Excerpts: The trouble now is that the world faces a number of challenges, both long- and short-term, that are far from well understood: how to preserve the environment, ensure the future of Social Security, guard against terrorism and manage the effects of novel technology. These problems are simply too complex and contingent for scientists to make definitive predictions. In the presence of such deep uncertainty, the machinery of prediction and decision making seizes up. Traditional analytical approaches gravitate to the well-understood parts of the challenge and shy away from the rest..
- Source: Shaping the Future, Steven W. Popper, Robert J. Lempert, Steven C. Bankes, Scientific American, 05/03/28
Building Trust in the Brain, Science Now
Tête-à-tête. The brain activity of an investor (left) and trustee in an economic exchange game shed light on the neural basis of trust.
CREDIT: R. Montague
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans of the trustees' brains during the transactions revealed that activity in a region called the caudate nucleus was greatest for rounds in which the investor showed benevolent reciprocity and most subdued when the investor showed malevolent reciprocity. Moreover, caudate activity rose and fell with changes in the amount of money trustees returned to their investors on the subsequent round. (...) reflects both the fairness of the investor's decisions and the trustee's intention to repay those decisions with trust (or not).
Getting to Know You: Reputation and Trust in a Two-Person Economic Exchange, Science
Excerpts: Using a multiround version of an economic exchange (trust game), we report that reciprocity expressed by one player strongly predicts future trust expressed by their partner-a behavioral finding mirrored by neural responses in the dorsal striatum. (...) Response magnitude correlated with the "intention to trust" on the next play of the game, and the peak of these "intention to trust" responses shifted its time of occurrence by 14 seconds as player reputations developed. (...) common to reinforcement learning models, but in the context of a social exchange.
Economic Game Shows How the Brain Builds Trust, Science
Excerpts: The research exemplifies the fledgling field of neuroeconomics, which combines the brain imaging tools of neuroscience with the exchange games economists have invented to probe how people behave during financial transactions. It's also one of the first studies in which the brains of two people were scanned simultaneously during a social interaction. Two volunteers played a trust game from inside functional magnetic resonance imaging scanners, one at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena and the other at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.
From Underdogs To Tigers: The Rise And Growth Of The Software Industry, OUP Book Review
Excerpt: In 1980 the Indian software industry was practically non-existent. By the 1990s the industry was one of the largest employers in manufacturing. Similar patterns of growth can be found in other emerging economies. So given that the software industry is commonly viewed as a high-tech industry, how is it that such spectacular growth has occurred in countries where high-tech industries would not seem likely to develop? This book examines the reasons behind this phenomenon, and asks whether it suggests a new model of economic development. (...)
Free Trade May Have Finished Off Neanderthals, New Scientist
Excerpts: (...) humans, who joined Neanderthals in Europe about 40,000 years ago, specialised and traded both within and between regions. The evidence includes complex living quarters (...).
There is also evidence that the early humans, mainly one population called the Gravettians, imported materials. (...)
Shogren tested his theory with simulations of population growth. He even gave the Neanderthals, who were larger than Homo sapiens, a head start by assuming they were better hunters and individually brought home more meat - which may or may not be true.
Income Inequality And Working-Age Mortality: A Cross-Sectional Analysis, J. Urban Health
Excerpts: The relationship between income inequality and mortality has come into question as of late from many within-country studies. This article examines the relationship between income inequality and working-age mortality for metropolitan areas (MAs) in Australia, Canada, Great Britain, Sweden, and the United States to provide a fuller understanding of national contexts that produce associations between inequality and mortality (...) there was a significant relationship (...). A hypothetical increase in the share of income to the poorest half of households of 1% was associated with a decline in working-age mortality of over 21 deaths per 100,000. (...)
- Source: Metropolitan Income Inequality And Working-Age Mortality: A Cross-Sectional Analysis Using Comparable Data From Five Countries, N. A. Ross - nancy.rossmcgill.ca, D. Dorling, J. R. Dunn, G. Henriksson, J. Glover, J. Lynch, G. R. Weitoft, DOI: 10.1093/jurban/jti012, Journal of Urban Health, Mar. 1 2005, online 2005/02/28
- Contributed by Pritha Das - prithadas01yahoo.com
Black Holes 'Do Not Exist', Nature
(...) quantum physicists argued that strange things do happen at an event horizon: matter governed by quantum laws becomes hypersensitive to slight disturbances. (...)
Black holes, such as the one pictured in this artist's impression, may in fact be pockets of 'dark energy'. (c) ESA/NASA
This strange behaviour, (...), is the signature of a 'quantum phase transition' of space-time. (...) a star doesn't simply collapse to form a black hole; instead, the space-time inside it becomes filled with dark energy (...).
Outside the 'surface' of a dark-energy star, it behaves much like a black hole, (...). But inside, the 'negative' gravity of dark energy may cause matter to bounce back out again.
Star Packed: Super Cluster Is First To Be Detected In Milky Way, Science News
Imagine cramming half-a-million bright young stars into the solar system. Jammed that tightly, they would blast each other with radiation, and some might even coalesce into a black hole.
Crowded Field. The densest cluster of stars (center) that's been detected in the Milky Way. ESO
Known as super star clusters, such compact groupings had been detected only in remote galaxies. Now, astronomers have found a super star cluster in the Milky Way.
Excerpts: Complex flow patterns in the earth's molten outer core resemble two-dimensional computer simulations of turbulent convection. (...), scientists are limited to studying the larger plumes typical of laminar flow, which is akin to hot mineral oil rising through a lava lamp. Computers are so far incapable of resolving the much more complicated calculations associated with 3-D turbulent flow in the earth's core.(...)
Regions where the direction of magnetic flux is opposite that for the rest of the hemisphere arise when twisted magnetic fields occasionally burst above the earth's core.
Excerpts: Essentially the ribo-regulator enables scientists to dictate protein production, with close to 100 percent accuracy and efficiency. Others quickly improved on the ribo-regulator. Richard Mulligan (...) designed one that can be activated when a specific molecule is added to mouse cells. If these technologies prove successful inside humans, a person's cells could be turned into pharmaceutical plants. Pills would be popped only to turn the micro factories on or off.
"I never would have dreamed that within a year this technology would already be working in mammals," (...).
Evolution: Where We're Hot, They're Not, Science
Excerpts: Homologous recombination, the exchange of material between chromosome pairs during meiosis, plays several key roles in diploid organisms. It produces new combinations of alleles, greatly increasing the potential for adaptive diversity. (...) It is an essential step in recombination-mediated repair of double-strand breaks in DNA. Defects in this crucial repair process can give rise to inherited diseases such as familial breast cancer.
(...) Despite 99% identity between human and chimpanzee DNA sequences, there is virtually no overlap between these two species in the locations of their recombination hotspots.
Walking Made Simple, Science
Excerpts: [Traditional robots, Ed.] require complex, fast, precise control mechanisms, and use far more energy than a walking human would. In contrast, passive-dynamic walking robots are simple mechanical devices composed of rigid parts connected by joints that are able to walk in a stable fashion down a slope even though they have no motors or controllers. (...) design of several new robots inspired by passive-dynamic walkers. These new robots have much simpler control systems than those of powered robots, but walk at least as well as they do, and at lower energy cost.
Beyond a Joke: From Animal Laughter to Human Joy?, Science
Excerpts: In the beginning was the word...but was the word funny? Research suggests that the capacity for human laughter preceded the capacity for speech during evolution of the brain. Indeed, neural circuits for laughter exist in very ancient regions of the brain, and ancestral forms of play and laughter existed in other animals eons before we humans came along with our hahahas and verbal repartee. Recent studies in rats, dogs, and chimps are providing evidence that laughter and joy may not be uniquely human traits.
Animal Laughs No Joke Says Expert, BBC News
Rats emit chirps when they are at play
(...) neural circuits for laughter exist in "ancient" parts of our brain, (...).
And when rats play, they make chirps which some scientists associate with positive emotional feelings.
When rats are tickled in a playful way, they become socially bonded to humans and are rapidly conditioned to seek tickles, the US neuroscientist explains in Science.
The chirping sounds could be provoked by nerve circuitry in the brain which releases the neurotransmitter dopamine. These dopamine circuits also light up in the human brain during human amusement.
Excerpts: Humans and other animals share a heritage of economic tendencies--including cooperation, repayment of favors and resentment at being shortchanged (...) The crab interactions would be more interesting if the animals struck deals along the lines of "you can have my house if I can have that dead fish." Hermit crabs are not deal makers, though, and in fact have no qualms about evicting homeowners by force. Other, more social animals do negotiate, however, and their approach to the exchange of resources and services helps us understand how and why human economic behavior may have evolved.
Researchers Locate "Funny" Gene, Science Now
Excerpts: Scientists today announced they have located a gene apparently responsible for a person's sense of humor. The finding may provide potential drug targets for those who "just don't get it."
Scientists have debated for years whether humans are really unique among other animals in their ability to find things funny. One thing that most researchers do agree on, however, is that, though widespread, the ability is not shared by all people. "Just look at undertakers and politicians," says Horace Epstein, a geneticist at the Lachen Institute in Trenton, New Jersey.
Confronting The Human Dilemma, Nature
Excerpts: Although there has been a steady increase in many indicators of human well-being in many parts of the world - such as an increase in personal wealth, a longer lifespan and access to plentiful and inexpensive food - these benefits have not been universally distributed. There are still more than one billion people surviving on less than one dollar a day and nearly that many are undernourished. About 1.1 billion people lack access to a basic water supply and more than 2.6 billion lack access to basic sanitation.
Ecology: Ecosystem Services, Science
Excerpts: Rather than solely chart pristine habitats and count species, as many surveys have done, the $20 million Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) put people and their needs front and center. At its core was the question: How well can ecosystems continue to provide the so-called services that people depend on but so often take for granted? These include not just the food and timber already traded on international markets but also assets that are harder to measure in dollar values, such as flood protection and resistance to new infectious diseases.
Planet In Peril: Humans Push Natural Systems To The Brink, New Scientist
Excerpts: Unlike previous ecological assessments, the MA takes a global overview of both the state of ecosystems and their impact on human well-being. UN secretary general Kofi Annan called it "an unprecedented contribution to our global mission for development, sustainability and peace." Specifically, the MA reports that human activity has changed ecosystems more rapidly and extensively in the past 50 years than at any other time in human history.
(...) international environmental conventions were involved from an early stage. They shaped the report and have set up formal links.
Planet In Peril: Civilisation's Litany Of Destruction, New Scientist
Excerpts: "There are no surprises - but that's good," says Stuart Pimm, an ecologist at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. "It means a group of people have pulled all the numbers together in a way thousands of scientists can sign off on."
The most obvious changes are converting natural ecosystems to farmland and felling forests for lumber and pulp (...). Forests have been almost completely eradicated from 25 countries, and in another 29 the area covered by forest has fallen by more than 90 per cent.
Detritus Of Life Abounds In The Atmosphere, New Scientist
Excerpts: Could dandruff be altering the world's climate? Along with fur, algae, pollen, fungi, bacteria, viruses and various other "bio-aerosols" wafting around in the atmosphere, it may well be.
(...) tiny fragments of biological detritus are a major component of the atmosphere, controlling the weather and forming a previously hidden microbial metropolis in the skies. Besides their climatic influence, they may even be spreading diseases across the globe.
(...) organic detritus, much of it in the form of biological cells, make up about 25% of the atmospheric aerosol.
Mathematics: 'Cranky' Proof Reveals Hidden Regularities, Science
Excerpts: The proof involves the partition function, which counts the number of ways you can reach any integer by adding other positive integers. (...)
In 1910 or so, Indian mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujan noticed that not only the fourth partition number but every fifth partition number after it is also divisible by 5. What's more, every seventh partition number (beginning with 7) is divisible by 7, and every eleventh partition number (beginning with 11) is divisible by 11. There, mysteriously, the pattern stops.
A State Of Ignorance, Nature
Excerpts: Some severely brain-damaged patients are described as being in a minimally conscious state. These patients are occasionally able to respond to commands and are thought to have a slightly better chance of some recovery.
(...) researchers probed the brains of two such patients using functional magnetic resonance imaging while relatives read them personal stories. The researchers found activity in language networks that was similar to that of healthy individuals. Other scans have shown the brain regions that are physically damaged, but not which circuits can respond to stimuli.
The Janus Face Of Mnemosyne, Nature
Excerpts: We all know from personal experience and introspection (research tools once cherished and now mostly disrespected) that mental excursions can be made not only to the past, but also to the future. (...) This proposed selection-for-imagination might even be blamed for the inherent fallibility of our recollective faculty. Despite this, attempts to liken imagination to memory are still considered shaky by many; the latter is considered factual data (which it is not), the former the subject matter of poets and an unsubstantiated, inferior form of knowledge.
To Train The Eye, Keep It Simple: Human Eyes Learn Best In An Uncluttered Setting, Innovations-Report
Excerpts: If athletes, soldiers and drivers must perform every day in visually messy environments, common sense suggests that any visual training they receive should include distractions and disorder. New research from the University of Southern California and UC Irvine suggests common sense is wrong in this case. The human vision system learns best in "clear display" conditions without visual noise, said (...). "Soldiers, for example, have to operate with goggles and all kinds of (visual) devices. Pilots have other kinds of goggles, video displays. They operate in different environments with different kinds of noise and different kinds of interference." (...)
Researchers Call For Expanding The Repertoire In Studying Birdsong, ScienceDaily
Excerpts: A pair of leading scientists who study songbirds as models for understanding the human brain and how humans acquire language say it's time for the burgeoning field to begin singing a different tune and study a wider variety of species. (...) say that while a great deal of knowledge has been gleaned by studying songbirds over the past three decades, a narrow focus on just a few species only provides a fragmentary picture of how the brains of nearly 4,000 songbird species function. (...) there is much greater diversity in how and when birds learn to sing than is generally recognized. (...)
Digital Future "When Things Start to Think", c-span
Excerpts: Neil Gershenfeld, director of the Center for Bits and Atoms at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Gershenfeld is the author of "When Things Start to Think." His new concept Internet Zero (0) proposes a new infrastructure for the existing Internet that would give an IP address to all electronic devices - from light bulbs to Internet addresses and URLs - and interconnect them directly, thereby eliminating much intermediating code and server technology. His topic is "From the Library of Information to the Library of Things."
Brazil: Free Software's Biggest and Best Friend, NY Times
Excerpts: Since taking office two years ago, President Luiz In?cio Lula da Silva has turned Brazil into a tropical outpost of the free software movement.
On The Internet, 2nd (And 3rd And . . . ) Opinions, NY Times
Abstract: Sarah Boxer Critic's Notebook discusses cultural artifacts on the Internet; says traditional objects of culture such as books, movies and art are being replaced by reviews of reviews and reviewers, lists, links to lists, etc; list of lists on the Web; (M)
Editor's Note: In a human brain much of the information processing is done in hierarchical layers where details of information are integrated into increasingly abstract but useful features such as a name assigned to a familiar face. Maybe patterns of trends can be extracted from these lists of lists on the Internet.
The Graying Of America And Support For Funding The Nation's Schools, Public Opinion Quarterly
Excerpt: Surveys spanning more than 35 years show that older Americans are less likely than younger citizens to endorse increased spending on public schools. The conventional explanation for this generational cleavage presumes that citizens' interests change as they approach or transition into retirement-the absence of school-age children and fixed incomes combine to lower their interest in supporting spending increases for public education. We show that the conventional wisdom is incorrect, based on a confusion of age and cohort effects. Cohort-period analysis shows that every cohort becomes more supportive of educational spending, rather than less, as they reach their 60s and 70s. (...)
Dying Honeybees Threaten Agriculture Industry, NPR Day to Day
Excerpts: California's almond harvest is in jeopardy after more than half of the state's bees have died due to a parasite. NPR's Alex Chadwick speaks to Ira Flatow, host of Talk of the Nation Science Friday, about how the scourge is now threatening the nation's agriculture.
Pandemic Bug Returns As Community MRSA Strain, New Scientist
Excerpts: A virulent type of community-acquired MRSA ¡§superbug¡¨ that attacks healthy, young people has been found to be the descendent of a penicillin-resistant strain that caused serious infections worldwide 50 years ago.
Scientists fear that this offspring superbug strain - which causes serious boils and abscesses and can lead to a severe pneumonia - could pose a major public health threat in the future.
Infectious Diseases: A Puzzling Outbreak of Marburg Disease, Science
Excerpts: To scientists, both the outbreak's location and its manifestation are unusual. Marburg was known to occur only in Eastern and Central Africa, and "based on geography, you'd think this had to be Ebola," (...). (...) about 75% of cases occurred in young children, also strange for a hemorrhagic fever virus, (...). Initial sequencing, however, does not suggest it's an unusual strain, (...).
discovered in 1967, when a shipment of monkeys from Uganda caused simultaneous outbreaks in the German towns of Marburg and Frankfurt and in Belgrade, (...).
Marburg Virus Outbreak In Africa, Nature
Excerpts: An outbreak of rare and deadly Marburg haemorrhagic fever has claimed more than 100 lives in central Africa. Where does the virus come from, and how serious a potential killer is it likely to be?
Marburg is a rare and deadly virus, of the same family as Ebola, that triggers haemorrhagic fever. It infects the cells lining the blood vessels and a subset of the body's immune cells, causing capillaries to leak fluid.
The disease first appeared there in October 2004 but was only identified as Marburg virus last week.
Excerpts: The old axiom "one gene, one protein" no longer holds true. The more complex an organism, the more likely it became that way by extracting multiple protein meanings from individual genes
Unnatural Amino Acid Could Prove Boon for Protein Therapeutics, Science
Excerpts: Protein-based therapeutics are a bright spot for drug companies in troubled times. Their annual market is expected to surpass $50 billion by 2010. But proteins can suffer from problems not found with conventional small-molecule drugs. Some trigger immune reactions, and proteases and other compounds inside the body can quickly chop them up and clear them out. Cloaking protein drugs with a polymer called polyethylene glycol (PEG) can help hide them from the immune system. But it also makes some protein drugs less reliable (...).
When I Grow Up. These embryonic stem cells are in the process of differentiating into nerve cells. S. O'Shea
The body's native stem cells differentiate on their own in response to chemical messages. Once such a signal turns on a group of genes, the cells follow a one-way path to becoming a particular tissue. (...).
In the lab, making stem cells differentiate into predictable cell types has proved difficult, especially for embryonic cells, which have been isolated from people only since 1998.
"Stem cells are a dynamic, living system. Making them into what you want them to be is almost like trying to herd cats," (...).
Nanofibers Seed Blood Vessels, Science
Excerpts: Researchers have made heady progress in regenerating tissues such as cartilage and skin, which either don't require an extensive blood supply or are thin enough to tap into nearby blood vessels. They've had far more trouble regenerating thick tissues such as heart muscle that require a blood supply throughout. But nanotechnology may soon provide some help.
(...), reported that his team has developed a novel variety of self-assembling nanofibers that strongly promote the growth of new blood vessels both in cell cultures and preliminary animal tests.
Early riser. A newly discovered mutation may cause some people to wake at very early hours. Credit: Digital Vision
Scientists have identified a second mutation that leads to an inherited form of perpetual jet lag. Sufferers of Familial Advanced Sleep Phase Syndrome (FASPS) get sleepy around 6 p.m. and are wide awake again at 4 a.m. The find gives researchers new insights into the proteins that control sleepiness and provides a promising target for those searching for better and safer sleeping pills or jet-lag treatments.
FASPS was first characterized in 1999, and scientists have been searching since then for the genes that cause it.
Crippling A Single Protein Combats Arthritis, Nature
Excerpts: Knocking out a single gene in mice brings arthritis to a grinding halt, scientists have found. The discovery may herald treatments for people who suffer from the crippling disease.
Osteoarthritis occurs when the cushioning cartilage around joints gradually breaks down, triggering pain, stiffness or other symptoms. It affects more than half of people aged over 65. (...)
(...) investigated a family of enzymes, called aggrecanases, that are thought to contribute to osteoarthritis by chewing up a vital component of cartilage that makes it tough and elastic.
Excerpts: Fattening revelations¡Xand new mysteries¡Xabout the hunger hormone Recent studies have begun pointing to a wide variety of factors, including body weight, food choices, and lack of sleep, by which we can unwittingly alter not only when we experience hunger but also what items appear appetizing and how much food it takes to trigger a feeling that we've had enough.
Structural Biology: DNA Search And Rescue, Nature
Excerpts: How do DNA-repair enzymes find aberrant nucleotides among the myriad of normal ones? One enzyme has been caught in the act of checking for damage, providing clues to its quality-control process.
DNA-repair enzymes amaze us with their ability to search through vast tracts of DNA to find subtle anomalies in the structure. The human repair enzyme 8-oxoguanine glycosylase (hOGG1) is particularly impressive in this regard because it efficiently removes 8-oxoguanine (oxoG), a damaged guanine (G) base containing an extra oxygen atom, and ignores undamaged bases.
Evolutionary Biology: Why Sex Is Good, Nature
Excerpts: (...) rigorous experiment with yeast, showing that a sexual population evolves faster than an asexual population when challenged by a novel environment.
When supplied with sufficient nutrients, yeast cells reproduce vegetatively (asexually), but if starved they undergo the process of meiosis, (...). Goddard et al. constructed an asexual yeast strain (...).
Subjecting many generations of both the sexual strain and the engineered asexual strain to two novel environments, harsh and benign, they measured adaptation as increased 'fitness' (in this case, growth rate) relative to the non-evolved ancestral strain.
Excerpts: When survival is on the line, sex may be the answer. So says a new study that sheds light on the mystery of why sex evolved as a reproductive strategy, despite the time and energy drain of mating. Biologists have shown sexually reproducing yeast adapt more quickly to stressful conditions than asexually dividing yeast do.
A century-old theory suggests sex evolved because it increases genetic variation in offspring, accelerating natural selection. But this theory remained untested because comparing sexual and asexual reproduction under identical conditions was a tricky experiment to do.
Cell Biology: The More MAD, The Merrier, Nature
Excerpts: Cells must pass the correct number of chromosomes to their progeny through the complex ballet of cell division. An unusual conformation-sensitive switch seems to maintain accurate chromosome segregation.
The maintenance of normal chromosome number during cell division requires the precise separation of duplicated sister chromosomes into two equal sets. (...) two different structural forms of Mad2 collaborate to change one of the partners from an inactive to an active state. Such 'self-templated' changes in protein conformation are a characteristic of prions, but represent a new mechanism for cell signalling.
Biochemistry: A Pore Way To Die, Nature
Excerpts: (...) mitochondria can change from acting as the cell's powerhouses to become merciless killers.(...)
Necrosis occurs, among other instances, following a heart attack or stroke, when a clot disrupts the blood supply to an area of the heart or brain, and cells begin to die by necrosis. (...) Necrosis involves the opening of a pore in the inner mitochondrial membrane, known as the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (MPTP). This process is triggered by the accumulation of calcium inside the mitochondria and the increase in oxygen free radicals that accompanies reperfusion.
Sepsis: The Monster Within, New Scientist
Excerpts: In clinical trials, the main criteria currently used to classify patients with severe sepsis and septic shock are their clinical signs and symptoms, such as their blood pressure, heart rate and breathing rate. I believe it is time to rethink this approach, focusing also on the underlying causative role of cytokines. It is crucial that we learn more about the different cytokines involved in sepsis so that in future we can be guided by what I call "the cytokine theory of disease".
Cytokines are small secreted proteins which mediate and regulate immunity, inflammation, and hematopoiesis.
The cause of death of Pope John Paul II was septic shock.
Body Rhythms Set A Dangerous Beat, New Scientist
Excerpts: The team found that circadian rhythms appear to influence this variability: the unhealthiest heartbeat patterns appear around 10 am, regardless of whether a person is awake or asleep, active or inactive. (...)
The researchers also recorded for the first time the influence of circadian rhythms on motor activity. They fitted volunteers with wristwatch-like sensors to measure forearm motion at different times of day and night. They found that arms accelerated most rapidly in the afternoon, regardless of what physical activity the volunteers were engaging in.
Metallic Glass: A Drop Of The Hard Stuff, New Scientist
Excerpts: It is the unusual structure that makes metallic glass so promising. In crystalline metal alloys, the atoms are ordered within regions called "grains", and the boundaries between the grains are points of weakness in the material. Metallic glasses, however, have no grain boundaries, so they are much stronger. (...). These materials lack bulky crystalline grains, so they can be shaped into features just 10 nanometres across. And their liquid-like structure means they melt at lower temperatures, and can be moulded nearly as easily as plastics.
Hybrid-Car Tinkerers Scoff at No-Plug-In Rule, NY Times
Excerpts: The idea of making hybrid cars that can be plugged in to wall outlets is supported by a diverse group of interests, from neoconservatives to utilities.
Complex Challenges: Global Terroist Networks
Iraq War Being Used To Recruit Disaffected Young Muslims, Seattle Times
Excerpts: In the aftermath of Sept. 11 and the Iraq war, however, the process of radicalization has spread and speeded up. At an age when angry teens in Los Angeles drift into street gangs, some of their peers in Europe plunge into global networks that send them to train, fight and die in far-off lands.
"Iraq is the motor," (...). "It's making them all go crazy, (...). The danger of suicide attacks in Europe and the United States increases as you have younger guys who are fervent and easily manipulated."
Rings That Kidnap Iraqis Thrive on Big Threats and Bigger Profits, NY Times
Excerpts: As many as 5,000 Iraqis have been kidnapped in the last year and a half, with ransom being a far greater motive than intimidation.(...)
scattered anecdotal evidence suggests epidemic of kidnapping, especially of children, is force like no other in driving from Iraq educated professionals who are critically needed for rebuilding of country; kidnapping is contributing to national sense of instability and fuels mutual distrust--particularly because many kidnappings rely on people close to target who pass information on net worth, daily habits and other matters of interest to hostage takers;
Tyranny's Full Tank, NY Times
Excerpts: The skyrocketing price of oil in the last two years has translated into a projected 42 percent increase in net oil export revenue for OPEC countries. While the global economic impact of this jump remains unclear, it also threatens to have a perverse political impact: even as the Bush administration pushes the promotion of democracy in the Middle East and elsewhere, market forces have given oil-rich autocratic regimes new revenue with which to dispense patronage and buy off popular discontent.
Fast, Sensitive Scan Targets Anthrax, Science
Excerpts: In mid-March, automated anthrax sensors triggered shutdowns at three separate military mail-sorting facilities in the Washington, D.C., area. All reopened within a couple of days, after further tests declared them safe. But confusion between conflicting field and lab tests underscored a common frustration for biowarfare officials: Field tests are fast but typically have either low sensitivity for finding anthrax or a high rate of false alarms, whereas lab tests are more reliable but can take days to yield results. Now, there's new hope for a field test that's both fast and accurate.
Links & Snippets
- Is No One Accountable?, Bob Herbert, 05/03/28, NYTimes, The administration behaves as if it were above the law when it comes to prison abuse in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
- From Budapest to Los Alamos, a Life in Mathematics, Claudia Dreifus, 05/03/29, NYTimes, In the world of modern mathematics, Dr. Peter D. Lax, professor emeritus at New York University, ranks among the giants.
- What's Going On?, Paul Krugman, 05/03/29, NYTimes, Once the Terri Schiavo case settles, look for more intimidation in the name of God from the right.
- Net Fingerprints Combat Attacks, 05/03/29, BBC
- 'Bionic Eye' May Help Reverse Blindness, Kelly Young, 05/03/31, NewScientist.com
- Thwack! Whir!... Whir? Segway Polo Is Born, Josh Sens, 05/04/01, NYTimes, When Alex Ko and his companions took up polo, they decided to ride Segways, the self-balancing transportation devices, instead of horses.
- Global Iron Connections Between Desert Dust, Ocean Biogeochemistry, and Climate, T. D. Jickells, Z. S. An, K. K. Andersen, A. R. Baker, G. Bergametti, N. Brooks, J. J. Cao, P. W. Boyd, R. A. Duce, K. A. Hunter, H. Kawahata, N. Kubilay, J. laRoche, P. S. Liss, N. Mahowald, J. M. Prospero, A. J. Ridgwell, I. Tegen, R. Torres, 05/04/01, Science : 67-71
- Abundance of Cellular Material and Proteins in the Atmosphere, Ruprecht Jaenicke, 05/04/01, Science : 73
- Postsynaptic Receptor Trafficking Underlying a Form of Associative Learning, Simon Rumpel, Joseph LeDoux, Anthony Zador, Roberto Malinow, 05/04/01, Science : 83-88.
- Materials Science: Playing Nature's Game with Artificial Muscles, Ray H. Baughman, 05/04/01, Science : 63-65
- Camera Zoom Operated By Eyelid Movement, 05/04/02, NewScientist.com
- Membraneless Fuel Cell Created, 05/04/02, NewScientist.com, (...) does away with the membrane by exploiting a phenomenon known as "laminar flow" (...).
- E-Mails Reveal Fraud in Nuclear Site Study, Matthew L. Wald, 05/04/02, NYTimes, Government employees studying a potential nuclear waste site in Nevada acknowledged in e-mail messages that they had made up details about their research.
- Daily Intelligence Briefings Are Vague, Officials Say, Scott Shane, David E. Sanger, 05/04/02, NYTimes, The small group of top government officials who read the President's Daily Brief told a presidential commission that they find the document of little value.
- Pinstripe Electricity: Novel Fuel Cell Relies On Thin, Aqueous Streams, 05/04/02, Science News, A promising new type of fuel cell exploits microstreams of water, which behave like flows of gooey honey.
- Follicle Size Matters: Hormone Regimen May Reduce Pregnancy Success, 05/04/02, Science News, Hormone injections used to induce livestock and women to ovulate could force eggs to leave ovarian follicles before they are fully mature and thereby jeopardize pregnancy outcomes.
- Little Brains That Could: Bees Show Big-Time Working Memory, 05/04/02, Science News, Even though a honeybee's brain could fit on the head of a match, the creature's working memory is nearly as effective as that of a pigeon or a monkey.
- Quick Fix: How Invasive Seaweed Repairs Its Wounds, 05/04/02, Science News, Scientists have discerned the chemistry underlying the rapid wound-healing process in an invasive green alga that is wreaking havoc in the Mediterranean Sea.
- Why A Turkey Helps A Pal Find A Mate, 05/04/02, Science News, A new study shows how the classic idea of kin selection could explain why male turkeys cruise in pairs, even though only one of them will win a mate.
- Volume Of Glaciers And Ice Caps Is Estimated, 05/04/02, Science News, New topographic data have enabled scientists to estimate the volume of water trapped in the ice caps and glaciers outside of Antarctica and Greenland and to predict how high the sea level would rise if this ice melted.
- Assault on Mars, 05/04/02, Science News, A Mars rover has discovered a patch of soil that's the saltiest place known on the Red Planet, an indication that water once coursed through the region.
- Molecular Decoy Thwarts Alzheimer's, 05/04/02, Science News, Biomedical engineers have developed polymer molecules that bind to and block the activity of proteins associated with Alzheimer's disease.
- Expanding The Genetic Code, 05/04/02, Science News, In an effort to explore the mechanisms of evolution, researchers have designed an unnatural chemical base and inserted it into synthetic DNA in a test tube.
- Hitachi Achieves Storage Record for Disk Drives, John Markoff, 05/04/04, NYTimes
- Computers Obeying Brain Signals, Malcolm Ritter, 05/04/04, AP/Newsday
- Background-Matching And Disruptive Coloration, And The Evolution Of Cryptic Coloration, S. Merilaita, J. Lind, 2005/03/22, Proceedings: Biological Sciences, DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2004.3000
- Morphological Evolution, Ecological Diversification And Climate Change In Rodents, S. Renaud, J. Michaux, D. N. Schmidt, J.-P. Aguilar, P. Mein, J.-C. Auffray, 2005/03/22, Proceedings: Biological Sciences, DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2004.2992
- Compensatory Response 'Defends' Energy Levels But Not Growth Trajectories In Brown Trout, Salmo Trutta L., D. Álvarez, A. G. Nicieza, 2005/03/23, Proceedings: Biological Sciences, DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2004.2991
- Mountain Life Spells Longer Life, 2005/03/29, ScienceDaily & British Medical Journal
- Gender Gap In Top Levels Of Science, 2005/03/30, Information Society Technologies Press Release
- Engineers Study Whether Plasmonics, 'Light On A Wire,' Is Circuitry Wave Of Future, 2005/03/31, ScienceDaily & Stanford University
- New Software Predicting Words, 2005/04/01, Information Society Technologies Press Release
- Researchers Map Tranquillity, 2005/04/01, ScienceDaily & University Of Newcastle Upon Tyne
- Individual Participation in Organizational Information Commons: The Impact of Team Level Social Influence and Technology-Specific Competence, Y. Yuan - yy239cornell.edu, J. Fulk, M. Shumate, P. R. Monge, J. A. Bryant, M. Matsaganis, Apr. 2005, Human Communication Research, DOI: 10.1093/hcr/31.2.212
- Context and Message Content During Organizational Socialization: A Research Note, Z. P. Hart - hartznku.edu, V. D. Miller, Apr. 2005, Human Communication Research, DOI: 10.1093/hcr/31.2.295
- ASEAN Cooperation: The Legacy Of The Economic Crisis, E. Solingen - esolingeuci.edu, Apr. 2005, International Relations of the Asia-Pacific, DOI: 10.1093/irap/lci101
- Still Bilateral After All These Years: US-Japan Trade Negotiations In Telecommunications, E. Kawabata - eiji.kawabatamnsu.edu, Apr. 2005, International Relations of the Asia-Pacific, DOI: 10.1093/irap/lci104
- Growth, Cycles, And Stabilization Policy, K. Blackburn - keith.blackburnman.ac.uk, A. Pelloni, Apr. 2005, online 2004/12/10, Oxford Economic Papers, DOI: 10.1093/oep/gpi012
- Neurovascular Responses To Mental Stress, J. R. Carter, N. T. Kupiers, C. A. Ray - caraypsu.edu, Apr. 2005, Online 2005/03/22, The Journal of Physiology, DOI: 10.1113/jphysiol.2004.079665
- Strategy, Economic Organization, And The Knowledge Economy: The Coordination Of Firms And Resources, N. J. Foss, Feb. 2005, Oxford University Press Book Review
- A Delay-Differential Equation Model Of The Feedback-Controlled Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis In Humans, Y. Lenbury, P. Pornsawad, Mar. 2005, Mathematical Medicine and Biology, DOI: 10.1093/imammb/dqh020
- Mass Media And Biotechnology: Knowledge Gaps Within And Between European Countries, H. Bonfadelli - h.bonfadelliipmz.unizh.ch, Spring 2005, International Journal of Public Opinion Research, DOI: 10.1093/ijpor/edh056
- Nonlinearity, Fluctuations, and Complexity, with a celebration of the 65th birthday of Gregoire Nicolis. , Complexity Session, Universite' Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium, 05/03/16
- World Economic Forum , Davos, Switzerland, 05/01/26-30
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
- 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.
- 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
Connecting Biology, Chemistry & Business
San Francisco, California, 05/04/19-22
Social Intelligence and Interaction in Animals, Robots and Agents, Hatfield, UK, 05/04/12-15
- MeshForum 2005, Chicago, Il, 05/05/01-04
2005 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show
Nanotech 2005, Anaheim, California, U.S.A., 05/05/08-12
- Socio-Dynamics, Networks and Markets, London, 05/05/09-11
Understanding Complex Systems - Computational Complexity and Bioinformatics, Urbana-Champaign, Il, 05/05/16-19
- 2ndShanghai Intl Symposium on Nonlinear Science and Applications, Shanghai, 05/06/03-07
IEEE Swarm Intelligence Symposium
Pasadena, California, USA, 05/06/08-10
10th Annual Workshop on Economic Heterogeneous Interacting Agents (WEHIA 2005) , University of Essex, United Kingdom, 05/06/13-15
- Powders & Grains 2005, Stuttgart, Germany, 05/06/18-22
NKS Summer School,
Brown University, Providence, RI, 05/06/20-07/08
- 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
6th Intl Summer School/Conference "Let's Face Chaos Through Nonlinear Dynamics"Dedicated to the 75th Birthday of Professor Siegfried Grossmann, Maribor, Slovenia, 05/06/26-07/10
- Computational Social and Organizational Science (NAACSOS 2005), University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN USA, 05/06/26-28
The Potential Impacts Of Systemics On Society, 49th Annual Meeting of the Intl Soc for the System Sciences, Cancun, Mexico, 05/07/01-05
WOSC 13th International Congress Of Cybernetics And Systems, Maribor, Slovenia, 05/07/06-10
Summer Graduate Workshop In Computational Social Science Modeling And
Complexity, Santa Fe, NM, 05/07/10-23
4th International Workshop on Computational Intelligence in Economics and Finance (CIEF'2005), Salt Lake City, 05/07/21-26
- Epigenetic Robotics, Nara, Japan 05/07/22-24
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
2005 Intl Conf on Natural Computation (ICNC'05), Intl Conf on Fuzzy Systems and Knowledge Discovery (FSKD'05), Changsha, China, 05/08/27-29
- 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
Genomics in Context,
University of Exeter, UK, 05/09/28-30
CSDS-2005 Intl Conf on CONTROL AND SYNCHRONIZATION OF DYNAMICAL SYSTEMS , Leon, Guanajuato, MEXICO, 05/10/04-07
- European Conference on Complex Systems, Paris, France, 05/11/14-18
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
The Second International Workshop on Biologically Inspired
Approaches to Advanced Information Technology , Senri Life Science Center, Osaka, Japan, 06/01/26-27
- FRACTAL 2006 Complexity and Fractals in Nature, 9th Intl Multidisciplinary Conf, Vienna, Austria, 06/02/12-15