God (or Not), Physics and, of Course, Love: Scientists Take a Leap, NY Times
Excerpts: What do you believe is true even though you cannot prove it?"
This was the question posed to scientists, futurists and other creative thinkers by John Brockman, a literary agent and publisher of Edge, a Web site devoted to science. The site asks a new question at the end of each year. (...)
Richard Dawkins (...)
I believe, but I cannot prove, that all life, all intelligence, all creativity and all "design" anywhere in the universe, is the direct or indirect product of Darwinian natural selection.
A Tale of 2 Systems, NY Times
Excerpts: Over the past 50 years, we've been having a big debate over two rival economic systems. Conservatives have tended to favor the American model, with smaller government and lower taxes, but less social support. Liberals have supported programs that lead to the European model, with bigger government, more generous support and less inequality.
(...) In the next few decades both models are going to confront a big test: aging populations. The U.S. model is going to be challenged by this problem, but the European model is flat-out unsustainable.
Social Networks and Business Success: The Role Of Subcultures In An African Context, Ameri. J. Econ. Sociol.
Excerpt: The main objective of this paper is to illuminate social and cultural preconditions for networking and success in business in an African context. By in-depth studies of small-scale entrepreneurs in the wood business in Tanzania, we find that people belonging to an Asian subculture probably have a better standing for entering and thriving in business, due to group cohesion, mobility, and level of education. Through high-quality social networks, characterized by a high number and variety of relations, certain groups seem to be in a better position to enact their business environment (...).
Hawaiian legends say a ruler named Pi'ilani brought peace to Maui by routing rival chiefs, marrying a powerful queen, and setting himself up as absolute ruler. Indeed, religious states that emphasized divine kingship emerged on several Hawaiian islands. Now a preliminary study of temples on Maui, described in the 7 January issue of Science, suggests this may have happened within a single generation just as the stories suggest.
Power base. Ruins on Maui suggest that the island's first king exerted control by quickly building temples, such as those seen elsewhere by Captain Cook (inset). Credit: : P.V. Kirich; (Inset) By Permission Of The National Library Of Australia
The most sophisticated and stratified societies in the Pacific evolved on the Hawaiian Islands.
Temples Of Boom: Ancient Hawaiians Took Fast Road To Statehood, Science News
Excerpts: A boom in temple construction on two Hawaiian islands around 400 years ago marked the surprisingly rapid formation of an early political state.
Flavonoids include beta-carotene and related carotenoids, which are responsible for many of the yellows, oranges, reds, and greens in produce. Other reds and most of the blues, purples, and blackish tints¡Xespecially in berries and potatoes¡Xtrace to flavonoids called anthocyanins.
Wheel Of Color. Orange carrots are a relatively new food, dating only from the 16th century. Scientists are adapting older red, blue, and yellow types¡Xmost of them from Asia¡Xto U.S. soils, climate, and tastes. S. Ausmus/USDA
These chemicals are considered antioxidants because they quash free radicals, naturally forming molecular fragments that have several damaging effects.
(...) began developing new lines of crops explicitly for their intense antioxidant pigments.(...)
Probably the most famous example is known as golden rice.
The Role Of Social Interaction In Bird Song Learning, Current Dir. Psycho. Sc.
Excerpt: Bird song learning has become a powerful model system for studying learning because of its parallels with human speech learning, recent advances in understanding of its neurobiological basis, and the strong tradition of studying song learning in both the laboratory and the field. Most of the findings and concepts in the field derive from the tape-tutor experimental paradigm, in which the young bird is tutored by tape-recorded song delivered by a loudspeaker in an isolation chamber. This paradigm provides rigorous experimental control of auditory parameters, but strips song learning of any social context, (...).
- Source: The Role Of Social Interaction In Bird Song Learning, M. D. Beecher - beecheru.washington.edu, J. M. Burt, DOI: 10.1111/j.0963-7214.2004.00313.x, Current Directions in Psychological Science, Dec. 2004, Online 2004/11/24
- Contributed by Atin Das - dasatinyahoo.co.in
Nutrient-Specific Foraging in Invertebrate Predators, Science
Summary: Picky Eaters It is widely assumed in foraging theory that predators cannot balance their nutrient intake, but instead maximize their energy intake subject to prey size, abundance, and time constraints. Mayntz et al. (p. 111) show that this is not the case, using three species of invertebrates (ground beetles, wolf spiders, and web spiders) with widely different feeding biology. When the diet of the predators was manipulated to render them either protein- or lipid-deficient, the animals adjusted their feeding to make good the specific deficit. Compensatory nutrient selection occurred either by selecting among foods of different nutritional composition, by adjusting consumption of a single prey type, or by extracting nutrients selectively from within individual prey items.
Policing Insect Societies, Science
Excerpts: Within both human and insect societies, conflicts arise because the interests of individuals differ. In insect societies, conflict revolves around reproduction. Reproducing individuals gain by being more closely related to the young males and queens reared in their colony. By reproducing, society members also exploit the colony and this can be costly. First, uncontrolled reproduction upsets the division of labor between queen and workers and results in a less efficient colony. Second, the offspring reared are often genetically less related and so are less valuable to other society members.
A Genomic View of Animal Behavior, Science
Excerpts: (...) in one case, they transformed normally promiscuous rodents into faithful partners. (...) Instead of just probing the minutiae of how a gene works in one organism, scientists are increasingly investigating how a particular gene operates in multiple species. (...) gene influenced how likely nematodes were to explore their environment.(...) In the traditional approach, Hofmann would have tried to track individual genes involved in these transformations. Instead, he turned to microarrays and, in less than a year, has identified 100 genes that likely shape the male's social status.
Twinkle Toes: How Geckos' Sticky Feet Stay Clean, Science News
To find out how gecko feet clean themselves, the team considered the van der Waals forces that a surface, such as a wall, exerts on a microsphere. They then compared that attraction with the hold on the particle by toe fibers. Using simplified geometric models that represent the ends of the fibers as shallow cups or flexible strips, the scientists calculated that from 26 to 59 of the fibers would have to cling to each microsphere to keep it from sticking to the wall as the gecko steps away.
Toe Print. When the underside of a gecko toe (left) was dusted with microspheres and pressed onto glass, millions of sticky fibers in the thin, platelike structures shed microspheres onto the glass, leaving a print visible under laser light (right). Autumn
Yet in most cases, "when you look under an electron microscope, you don't observe that many [fibers] actually attached to a single dirt particle," Autumn notes. Hence, when the fibers and the surface compete for a dirt particle, the surface usually wins.
Environment: Early Ant Plagues In The New World, Nature
HORMIGA DE FUEGO
The Hispaniolan plague ant is easily characterized from the first-hand account of Las Casas. The ant he described was very aggressive; it had a painful sting; it occurred in dense populations in the root systems of shrubs and trees; it did not cut above-ground vegetation yet somehow damaged the root systems; and it was also a pest in houses and gardens. The only species also present in the modern West Indian ant fauna that has all these qualities is the tropical fire ant, Solenopsis geminata.
Laughing, Tickling, And The Evolution Of Speech And Self, Current Dir. Psycho. Sc.
Excerpt: Laughter is an instinctive, contagious, stereotyped, unconsciously controlled, social play vocalization that is unusual in solitary settings. Laughter punctuates speech and is not typically humor related, speakers often laugh more often than their audience, and male speakers are the best laugh getters. Laughter evolved from the labored breathing of physical play, with the characteristic "pant-pant" laugh of chimpanzees and derivative "ha-ha" of humans signaling ("ritualizing") its rowdy origin. Laughter reveals that breath control is why humans can speak and chimpanzees cannot. (...) Because you cannot tickle yourself, tickle involves a neurological self/nonself discrimination, providing the most primitive social scenario.
HIV Impacts Human Genome, Science NOW
No vacancy. When CCL3L1 (red) occupies the CCR5 receptor on CD4 cells, it blocks HIV's entry. Credit: K. Sutliff/Science
People typically have two copies of each gene (one from each parent), but stretches of DNA sometimes appear repeatedly. Many of the known duplications include immunity genes, inspiring the notion that these so-called segmental duplications protect against invaders. Sunil Ahuja, (...), wondered whether HIV might be the target of such an evolutionary response. The researchers focused on one human gene, CCL3L1. The gene codes for a signalling chemical called a chemokine, and it docks onto the same white blood cell receptor grabbed by HIV when the virus infects cells.
Excerpts: As evidence mounts that drug-safety trials can miss dangerous effects, scientists are building living, miniature models of animals and people to enhance drug and chemical tests.
Antibiotic Recipe Keeps Neurons Alive, Science NOW
Excerpts: People who develop ALS lose control of their muscles and usually die within 1 to 5 years. Previously, researchers have tried to correct two biochemical problems that kill neurons in ALS. A third had yet to be exploited successfully: Motor neurons die when their surfaces are overexposed to the neurotransmitter glutamate. ALS patients suffer from this because their neurons have trouble vacuuming glutamate back inside the cells, where it does no harm. (...) coax neurons to make more of this transporter protein, and whether that would protect the nerve cells from dying.
Beat Generation: Genetically Modified Stem Cells Repair Heart, Science News
Excerpts: Tissue engineers have for the first time used genetically modified human stem cells to repair damaged hearts in guinea pigs.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging Deconstructs Brain's Complex Network, EurekAlert
Excerpts: Chialvo and colleagues described how fMRIs from healthy individuals showed that tens of thousands of discrete brain regions form a network that has the same qualitative features as other complex networks, such as the Internet (technological), friendships (social) and metabolic (biochemical) networks.
The fMRI technology provided, in each recording session, hundreds of consecutive images of brain activity discretized in thousands of tiny cubes (voxels). The image intensity at each cube usually indicates the amount of brain activity at that site.
Scientists Find That The Human Nose Is More Complicated Than A Jumbo Jet, BBSRC Media Releases
Excerpts: Winter colds can give you a blocked up nose that stops you smelling chimney smoke, roasting chestnuts, warming winter puddings and the other seasonal scents. Now researchers (...) have not only discovered how air moves through the nose bringing you those smells but their work may lead to new ways of unblocking it and helping you to breathe more easily. They have even found that the airflow through the human nose is more complicated than that over a jumbo jet's wing. (...) The fluid dynamics of the nose is one of the most complex in the body, (...).
Scents And Emotions Linked By Learning, ScienceDaily
Excerpts: Whether emotional responses to scent are a product of nature or nurture is a matter of scientific debate. But a Brown University study, (...) comes down on the nurturing side. In an experiment that involved computer games and custom-made scents, researchers found that responses to new odors depended on emotions experienced while the new odor was present. If participants had a good time playing the game, they were more likely to report liking the odor they smelled. If they had an unpleasant experience, they were more likely to dislike the scent. (...)
High on nursing. In rats, suckling stimulates the same reward centers in the brain as cocaine. Credit: Jack Novak/Superstock
New research shows that brain scans of suckling moms are indistinguishable from those of virgin rats on cocaine, supporting the idea that nature rewards mothers for nurturing their pups. The work, described in 5 January issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, also sets the stage to better understand the mother-child bond in humans.
When given the choice, rats with babies under 8 days of age will choose suckling their pups over cocaine. Researchers believe this strong motivation to nurse has evolved to help mothers bond with their offspring.
Brain Can Be Trained To Process Sound In Alternate Way, ScienceDaily
Excerpts: UCSF scientists have found that the brains of rats can be trained to learn an alternate way of processing changes in the loudness of sound. The discovery, they say, has potential for the treatment of hearing loss, autism, and other sensory disabilities in humans. It also gives clues, they say, about the process of learning and the way we perceive the world. "We addressed a very fundamental question (...) When we notice a sound getting louder, what happens in our brain so that we know it's getting louder?" (...).
Parkinson's Symptoms Reversed in Monkey Study, NPR TOTN
Excerpts: In studies with monkeys, researchers in Japan have reversed some of the degeneration seen in Parkinson's disease in monkeys using embryonic stem cell therapy, according to a report published this week in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. We discuss the findings.
Faces Must Be Seen To Be Recognized, ScienceDaily
Excerpt: Recognizing faces is an innate ability in primates; even the youngest infants respond to Mom's face. So, a fascinating and central question in neurobiology is where in the hierarchy of visual processing face recognition takes place. Through a series of precise experimental manipulations of perception in human subjects, Farshad Moradi and his colleagues have gained new insight into the process. They have found that identifying a face depends on actually seeing it, as opposed to merely having the image of the face fall on the retina. (...)
Physiology: An End To Adolescence, Nature
Excerpts: 'Puberty' and 'adolescence' are not synonyms, although both terms describe that awkward age between childhood and adulthood. Puberty is defined as the period during which the reproductive system matures. It has a clearly defined marker for when it ends: when bone growth ceases. Adolescence, by contrast, is part physiological, part psychological, part social construct. Chronobiologists joke that people suffer adolescence twice ¡X once themselves, and again when their own children hit the teenage years. But, frustratingly, they have not been able to define precisely when it ends.
Mapping Environments At Risk Under Different Global Climate Change Scenarios, Ecol. Lett.
Excerpts: All global circulation models (...) project profound changes, but there is no consensus on how to map their environmental consequences. Our multivariate representation of environmental space combines stable topographic and edaphic attributes with dynamic climatic attributes. We divide that environmental space into 500 unique domains and map their current locations (...). The environmental domains found across half the study area today disappear under the higher emissions scenario, but persist somewhere in it under the lower emissions scenario. Locations affected least and those affected most under each scenario are mapped. This provides an explicit framework for designing conservation networks (...).
Weighing the Tsunami's Environmental Impact, NPR TOTN
Excerpts: As the people of Southeast Asia struggle to recover from the Asian tsunami, we take a look at the environmental and ecological impacts of all that seawater. Plus, anecdotal reports suggest that most large mammals in the area escaped harm. We talk with a scientist about whether animals can sense an oncoming tsunami.
Triple Slip Of Tectonic Plates Caused Seafloor Surge, Nature News
Excerpts: The earthquake followed almost two centuries of tension during which the India plate pressed against the Burma microplate, (...). The plates move against one another at an average rate of about 6 centimetres a year, but this movement does not occur smoothly. There has not been a very large quake along this fault since 1833 - a fact that may have contributed to the huge force of this one. The India plate's jarring slide released the tension on the Burma microplate, causing it to spring violently upwards.
Tsunami Disaster: Scientists Model The Big Quake And Its Consequences, Science News
In all, slippage occurred along about 1,200 km of the interface between the tectonic plates(...). At some spots along the interface, one plate may have slid as much as 20 meters past the other, says Ji. In the most-affected region, a broad expanse of seafloor¡Xand thus the sea above it was abruptly thrust upward as much as 5 m. The waves spilling away from that sudden bump raced across the Indian Ocean at jetliner speeds, says Ji. The first tsunami may have been 15 m high when it slammed into Sumatran shores about 15 minutes after the quake.
Pumped Up. The sudden rise of seafloor during the magnitude 9.0 quake of Dec. 26, 2004 (epicenter at star), caused tsunamis that scoured coasts around the Indian Ocean.
Excerpts: The most important component of such preparation is public education, so that local inhabitants are aware, for example, of the fact that a dramatic recession of the ocean is in itself a warning of an impending event. The next most important component is the construction of a simple network that will quickly convey warning information from the seismological stations to some central point (...) and back out again to local radio and television channels, perhaps using siren systems in regions that can afford them.
Excerpts: If the fuel cell is to become the modern steam engine, basic research must provide breakthroughs in understanding, materials, and design to make a hydrogen-based energy system a vibrant and competitive force.(...)
Hydrogen can be converted to electricity in fuel cells, but the production cost of prototype fuel cells remains high: $3000 per kilowatt of power produced for prototype fuel cells (mass production could reduce this cost by a factor of 10 or more), compared with $30 per kilowatt for gasoline engines.
- Source: The Hydrogen Economy, George W. Crabtree, Mildred S. Dresselhaus, Michelle V. Buchanan, Physics Today, 04/12
As Hybrid Cars Multiply, So Do Carpooling Gripes, Washington Post
Excerpts: "I'd say 95 percent of the people who buy a Prius say it's to get into HOV [High Occupancy Vehicle = more than one person in a car, Ed.]," (...). "They talk about the tax break and the HOV, and once in a while they say they prefer it for the gas mileage as well."
(...) That year [2000, Ed.], there were 32 cars in all of Virginia with "clean fuel" tags (...).
By April 2003, that number had grown to 2,500 in Northern Virginia, and by the end of 2004 the region had 6,800 hybrid vehicles registered with "clean special fuel" plates.
Deflecting Near-Earth Space Hazards, NPR TOTN
Excerpts: We look at a new NASA probe on a deliberate collision course with a comet, and at efforts to protect planet Earth against other space-borne threats.
In Search Of Hidden Dimensions, Nature
Excerpts: (...) detect the extra dimensions predicted by the [string, Ed] theory (...)
(...) some of these extra dimensions might be as large as a millimetre (...). But gravity, they think, might be able to seep into these extra dimensions. (...).
(...) some of the energy created by particle collisions in the machine could escape into extra dimensions, carried off by leaking gravity, if those dimensions are large enough. The result would be an apparent violation of the conservation of energy - a dramatic sign that string theorists are on the right track.
The Long-Distance Thinker, Nature
Excerpts: [Loop quantum gravity, Ed] a framework in which physical laws do not break down at the Big Bang singularity (...). His results suggest that at extremely small scales, quantum gravitation can be repulsive, which prevents the collapse of space-time into a singularity. This effect, which would contradict general relativity, might be a consequence of the quantization of Einstein's equations, (...).
Freed from the singularity, Bojowald can now look back to a time 'before' the Big Bang. He finds an inverted universe on the other side - a mirror-image of ours - expanding outwards as time runs backwards.
Gorging Black Hole Makes Its Mark, Science NOW
Gaping holes. X-rays from hot gas in a cluster of galaxies (left) outline two "supercavities" cleared out by an eruption from a central black hole (artist's view, right). Credit: B. Mcnamara Et. Al. /Nasa/Cxc/Ohio University
Gigantic "super-cavities" in galaxy cluster reveal the most powerful eruption ever seen (...)
Radio images had revealed a classic double-sided jet of energy streaming away from this central galaxy. Astronomers assumed that a large black hole inside the galaxy gorged on infalling gas, spouting powerful jets into space from the superhot region close to the hole.
(...) the black hole has driven the jets by devouring an average of three times the mass of our sun each year for the last 100 million years.
TCE-hungry. Dehalococcoides consumes dangerous pollutants. Credit: Steve Zinder, Cornell University.
Genome sequence reveals how a bacterium breaks down toxic pollutants
For just about every substance, there's a microbe that eats it. That's even true for man-made pollutants that didn't exist 60 years ago.
Take Dehalococcoides ethenogenes. In 1997, microbiologist Steve Zinder of Cornell University isolated the microbe from sewage sludge contaminated with the chemical tetrachloroethene (PCE). The strain, it turned out, consumes PCE or its chemical cousin, the engine-degreasing chemical trichloroethene (TCE), as food. The chemicals are widely used by dry cleaners, electronics companies, and the military.
The Enigma of Prokaryotic Life in Deep Hypersaline Anoxic Basins, Science
Summary: Salt Survivors Immense salt deposits beneath the Mediterranean floor are the legacy of its having evaporated to dryness about 6 million years ago. Van der Wielen et al. (p. 121) have explored the microbiology of deep hypersaline anoxic remnants. A picture emerges of whole microbial communities that are far from being biogeochemical dead-ends. Rather they are contributing to global cycles while thriving in some of the most saline environments known.
- Source: The Enigma of Prokaryotic Life in Deep Hypersaline Anoxic Basins, Paul W. J. J. van der Wielen, Henk Bolhuis, Sara Borin, Daniele Daffonchio, Cesare Corselli, Laura Giuliano, Giuseppe D'Auria, Gert J. de Lange, Andreas Huebner, Sotirios P. Varnavas, John Thomson, Christian Tamburini, Danielle Marty, Terry J. McGenity, Kenneth N. Timmis, BioDeep Scientific Party, Science : 121-12, 05/01/07
Microbes Brave Briny Basins, Nature News
Inspired by microbes such as the Haloferax mediteranei bacterium, which survive in briny lakes, scientists sought and found new microbes in even saltier waters. ? SPL
A community of microorganisms has been discovered in one of the saltiest environments on Earth, ultra-saturated salt basins deep in the Mediterranean Sea. The salt solution there is so concentrated, microbiologists are mystified as to how the organisms are able to survive.
About 6 million years ago, the Mediterranean had dried up, (...). Over time, sediment covered the salty deposits in the desolate basin.
Now, places where these underwater salty deposits are exposed are exceptionally briny, containing up to 476 grams of magnesium chloride per litre.
Bridging The Gap, Nature
Excerpts: By looking at evolving tissue as a complex biological system, mathematical models can provide just such a holistic understanding. The use of agent-based models to interpret stem-cell systems is beginning to show promise in offering new ways of thinking about tissue evolution. In these models, cells are considered as distinct entities (or agents) positioned on an appropriate lattice, and simple cellular behaviours are prescribed, (...). But on the global scale, structure is seen to emerge from long-range summation of these low-level behaviours.
- Source: Bridging The Gap, Ben D. MacArthur, Richard O. C. Oreffo, DOI: 10.1038/433019a, Nature 433, 19, 05/01/06
Excerpts: They used the catalytic activity of platinum to propel tiny gold rods. In an aqueous solution, the platinum-tipped rods continuously converted hydrogen peroxide into oxygen and water. The oxygen-rich region lowered the surface tension between the tips of the rod and the liquid. Because the rest of the gold rod was attracted to the region of the low surface tension, the rod moved in that direction, generating more oxygen as it went. (...)
So by simply moving a magnet, the researchers could steer their rods.
Advances towards a General-Purpose Societal-Scale Human-Collective Problem-Solving Engine, arXiv
Abstract: Human collective intelligence has proved itself as an important factor in a society's ability to accomplish large-scale behavioral feats. As societies have grown in population-size, individuals have seen a decrease in their ability to activeily participate in the problem-solving processes of the group. Representative decision-making structures have been used as a modern solution to society's inadequate information-processing infrastructure. With computer and network technologies being further embedded within the fabric of society, the implementation of a general-purpose societal-scale human-collective problem-solving engine is envisioned as a means of furthering the collective-intelligence potential of society. This paper provides both a novel framework for creating collective intelligence systems and a method for implementing a representative and expertise system based on social-network theory.
Building a Smarter Search Engine, Business Week
Excerpts: Clusty also provides this laundry list of results. But on the left side of its results Web page, it provides folders entitled Navy, Music, and Harbor Seal. By clicking on any of these groups, individuals drill down into more topic-specific results.
To pull together the results, Clusty uses metasearch technology, which means it searches the results of other search engines and indexes, (...). Then it applies the artificial intelligence to pick out the major themes found within the results for each search and organizes them into folders.
Search Looks at the Big Picture, Wired
Excerpts: (...) visualization software that can identify objects contained within one of the web's fastest-growing content categories -- video streams. The Marvel software identifies groups of objects within a frame to form concepts that can be easily searched, such as an airplane with a cloud and sky backdrop that would be categorized as travel, (...).
Using people to scan video streams to label the content is too slow and costly, (...). The software can be trained to recognize images by providing it with a group of similar images, he said.
Excerpts: Such a solution must cover two principal aspects:
(...) Pile implements a new, non-hierarchical "architecture of logic" which the company refers to as ‘polylogic': "Pile is much closer to human thinking, which combines logic and synthetic operations and blends different logic domains". Polylogic computing will be easier and more intuitive, but requires a new understanding of data, representation and ordering, (...).
- reduce exponential explosion of complication and thus computing resources in traditional mechanical structures (e.g. databases) to a linear growth. This could be called the problem of "harnessing complexity".
- Enable scalable mapping of complex dynamic systems (e.g. social interactions, language, weather, foodwebs etc.) without exponential explosion of computing resources. This could be called the problem of "harvesting complexity".
The BlackBerry Brain Trust, Wired
Excerpts: Perimeter is among the handful of places that, over the coming decade or two, have the best chance of unifying relativity and quantum mechanics, one of the biggest goals in physics. Among other things, researchers are also working on the fundamentals of quantum computing. Of course, like all efforts to advance physics, Perimeter runs the risk of abject failure. It is 100 years since Einstein published his papers on relativity, and we're still grappling with problems that stumped him.
Games Win For Blu-Ray DVD Format, BBC News
Blu-ray DVDs will hold much more data
A Blu-ray disc will be able to store 50GB of high-quality data, while Toshiba's HD-DVD will hold 30GB.
Mr Doherty added that it was making sure the discs could satisfy all high-definition needs, including the ability to record onto the DVDs and smaller discs to fit into camcorders.
Both Toshiba and Blu-ray are hopeful that the emerging DVD format war, akin to the Betamax and VHS fight in the 1980s, can be resolved over the next year when next-generation DVD players start to come out.
TiVo Adds Portability to the Mix, NY Times
Excerpts: The new technology, called TiVoToGo, is neither a product nor a service. It's a software feature that TiVo, in a phased rollout, is beaming into existing TiVo recorders. (...)
TiVo, of course, is a digital video recorder - a box that records cable, satellite or antenna-based TV broadcasts onto a built-in hard drive. (...) TiVo effortlessly bends TV broadcasting to suit your schedule instead of the other way around, which explains why its customers tend to be wide-eyed TiVo boosters.
DirecTV Machine Will Compete With TiVo, NY Times
Excerpts: DirecTV subscribers using the new recorder will also be able to record several pay-per-view movies at a time (...).
DirecTV also said that it would offer local high-definition TV broadcasts in 12 markets beginning later this year. To increase its channel capacity, the company will launch several satellites designed to carry HDTV programming.
DirecTV will market a home media center by the end of this year that will permit customers to transmit programming stored on a digital recorder to any other television in the house.
Toyota Launches Robot Workforce, NEWS.com.au
Excerpts: The robots would be able to carry out multiple tasks simultaneously with their two arms, achieving efficiency unseen in human workers and matching the cheap wages of Chinese laborers, (...).
Japan's top automaker currently uses 3000 to 4000 less-advanced robots at its domestic factories but their use has been confined mostly to welding, painting and other potentially hazardous tasks, (...).
The new robots would also be used in finishing work, such as installation of seats and car interior fixtures, that have been too complex for conventional robots up to now, (...).
Super-selection Rules Modulating Complexity: An Overview, Chaos, Solitons & Fractals
Abstract: Complex systems comprising a large number of elements are potentially capable of finding themselves in a huge variety of states arising by combining the states of their parts. If such a combinatorial explosion were indeed materializing, the observed behavior would resemble to random noise. It is therefore essential that physically relevant complex systems be capable of developing mechanisms for selecting a meaningful subset of states out of the large set of a priori available states. In this communication some generic mechanisms for reducing complexity are analyzed and illustrated on case studies.
Power Laws, Pareto Distributions and Zipf's Law, arXiv
Abstract: When the probability of measuring a particular value of some quantity varies inversely as a power of that value, the quantity is said to follow a power law, also known variously as Zipf's law or the Pareto distribution. Power laws appear widely in physics, biology, earth and planetary sciences, economics and finance, computer science, demography and the social sciences. For instance, the distributions of the sizes of cities, earthquakes, forest fires, solar flares, moon craters and people's personal fortunes all appear to follow power laws. The origin of power-law behaviour has been a topic of debate in the scientific community for more than a century. Here we review some of the empirical evidence for the existence of power-law forms and the theories proposed to explain them.
Complex Challenges: Global Terroist Networks
The Spy Who Billed Me
Excerpts: In the post-9/11 rush to beef up intelligence, the government has outsourced everything from spy satellites to covert operations -- and well-connected companies are cashing in.
(...) critics are beginning to question whether private companies should be in the business of handling some of the government's most sensitive work. (...) the kind of military intelligence work (...) is particularly ripe for problems because intelligence agencies "operate under unusual authority." He adds: "I don't think the current oversight system is equipped to monitor the activities of contractors. That is one of the central lessons of the Abu Ghraib affair."
Detainee Seeking to Bar His Transfer, NY Times
Excerpts: A lawyer for one of the detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, has asked the federal district court here to block the Bush administration from sending the detainee to Egypt, asserting that he would be tortured there.
The motion was filed in November on behalf of the detainee, Mamdouh Habib, and asserts that he was tortured in an Egyptian prison for nearly six months in 2001 before being transferred to Guantánamo. The filing, which was declassified and released on Wednesday, includes details of the alleged torture, (...).
Guantánamo - An Icon Of Lawlessness
Excerpts: Also in December, six months after the US Supreme Court's ruling, the government notified the detainees that they can file habeas corpus petitions in federal court. It even gave them the address of a US District Court in which to file them. In this Kafkaesque world of Guantánamo, however, the government has argued to that very same court that the detainees have no basis in constitutional or international law on which to challenge the lawfulness of their detentions. It maintains that review by the Combatant Status Review Tribunal and the Administrative Review Board is more than sufficient due process. Meanwhile, the vast majority of the detainees have still not had access to lawyers.
Links & Snippets
- Ring Robber, Science News. Images taken by the Cassini spacecraft provide graphic evidence of Saturn's moon Prometheus stealing particles from the planet's narrow F ring.
- Even Einstein Had His Off Days, Simon Singh, 05/01/02, NYTimes, While we should laud Einstein's achievements, we may learn a more valuable lesson by investigating his greatest failure.
- Tech Gadget Show Features Hottest Products, 05/01/04, NYTimes/AP
- Giant Eagle had Lilliputian Origins, Fiona Proffitt, 05/01/04,
Fearsome predator. Haast's eagle evolved rapidly from a small ancestor, allowing it to attack even 200 kilogram moas. Credit: John Megahan
- Stopping the Bum's Rush, Paul Krugman, 05/01/04, NYTimes
- Terror Shows Only In The Eyes, Roxanne Khamsi, 05/01/05, Nature News, Knowing where to look is key to recognizing others' emotions.
- Inadequate Warning System Left Asia At The Mercy Of Tsunami, Emma Marris, 05/01/05, Nature News, Scientists and governments were caught unprepared.
- Election Results to Be Certified, With Little Fuss From Kerry, Sheryl Gay Stolberg,, 05/01/06, NYTimes
- Primordial Fungus, Erik Stokstad, 05/01/06,
New fossils date back to long before the dawn of animals ScienceNOW
Loopy. Fused filaments suggest that this fossil was an ancient fungus. Credit: N. J. Butterfield
- Linguistic Perception: Neural Processing Of A Whistled Language, Manuel Carreiras, Jorge Lopez, Francisco Rivero, David Corina, 05/01/06, Nature 433, 31 - 32 A rare surrogate of Spanish highlights the adaptability of the brain's language regions., DOI: 10.1038/433031a
- A Mechanism For Impaired Fear Recognition After Amygdala Damage, Ralph Adolphs, Frederic Gosselin, Tony W. Buchanan, Daniel Tranel, Philippe Schyns, Antonio R. Damasio, 05/01/06, Nature 433, 68 - 72, DOI: 10.1038/nature03086
- Coral 230Th Dating of the Imposition of a Ritual Control Hierarchy in Precontact Hawaii, Patrick V. Kirch, Warren D. Sharp, 05/01/07, Science : 102-10
- CRP as Key as Cholesterol?, 05/01/07, NPR TOTN,A new study says that levels of a blood protein known as CRP may be as important as cholesterol levels in predicting the risk of heart disease.
- Writer Crichton Questions Global Warming Fears, 05/01/07, NPR TOTN, In his new book State of Fear, Michael Crichton blends fact with fiction in a critical look at the science of global warming. The premise asks whether concerns about climate change are overblown. We speak with Crichton about his book and about the politics of the global warming debate.
- Gigantic Photoresponse in -Filled-Band Organic Salt (EDO-TTF)2PF6, Matthieu Chollet, Laurent Guerin, Naoki Uchida, Souichi Fukaya, Hiroaki Shimoda, Tadahiko Ishikawa, Kazunari Matsuda, Takumi Hasegawa, Akira Ota, Hideki Yamochi, Gunzi Saito, Ryoko Tazaki, Shin-ichi Adachi, Shin-ya Koshihara, 05/01/07, Science : 86-89.
- Normalization of Tumor Vasculature: An Emerging Concept in Antiangiogenic Therapy, 05/01/07, Rakesh K. Jain Science : 58-62 In clinical trials, "anti-angiogenic" drugs, which are designed to destroy the blood vessels that feed tumors, have limited efficacy when administered as single agents.
- A Comprehensive Survey of the Plasmodium Life Cycle by Genomic, Transcriptomic, and Proteomic Analyses, Neil Hall, Marianna Karras, J. Dale Raine, Jane M. Carlton, Taco W. A. Kooij, Matthew Berriman, Laurence Florens, Christoph S. Janssen, Arnab Pain, Georges K. Christophides, Keith James, Kim Rutherford, Barbara Harris, David Harris, Carol Churcher, Michael A. Quail, Doug Ormond, Jon Doggett, Holly E. Trueman, Jacqui Mendoza, Shelby L. Bidwell, Marie-Adele Rajandream, Daniel J. Carucci, John R. Yates, III, Fotis C. Kafatos, Chris J. Janse, Bart Barrell, C. Michael R. Turner, Andrew P. Waters, Robert E. Sinden, 05/01/07, Science : 82-86. (...) transcriptional profiling and proteomic analysis of several species of parasite has helped tease apart aspects of the little understood sexual cycle of these parasites.
- Genome Sequence of the PCE-Dechlorinating Bacterium Dehalococcoides ethenogenes, Rekha Seshadri, Lorenz Adrian, Derrick E. Fouts, Jonathan A. Eisen, Adam M. Phillippy, Barbara A. Methe, Naomi L. Ward, William C. Nelson, Robert T. Deboy, Hoda M. Khouri, James F. Kolonay, Robert J. Dodson, Sean C. Daugherty, Lauren M. Brinkac, Steven A. Sullivan, Ramana Madupu, Karen E. Nelson, Katherine H. Kang, Marjorie Impraim, Kevin Tran, Jeffrey M. Robinson, Heather A. Forberger, Claire M. Fraser, Stephen H. Zinder, John F. Heidelberg, 05/01/07, Science : 105-108 Dehalococcoides ethenogenes is the only bacterium known to reductively dechlorinate groundwater pollutants, tetrachloroethene (PCE) and trichloroethene (TCE), to ethylene.
- Decoding Calcium Signaling, Monte M. Winslow, Gerald R. Crabtree, 05/01/07, Science : 56-57.
- Spindle Multipolarity Is Prevented by Centrosomal Clustering, Nicholas J. Quintyne, Janet E. Reing, Diane R. Hoffelder, Susanne M. Golli, , William S. Saunders, 05/01/07, Science : 127-129.
- The Centromeric Protein Sgo1 Is Required to Sense Lack of Tension on Mitotic Chromosomes, Vahan B. Indjeian, Bodo M. Stern, Andrew W. Murray, 05/01/07, Science : 130-133.
- Atom Collision-Induced Resistivity of Carbon Nanotubes, Hugo E. Romero, Kim Bolton, Arne Ros?n, Peter C. Eklund, 05/01/07, Science: 89-93
- Disks Around Stars and the Growth of Planetary Systems, Jane S. Greaves, 05/01/07, Science : 68-71
- The Kuiper Belt and the Solar System's Comet Disk, Brett Gladman, 05/01/07, Science : 71-75
- Black Hole Accretion, Ramesh Narayan, Eliot Quataert, 05/01/07, Science : 77-80
- Oldest Civilization in the Americas Revealed, Charles C. Mann, 05/01/07, Science : 34-35
- Carbon Trading Grows Into New Year, Michael Hopkin, 05/01/07, Nature News, Volume rises as price falls in first week of EU trading scheme.
- N Korea Wages War On Long Hair, Men's Hairstyles Reflect Their 'Ideological Spirit', 05/01/08, BBC, North Korea has launched an intensive media assault on its latest arch enemy - the wrong haircut.
- Reflections On Insecticides: Mirror Forms Of Agrochemicals Set Risk, 05/01/08, ScienceNews, The toxicity of an insecticide or how long it persists in the environment depends on which mirror-image form of the chemical is present.
- Bad Combo? Some Antidepressants May Hamper Breast Cancer Drug, 05/01/08, ScienceNews, Certain widely used antidepressants and a woman's own genes might diminish the effect of tamoxifen, a frontline breast cancer drug.
- For Sale: One Biosphere, Gently Used, 05/01/09, NPR WE, NPR's Ted Robbins reports that the 3-acre terrarium known as Biosphere 2 is up for sale. Billionaire Ed Bass funded the facility, which contained several self-sufficient earth habitats within a sealed greenhouse-like structure. But infighting and financial problems resulted in the original experiment being abandoned.
- Exploring Ocean Life And Color On The Internet, 2004/01/03, ScienceDaily & National Aeronautic And Space Administration
- Elegant Shape Of Eiffel Tower Solved Mathematically By University Of Colorado Professor, 2004/01/07, ScienceDaily & University Of Colorado
- Pattern Formation in a Stochastic Model of Cancer Growth, Anna Ochab-Marcinek, 2004/09/21, arXiv, DOI: q-bio.CB/0501007
- Evolutionary Dynamics in Complex Networks of Competing Boolean Agents, Baosheng Yuan, Bing-Hong Wang, Kan Chen, 2004/11/26, arXiv, DOI: cond-mat/0411664
- Genetic Networks with Canalyzing Boolean Rules are Always Stable, Stuart Kauffman, Carsten Peterson, Björn Samuelsson, Carl Troein, 2004/11/30, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 101 (2004), 17102-17107 (Open Access), DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0407783101
- Pigeons Shift Their Preference Toward Locations Of Food That Take More Effort To Obtain, A. M. Friedrich, T. R. Zentall - zentalluky.edu, 2004/11/30, online 2004/08/28, Behavioural Processes, DOI: 10.1016/j.beproc.2004.07.001
- Complex Regulatory Control in Boolean Networks, L. Correale, M. Leone, A. Pagnani, M. Weigt, R. Zecchina, 2004/12/17, arXiv, DOI: cond-mat/0412443
- Essential Properties of Language from the Point of View of Autopoiesis, Kravchenko, Prof. A.V., 2004/12/28, Cogprints
- Hierarchical Characterization of Complex Networks, Luciano da Fontoura Costa, 2005/01/01, arXiv, DOI: cond-mat/0412761
- Stem Cells Could Reveal Secrets Of Illness In Later Life, 2005/01/06, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
- Stimulus Complexity Dependent Memory Impairment And Changes In Motor Performance After Deletion Of The Neuronal Gap Junction Protein Connexin36 In Mice, C. Frisch, M. A. De S.-Silva, G. Söhl, M. Güldenagel, K. Willecke, J.P. Huston - hustonuni-duesseldorf.de, E. Derea, 2005/02/10, Online 2004/08/17, Behavioural Brain Research, DOI: 10.1016/j.bbr.2004.06.023
- On The Control Of Chaotic Systems Via Symbolic Time Series Analysis, C. Piccardi, Dec. 2004, online 2004/10/28, Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science, DOI: 10.1063/1.1796071
- Estimation Of Initial Conditions And Parameters Of A Chaotic Evolution Process From A Short Time Series, F. Lu, D. Xu, G. Wen, Dec. 2004, online 2004/11/01, Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science, DOI: 10.1063/1.1811548
- The Déjà Vu Illusion, A. S. Brown - abrownsmu.edu, Dec. 2004, Online 2004/11/24, Current Directions in Psychological Science, DOI: 10.1111/j.0963-7214.2004.00320.x
- Relationships, Human Behavior, And Psychological Science, H. T. Reis - reispsych.rochester.edu, W. A. Collins, Dec. 2004, Online 2004/11/24, Current Directions in Psychological Science, DOI: 10.1111/j.0963-7214.2004.00315.x
- The Spatial Spread Of Invasions: New Developments In Theory And Evidence, A. Hastings, K. Cuddington - amhastingsucdavis.edu, K. Cuddington, K. F. Davies, C. J. Dugaw, S. Elmendorf, A. Freestone, S. Harrison, M. Holland, J. Lambrinos, U. Malvadkar, B. A. Melbourne, K. Moore, C. Taylor, D. Thomson, Jan. 2005, Online 2004/11/04, Ecology Letters, DOI: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2004.00687.x
- Uncertainty About Uncertainty And Delay In Bargaining, Y. Feinberg - yossigsb.stanford.edu, Andrzej Skrzypacz - andygsb.stanford.edu, Jan. 2005, Online 2004/12/03, Econometrica, DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0262.2005.00565.x
- Why Environmental Scientists Are Becoming Bayesians, J. S. Clark - jimclarkduke.edu, Jan. 2005, Online 2004/12/15, Ecology Letters, DOI: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2004.00702.x
- Facts, Fiction, And The Fourth Estate: The Washington Post And "Jimmy's World", W. L. Anderson - bandersonfrostburg.edu, Nov. 2004, Online 2004/12/08, American Journal of Economics and Sociology, DOI: 10.1111/j.1536-7150.2004.00331.x
- Musical Constructions Of Nationalism: A Comparative Study Of Bartók And Stravinsky, B. Brincker, J. Brincker, Oct. 2004, online 2004/10/20, Nations and Nationalism, DOI: 10.1111/j.1354-5078.2004.00183.x
1st European Conference on Complex Systems, Torino, Italy, 04/12/5-7
Neurobiological Foundation For The Meaning Of Information, Kolkata, India, Conference Webcast, 04/11/22-25
- ALife 9: Ninth International Conference on Artificial Life, Boston, MA, 04/09/12-15
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
Online Course on Genetic Programming, with Lee Altenberg, University of Hawaii Outreach College 2005/01/10 to 2005/05/13.
- Complex Systems and International Security, Washington, DC, 05/02/01
- Kondratieff Waves, Warfare And World Security, NATO Advanced Research Workshop
, Covilh? Portugal, 05/02/14-17
- Physik seit Einstein,
Berlin, Germany, 05/03/04-09
- 2005 Meeting Arbeitskreis
Physik sozio-oekonomischer Systeme, AKSOE (Socio-Economic-Physics)
- 2005 World Exposition "
Nature's Wisdom, Aichi, Japan, 05/03/25-09/25
- FINCO 2005: Foundations Of Interactive Computation, Edinburgh, Scotland, 05/04/09
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
2005 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show
Nanotech 2005, Anaheim, California, U.S.A., 05/05/08-12
- 2ndShanghai Intl Symposium on Nonlinear Science and Applications, Shanghai, 05/06/03-07
IEEE Swarm Intelligence Symposium
Pasadena, California, USA, 05/06/08-10
- Powders & Grains 2005, Stuttgart, Germany, 05/06/18-22
- 6th Intl Conf Symmetry in Nonlinear Mathematical Physics, Kiev, Ukraine, 05/06/20-26
- Workshop on Complexity and Policy Analysis, Cork, Ireland, 05/06/22-24
2005 Genetic And Evolutionary Computation Conference (GECCO-2005), Washington, DC, USA, 05/06/25-29
5th Gathering on Biosemiotics, Urbino, Italy, 05/07/22-24
- Soc for Chaos Theory in Psychology & Life Sciences
15th Annual Intl Conf, Denver, CO, USA, 05/08/04-06
- 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
CSDS-2005 Intl Conf on CONTROL AND SYNCHRONIZATION OF DYNAMICAL SYSTEMS , Leon, Guanajuato, MEXICO, 05/10/04-07
3rd International Complexity Science and Educational Research Conference, Robert, Louisiana, 05/11/20-22, see also: Complicity: An International Journal of Complexity and Education, Inaugural issue - Free Online Access