscillators, arXiv
Abstract: Synchronization is known to play a vital role within many highly connected neural systems such as the olfactory systems of fish and insects. In this paper we show how one can robustly and effectively perform practical computations using small perturbations to a very simple globally coupled network of coupled oscillators. Computations are performed by exploiting the spatio-temporal dynamics of a robust attracting heteroclinic network (also referred to as `winnerless competition' dynamics). We use different cluster synchronization states to encode memory states and use this to design a simple multi-base counter. The simulations indicate that this gives a robust computational system exploiting the natural dynamics of the system.
A Domain-Independent Framework for Modeling Emotion, Cognitive Systems Research
Abstract: In this article, we show how psychological theories of emotion shed light on the interaction between emotion and cognition, and thus can inform the design of human-like autonomous agents that must convey these core aspects of human behavior. We lay out a general computational framework of appraisal and coping as a central organizing principle for such systems. We then discuss a detailed domain-independent model based on this framework, illustrating how it has been applied to the problem of generating behavior for a significant social training application. The model is useful not only for deriving emotional state, but also for informing a number of the behaviors that must be modeled by virtual humans such as facial expressions, dialogue management, planning, reacting, and social understanding. Thus, the work is of potential interest to models of strategic decision-making, action selection, facial animation, and social intelligence.
Information, Please - Betting On Whether Data Disappear Down Black Holes, Science News
How might information avoid being lost from a fading black hole? It would have to be carried by the Hawking radiation, which is the only stuff that travels away from the hole. But Hawking radiation originates just outside the event horizon, not inside the hole. How can radiation from outside the black hole contain information about what fell in? (...)
[Question: What's wrong with this picture?, Ed.]
In one picture emerging from string theory, the essential properties of an object can be deduced entirely from the object's surface, (...) two-dimensional hologram.
Hubble's Deepest Shot Is A Puzzle, BBC News
But the Hubble Ultra Deep Field presents a problem for this story.
Buried in the image are objects that shone not long after the Big Bang
When Bunker and colleagues measured the rate of star formation in the image's earliest galaxies, they found it was insufficient to create the levels of radiation needed to produce the intergalactic plasma.
"There is not enough activity to explain the re-ionisation of the Universe," Dr Bunker told the BBC. "Perhaps there was more action in terms of star formation even earlier in the history of the Universe - that's one possibility.
A Taylor Vortex Analogy In Granular Flows, Nature
Excerpt: Here, using gas fluidization to overcome jamming, we show experimentally that granular materials develop vortices consistent with the primary Taylor instability in fluids. However, the vortices observed in our fluidized granular bed are unlike those in fluids in that they are accompanied by novel mixing-segregation transitions. The vortices seem to alleviate increased strain by spawning new vortices, directly modifying the scale of kinetic interactions. Our observations provide insights into the mechanisms of shear transmission by particles and their consequent convective mixing.
Excerpt: Just when we thought the coast was clear, the remnants of Hurricane Ivan are creeping back. Ivan's now a tropical storm heading toward southwest Louisiana and the Texas coast. Some weather experts are saying this season's spate of hurricanes is more typical than not. Our own commentator and mathematician says bad weather in financial markets is also more common than we want to admit.
How Not to Save Social Security, NY Times
Excerpt: In proposing personal accounts, Mr. Bush has promised to retain the current benefits for today's retirees and for those who are nearing retirement. So for some 40 years, workers would be making deposits into their accounts with tax money that - under the current system - would have been used to pay the benefits of those who are retired. The government would have to make up the difference, and Mr. Bush has no reasonable plan for covering this cost, which is estimated to be at least $1 trillion.
A Stubborn Storm Hangs On in a Busy Hurricane Season, NYTimes
Excerpts: Its [hurricane Ivan, Ed.] obituary had already been written late on Sept. 16 by federal meteorologists (...).
Part of the disintegrating storm spun south, drenched eastern Florida (...). It could then draw on the warm, storm-nourishing waters of the Gulf of Mexico and so was reborn.
(...) Breaking from its usual deadpan tones, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued an update saying: "It sounds like the sequel to a very bad horror movie, but it's no joke. Ivan is back."
Dynamic Footprint-Based Person Recognition Method, Int. J. Intell. Sys.
Excerpts: Many diverse methods have been developed in the field of biometric identification as a greater emphasis is placed on human friendliness in the area of intelligent systems. One emerging method is the use of footprint shape. However, in previous research, there were some limitations resulting from the spatial resolution of sensors. One possible method to overcome this limitation is through the use of additional and independent information such as gait information during walking. In this study, we suggest a new person-recognition scheme based on the center of pressure (COP) trajectory in the dynamic footprint. (...)
Chicago Moving to 'Smart' Surveillance Cameras, NY Times
Excerpt: An advanced system of video surveillance will alert Chicago police whenever anyone viewed by the cameras acts suspiciously. (...) plan to install by 2006 will make people here some of the most closely observed in the world. Mayor Richard M. Daley says it will also make them much (...) ''Cameras are the equivalent of hundreds of sets of eyes,''(...)
Domestic Surveillance Technology, NPR TOTN
Excerpt: The electronic eyes of the nation's security cameras watch over everything from public buildings to traffic patterns. But in Chicago, they have a new job: spotting terrorists, before they attack. We discuss the many uses, and debatable effectiveness, of video surveillance.
Silicon Sensors Could Save Lives, BBC News
Siemens is developing small sensors that can detect a wide variety of odours, opening the door to portable devices that can spot fires or health problems early. (...) The sensors produced by Dr Fleischer and colleagues are about 1 mm square and can be tuned to react to many different gases. The sensors can spot the target gas often when it is present in tiny quantities. If a gas is present in the air wafted across the detector, it reacts with the silicon substrate of the sensor causing a reaction that can be electronically measured. Once exposed to ambient air the sensor regenerates ready to be used again.
The sensor could be used in portable travel alarms
The Wizard's Warning, The Peer-Review Bureaucracy Is Strangling Creativity, The Scientist
Excerpt: Until about 1970, creativity was managed as the wizard would wish, and its harvest was as rich as he promised. However, fueled by success, the number of scientists increased beyond what could be fully supported. Politicians responded by insisting that publicly funded research is the best possible value for money. Many private funders followed suit. Thus, progressively over the last three decades, research has focused on the targets consensus deems would have the most industrial, scientific, or social benefit. Little funding remains for anything else.
Does the Patent System Need an Overhaul?, NY Times
Excerpt: (...) described the patent system, 20 years after the reforms, as mired in "the land of unintended consequences."(...)
"The easier it became to get patents, the more people wanted to apply for them, and that led to a situation where examiners grappled with more patents to review, which led to them being pressed to do quicker reviews and a degradation in quality of patents issued." (...)
"The ability to litigate and expect to get substantial award from litigation increased,"(...). "So as a result we've got somewhat of a vicious cycle.
'A Massive Experiment' In Voting, Washington Post
Excerpt: "If there were some kind of major meltdown on Election Day, there might be the possibility of these bills moving forward post-election," said Doug Chapin, director of electionline.org, a nonpartisan clearinghouse that monitors and analyzes election reforms. "This is a crisis-driven issue."
On the other side are groups representing minorities, arguing that touch-screen voting without a paper trail could make it easier for a corrupt elections official to make those votes disappear. (...)
"There is no entry point for someone to hack the system," [Diebold spokesman David Bear, Ed.]
Still Seeking a Fair Florida Vote, Washington Post
Excerpt: After the debacle in Florida four years ago, former president Gerald Ford and I were asked to lead a blue-ribbon commission to recommend changes in the American electoral process. After months of concerted effort by a dedicated and bipartisan group of experts, we presented unanimous recommendations to the president and Congress. The government responded with the Help America Vote Act of October 2002. Unfortunately, however, many of the act's key provisions have not been implemented because of inadequate funding or political disputes.
Florida Officials Stand By Ballot, BBC News
Excerpt: Election officials in Florida have rejected a suggestion that the state's preparations for the presidential election are seriously flawed. (...)
A spokesman for Florida's election body told the BBC it was disappointed by the former president's remarks.
(...) Mr Carter seemed "misinformed" about the true state of preparations.
"We have had hundreds of successful elections since the new systems were put in place in 2002", Alia Faraj Florida election spokeswoman
"I think there's some misinformation in it and we're disappointed that he didn't contact us to ensure accurate, up-to-date information," (...).
To Find Insight, Think Complex, Educator Says, JS Online
Excerpt: I think it [Canddates' better understanding of complexity, Ed.] would ramp up the level of debate and we, the public, would certainly be grateful for that. And it would also help guide some of their thinking about how they would intervene and how they would take action. . . . In this election, I think what you have to count on - and this is one of the concepts from complexity - is that crowds have a certain wisdom, there is an underlying order that begins to emerge from what looks like chaos in an election year.
Editor's Note: I am not sure I agree with that conclusion. Who, besides some brainy intellectuals would go through the trouble to understand a complex issue and especially that someone might change a position in order to "make corrective actions" to adapt to a changing situation? Doesn't the majority prefer a simple, 30sec message that is repeated many times to demonstrate that the candidate is not a "flip-flopper"?
Annan Faults Both Sides of Terror War for Eroding Rule of Law, Washington Post
Excerpt: The overarching theme of Annan's address is that the "basic rules of human conduct" are at risk -- as evidenced in Beslan, Russia, where Chechen militants appear to have slaughtered hundreds of children, the U.N. official said.
Annan will also issue veiled criticism of the Bush administration by citing the abuse of prisoners of war in Iraq by U.S. troops, according to the U.N. official. He will also say that, at times, the vital struggle against terrorism has interfered with civil liberties and human rights, the official said.
Bush Defends Iraq Policies At UN, BBC News
Excerpt: US President George W Bush has strongly defended his decision to invade Iraq and has called on the United Nations to "do more" to help rebuild the country.
Speaking at the UN General Assembly in New York, Mr Bush urged members to support Iraq's interim government. (...)
"There is no safe isolation from terror networks or failed states that shelter them," Mr Bush said.(...)
He said the decision to invade Iraq was justified, and he challenged UN members to back the government of Iraq's interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi.
The Face of Iraqi Democracy, NY Times
Excerpt: Until Iraq holds free elections, Mr. Allawi cannot claim to speak for more than the narrow coalition of exile parties that maneuvered his appointment as interim prime minister. Increasingly well-organized and deadly attacks are directed against American troops, foreign relief workers and Iraqi security recruits. Sunni towns like Falluja and Mosul and Shiite areas, including much of Baghdad, are gripped by insurgencies that American military analysts believe are nowhere near being overcome. Oil pipelines are attacked regularly, electricity supplies remain erratic, and foul drinking water breeds disease.
Panel Calls U.S. Troop Size Insufficient for Demands, NY Times
Excerpt: A Pentagon-appointed panel of outside experts has concluded in a new study that the American military does not have sufficient forces to sustain current and anticipated stability operations, like the festering conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and other missions that might arise.
(...) During testimony by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld (...), Senator Reed said he found the study "provocative and startling."
Mr. Rumsfeld said the report was an "excellent piece of work," and that he had ordered briefings on its findings for senior military and civilian officials.
Charges for 60 Detainees Ordered, Washington Post
Excerpt: A federal judge ordered the government to justify why it has been holding detainees in a U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for nearly three years without charges and explain why they should not be released.
(...) the Defense Department must provide the charge or factual basis for detaining each of the 60 detainees (...).
"After almost three years, it's high time the government should be required to say why it's holding people," Wilner said. "How the heck can you hold somebody without saying why you're holding them?"
Troubled Unit of Halliburton May Go on Block, NY Times
Excerpt: Halliburton said this month that it might reduce its activities in Iraq after it became apparent that the Army was planning to split up its largest Iraq contract, effectively dividing more than $12 billion of work among several companies. Halliburton has repeatedly had to respond to accusations that KBR overcharged the Defense Department for some of its services. (...)
The Department of Justice is also investigating Halliburton's activities in Iran, where it operates through a loophole allowing it to remain there despite American sanctions limiting business in that country.
Complex Challenges: Global Terroist Networks
Twisting Dr. Nuke's Arm, NY Times
Excerpt: If a nuclear weapon destroys the U.S. Capitol in coming years, it will probably be based in part on Pakistani technology. The biggest challenge to civilization in recent years came not from Osama or Saddam Hussein but from Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of Pakistan's atomic bomb. Dr. Khan definitely sold nuclear technology to Iran, North Korea and Libya, and, officials believe, to several more nations as well.
But, amazingly, eight months after Dr. Khan publicly confessed, we still don't know who the rest of his customers were.
Election Heightens Terrorism Offensive, Washington Post
Excerpt: The warnings are reminiscent of those this summer when officials expressed extreme concern about the potential for terror attacks on the Republican and Democratic national conventions and at the Olympic Games in Athens. Those events passed without any known disruption.
Earlier this month, the FBI's " '04 Threat Task Force" issued an advisory saying there was no intelligence detailing the timing, status or targets of any plot, but it said an increased threat of terrorist action will continue through the Jan. 20 inauguration, (...).
Terrorists Have Oil Industry in Cross Hairs, Washington Post
Excerpt: Terrorists and insurgents are stepping up attacks on oil and gas operations overseas in an effort to disrupt jittery energy markets, destabilize governments and scare off foreign workers, analysts said.
The attacks have been most intense in Iraq, but also have occurred in recent months in Indonesia, Pakistan, India, Russia and Nigeria.
In many cases, the attacks are orchestrated by terrorists or rebels, often Islamic extremists, seeking to cause economic disruption or steal oil to finance their operations, analysts said.
Links & Snippets
The 4th Intl Workshop on Meta-synthesis and Complex System, Beijing, China, 04/07/22-23
Intl Conf on Complex Networks: Structure, Function and Processes, Kolkata, India, 04/06/27-30
From Autopoiesis to Neurophenomenology: A Tribute to Francisco Varela (1946-2001), Paris, France, 2004/06/18-20
ECC8 Experimental Chaos Conference, Florence, Italy,
Evolutionary Epistemology, Language, and Culture, Brussels, Belgium, 04/05/26-28
International Conference on Complex Systems 2004, Boston, 04/05/16-21
Life, a Nobel Story, Brussels, Belgium, 04/04/28
Nonlinear Dynamics and Statistical Mechanics Days, Brussels, Belgium, 04/04/26-27
Science Education Forum for Chinese Language Culture, Panel Discussion, Taipei, Taiwan, 04/05/01
Biologically Inspired Approaches to Advanced Information Technology, , Lausanne,Switzerland, 04/01/29-30
Nonlinear Dynamics And Chaos: Lab Demonstrations, Strogatz, Steven H., Internet-First University Press, 1994
- World Economic Forum 2004, Davos, Switzerland
- Riding the Next Democratic Wave, Al-Thani, Khan, Vike-Freiberga, Wade, Soros, Zakaria, World Economic Forum, 04/01/25
- The Future of Global Interdependence, Kharrazi, Held, Owens, Shourie, Annan, Martin, Schwab, World Economic Forum, 04/01/25
- Why Victory Against Terrorism Demands Shared Values
- CODIS 2004, International Conference On Communications, Devices And Intelligent Systems, 2004 Calcutta, India, 04/01/09-10
- EVOLVABILITY & INTERACTION: Evolutionary Substrates of Communication, Signaling, and Perception in the Dynamics of Social Complexity, London, UK, 03/10/08-10
- The Semantic Web and Language Technology - Its Po tential and Practicalities, Bucharest, Romania, 03/07/28-08/08
- ECAL 2003, 7th European Conference on Artificial Life, Dortmund, Germany, 03/09/14-17
- New Santa Fe Institute President About His Vision for SFI's Future Role, (Video, Santa Fe, NM, 03/06/04)
- SPIE's 1st Intl Symp on Fluctuations and Noise, Santa Fe, NM, 2003/06/01-04
- NAS Sackler Colloquium on Mapping Knowledge Domains, Video/Audio Report, 03/05/11
- 13th Ann Intl Conf, Soc f Chaos Theory in Psych & Life Sciences, Boston, MA, USA, 2003/08/08-10
- CERN Webcast Service, Streamed videos of Archived Lectures and Live Events
- Dean LeBaron's Archive of Daily Video Commentary, Ongoing Since February 1998
- Edge Videos
Conference & Call for Papers Announcements
Gabriele Leidloff, Ugly Casting 1.4 , Berlin, Germany, 04/08/19-10/08
- 2nd Annual Emerging Technologies Conference at MIT, Cambridge, MA, 04/09/29-30
- 3rd Natll Conf on Systems Science ,
Trento (Italy), 04/10/07-09
- TEDMED Conference ,
Charleston SC, 04/10/12-15
- Intl Workshop On Bifurcations In Nonsmooth And Hybrid Dynamical Systems ,
Milano (Italy), 04/10/21-22
Technology Conference, Champaign, Illinois,
- 6th Intl Conf on Electronic Commerce
ICEC'2004: Towards A New Services Landscape, Delft, The Netherlands, 04/10/25-27
- Complexity and Philosophy Workshop - 2-Day Conference , Rio de Janeiro, 04/11
ICDM '04: The Fourth IEEE Intl Conf on Data Mining, Brighton, UK, 04/11/01-04
International Congress of Nanotechnology and Nano World Expo,San Francisco, CA, 04/11/07-11
- Denaturing Darwin: International Conference on Evolution and Organization
, Amersfoort, The Netherlands, 04/11/12-14
- The 7th Asia-Pacific Complex Systems Conference, Queensland, Australia, 04/12/06-10
- 17th Australian Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Queensland, Australia, 04/12/06-10
- Cellular Computing Symposium, U Warwick
- International Conference On Computational Intelligence (Icci 2004) , Istanbul, Turkey, 04/12/15-17
- Kondratieff Waves, Warfare And World Security, NATO Advanced Research Workshop
, Covilh? Portugal, 05/02/14-17
5th Creativity And Cognition Conference, London.UK, 05/04/12-15
Social Intelligence and Interaction in Animals, Robots and Agents, Hatfield, UK, 05/04/12-15
- Powders & Grains 2005, Stuttgart, Germany, 05/06/18-22
- Workshop on Complexity and Policy Analysis, Cork, Ireland, 05/06/22-24
- ECAL 2005 - VIIIth European Conference on Artificial Life, Canterbury, Kent, UK, 05/09/05-09
Complexity, Science and Society Conf 2005, Liverpool, UK, 05/09/11-14
18th International Conference on Noise and Fluctuations (ICNF 2005), Salamanca, Spain, 05/09/19-23