Sound Science, Nature
Excerpts: Audio files downloaded from the Internet can enrich scientific communication.(...)
Nature is immensely pleased that, as we go to press, our show sits unassumingly between a Bob Dylan commentary and the CNN news update in iTunes' top 100 podcast chart. This demonstrates how the technology is helping the work that we publish to reach a wider public. There are other science podcasts too, including contributions from the New England Journal of Medicine and from NASA, as well as podcast versions of established radio shows, such as Science Friday.
- Source: Sound Science, DOI: 10.1038/439002a, Nature 439, 06/01/05
Semantic Descriptors To Help The Hunt For Music, Innovations-report
Excerpts: You like a certain song and want to hear other tracks like it, but don't know how to find them? Ending the needle-in-a-haystack problem of searching for music on the Internet or even in your own hard drive is a new audio-based music information retrieval system. Currently under development by the SIMAC project, it is a major leap forward in the application of semantics to audio content, allowing songs to be described not just by artist, title and genre but by their actual musical properties such as rhythm, timbre, harmony, structure and instrumentation. This allows comparisons between songs to be made (...).
Mashups Mix Data Into Global Service, Nature
Excerpts: Is this the future for scientific analysis?
Will 2006 be the year of the mashup? Originally used to describe the mixing together of musical tracks, the term now refers to websites that weave data from different sources into a new service. They are becoming increasingly popular, especially for plotting data on maps, covering anything from cafes offering wireless Internet access to traffic conditions. And advocates say they could fundamentally change many areas of science (...) if researchers can be persuaded to share their data.
Maya Writing Got Early Start, Science Now
Excerpts: Archaeologists have discovered the earliest known examples of Maya hieroglyphs deep within a 2500-year-old temple in Guatemala. The find reveals that the Maya had a developed writing system hundreds of years earlier than previously thought and may provide insight into how written language developed throughout Mesoamerica.
The Maya civilization occupied much of southern and eastern Mesoamerica from about 4500 years ago until the Spanish conquest of Mexico in the 16th century C.E. During their so-called Classic Period from 250-800 C.E., the Maya erected huge stone monuments with carved and painted inscriptions at temples throughout the region.
Ancient text. A drawing of the hieroglyphs found at Las Pinturas. Credit: Image(copyright symbol) Science/Drawing by D. Stuart
When Does "Economic Man" Dominate Social Behavior?, Science
Excerpts: The canonical model in economics considers people to be rational and self-regarding. However, much evidence challenges this view, raising the question of when "Economic Man" dominates the outcome of social interactions, and when bounded rationality or other-regarding preferences dominate. Here we show that strategic incentives are the key to answering this question. A minority of self-regarding individuals can trigger a "noncooperative" aggregate outcome if their behavior generates incentives for the majority of other-regarding individuals to mimic the minority's behavior.
Empirical Analysis of an Evolving Social Network, Science
Excerpts: Social networks evolve over time, driven by the shared activities and affiliations of their members, by similarity of individuals' attributes, and by the closure of short network cycles. We analyzed a dynamic social network comprising 43,553 students, faculty, and staff at a large university, in which interactions between individuals are inferred from time-stamped e-mail headers recorded over one academic year and are matched with affiliations and attributes. We found that network evolution is dominated by a combination of effects arising from network topology itself and the organizational structure in which the network is embedded.
Bright Lights, Big Cancer, Science
Excerpts: In late 1987, Richard G. Stevens, then at Pacific Northwest Laboratories in Richland, Wash., typed up a short letter and mailed it to Walter Willett at Harvard Medical School in Boston. The two epidemiologists had met just once, and Stevens wasn't confident that his 209-word note, or the suggestion that it contained about a possible contributor to breast cancer, would inspire any action.
Morning Grogginess Worse Than Drinking, Science Daily
Excerpts: A study says morning grogginess is more debilitating than sleep deprivation.
(...) effects of sleep inertia are as bad or worse than being legally drunk.
(...) people who awaken after eight hours of sound sleep have more impaired thinking and memory skills than after being deprived of sleep for more than 24 hours.
(?) test subjects had diminished short-term memory, counting skills and cognitive abilities during the groggy period upon awakening known as sleep inertia.
Researchers found subjects exhibited the most severe impairments from sleep inertia within the first three minutes after awakening.
On Engineering and Emergence, arXiv
Abstract: The engineering and design of self-organizing systems with emergent properties is a long-standing problem in the field of complex and distributed systems, for example in the engineering of self-organizing Multi-Agent Systems. The problem of combining engineering with emergence - to find a simple rule for a complex pattern - equals the problem of science in general. Therefore the answers are similar, and the scientific method is the general solution to the problem of engineering complex systems.
Early Africans Went Bananas, Science Now
Excerpts: Succulent and sweet, bananas make an ideal snack--but they can also tell us a lot about human civilization. Such is the case with a new archaeological discovery, which indicates that Africans were harvesting the fruit as early as 4500 years ago. If correct, these findings would radically alter current assumptions about when agriculture came to the continent.
Where 'Jumping Genes' Fear To Tread, ScienceDaily
Excerpts: Scientists from the University of Queensland report (...) that large segments of the human genome are conspicuously devoid of ubiquitous mobile DNA elements called transposons. The locations of these regions are highly conserved among mammalian species and are enriched in genes crucial for the regulation of developmental processes. Transposons, often called "jumping genes," are DNA sequences that have the capacity to move from one chromosomal site to another. More than three million copies of transposons have accumulated in humans throughout the course of evolution and now comprise an estimated 45% of the total DNA content in the human genome. (...)
Not So Different After All: Mysterious Eye Cells Adapt To Light, ScienceDaily
Excerpts: A new retinal photoreceptor adjusts its sensitivity in different lighting conditions, according to scientists at Brown University, where the rare eye cells were discovered. (...) Though rods and cones, their biological cousins in the retina, clearly adjust to light levels, these new cells - intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells, or ipRGCs - were assumed not to adapt this way. Still, the adaptation process in ipRGCs is weaker and slower than it is in rods and cones. (...) ipRGCs (...) have a direct link to the brain, sending electrical messages to an area regulating the pupil as well as a region controlling the body clock. (...)
New Cat Family Tree Revealed, BBC News
Excerpts: The ancient ancestors of the 37 species alive today migrated across the globe, eventually settling in all continents except Antarctica, say scientists.
Eight major lineages emerged, including lions, ocelots and domestic cats.
The moggy is most closely related to the African and European wild cat and the Chinese desert cat, an international team reports in Science.
Warren Johnson of the National Cancer Institute in Frederick, Maryland, US, led the study.
He said they were able to trace the ancestry of all living cat species back to South East Asia some 11 million years ago.
Ants Harbor Antibiotic To Protect Their Crops, Scientific American
In fact, more than 200 species of ants display this complex symbiosis, (...). "It now appears that the fungus-growing ants are more modified for culturing their mutualistic bacteria than for their mutualistic fungi," (...).
Image: COURTESY OF AINSLIE LITTLE
The unexpected finding also bears promise for human agriculture and medicine: the ants have been able to avoid promoting resistance for as long as 50 million years. "I think it has to do with the ants having several mechanisms to suppress the parasite," (...). (...) specialized behaviors that involve removing the parasite from the fungus garden."
Complex Social Behaviour Derived From Maternal Reproductive Traits, Nature
Excerpts: A fundamental goal of sociobiology is to explain how complex social behaviour evolves, especially in social insects, the exemplars of social living. Although still the subject of much controversy, recent theoretical explanations have focused on the evolutionary origins of worker behaviour (assistance from daughters that remain in the nest and help their mother to reproduce) through expression of maternal care behaviour towards siblings.
Ecology: Complexities Of Coral Reef Recovery, Science
Excerpts: The world's coral reefs are deteriorating--nearly half may have disappeared in the past 30 to 50 years (1). The plethora of threats they face include declining water quality, overexploitation, and climate change (2). Although there is no single panacea for these problems, marine protected areas have emerged as a potentially powerful means for managing reefs within the world's changing oceans. These protected areas create refugia for species that would otherwise be overfished.
When The Ocean Changed Course, Science Now
Excerpts: Clues from deep-sea sediments suggest that a rapid global warming episode millions of years ago triggered a drastic change in ocean circulation that lasted thousands of years and further baked the continents. Scientists say this window to the past might provide a view of future consequences of global warming.
Some 59 million years ago, carbon dioxide began to build up in the atmosphere, likely from volcanic eruptions. (?) Scientists suspect the warming threw a wrench into ocean circulation and chemistry that caused extinctions of deep-sea species and land mammals alike.
Past Gives Clue to Climate Impact, BBC News
Excerpt: A rapid rise in global temperature 55 million years ago caused major disruption to ocean currents, new research shows. Scientists found that the disruption took 140,000 years to reverse.
Our Universe: Outrageous Fortune, Nature
Excerpts: A growing number of cosmologists and string theorists suspect the form of our Universe is little more than a coincidence. Are these harmless thought experiments, or a challenge to science itself? Geoff Brumfiel investigates.
Why are we here? It's a question that has troubled philosophers, theologians and those who've had one drink too many. But theoretical physicists have a more essentialist way of asking the question: why is there anything here at all?
Excerpts: In the early 1950s, Heim began to rewrite the equations of general relativity in a quantum framework. He drew on Einstein's idea that the gravitational force emerges from the dimensions of space and time, but suggested that all fundamental forces, including electromagnetism, might emerge from a new, different set of dimensions. (...) adding a new two-dimensional "sub-space" onto Einstein's four-dimensional space-time.
In Heim's six-dimensional world, the forces of gravity and electromagnetism are coupled together. (...) When an electron falls under the pull of gravity its moving electric charge creates a magnetic field.
Nano World: Hybrid Structures Fuse Traits, UPI
Excerpts: A menagerie of complex new structures that assemble themselves from combinations of semiconducting, metallic or magnetic particles only nanometers (...) wide promise to have either the combined valuable traits of their ingredients or possess entirely new useful properties, (...).
For example, structures that pair two different semiconductors "can be employed for new generation of solar cells and thermoelectric devices," (...), while combinations of magnetic and semiconducting nanoparticles "are promising for magneto-optic data storage and spintronic devices."
Devising complex devices from construction blocks that can assemble themselves into structures is crucial (...).
The Magical Behavior Of Subatomic Particles Moves Into Real World, Wall Street Journal
Excerpts: At NIST, observing one atom made it settle into a definite spin, clockwise or counterclockwise. And observing that atom caused the other five to pick a rotation, too.
Physicists at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, too, recently brought quantum spookiness into the macro world. They entangled two groups of 100,000 atoms some 10 feet apart. That is thousands of times more atoms than had ever been entangled before. "This shows for the first time that it's possible to entangle two massive, well-separated systems," says W. Jeff Kimble, who led the work.
Biological Physics: Harmonies From Noise, Nature
Excerpts: Do random environments make for random responses to them? Mathematical models suggest that this is not always the case (...) adding noise could create synchronous oscillations in cell-cell signalling systems.
Don't Even Think About Lying, Wired
Excerpts: I'm flat on my back in a very loud machine, trying to keep my mind quiet. It's not easy. The inside of an fMRI scanner is narrow and dark, with only a sliver of the world visible in a tilted mirror above my eyes. Despite a set of earplugs, I'm bathed in a dull roar punctuated by a racket like a dryer full of sneakers.
Functional magnetic resonance imaging - fMRI for short - enables researchers to create maps of the brain's networks in action as they process thoughts, sensations, memories, and motor commands.
The Dover Id Decision: Judge Jones Defines Science--And Why Intelligent Design Isn't, Science
Excerpts: In a sweeping decision, a federal district court judge makes the connection between how science operates and the First Amendment
Eric Rothschild says he couldn't be happier with the 20 December decision by federal district court Judge John Jones III ordering the Dover, Pennsylvania, schools to remove references to intelligent design (ID) from the science curriculum. "Our game plan was to explain what science is, so that we could show very clearly that intelligent design was not science. ¡K
Our Presidential Era: Who Can Check The President?, NY Times
Excerpts: Not since Watergate has the question of presidential power been as salient as it is today. The recent revelation that President George W. Bush ordered secret wiretaps in the United States without judicial approval has set off the latest round of arguments over what the president can and cannot do in the name of his office. Over the past few years, the war on terror has led to the use of executive orders to authorize renditions and the detention of enemy combatants without trial - for which the Bush administration has been called to account by our European allies.
Classical Complexity Publications: Artifical Societies, Technology Review
Excerpts: A remarkable range of phenomena emerges from the interaction of these simple agents, according to Epstein and Axtell. (...). When "seasons" are introduced, migration occurs. Tribal formation, cultural transmission, trade, hibernation, and combat have also been observed and studied.
(...) Their work is part of the 2050 Project, a joint venture of Brookings, the World Resources Institute, and the Santa Fe Institute, an independent research organization, to identify and achieve conditions for a sustainable global system in the next century.
Book Review: A Robust Approach, Nature
Excerpts: Book Review - Robustness and Evolvability in Living Systems by Andreas Wagner, Princeton University Press: 2005. When sitting on an aeroplane, we obviously hope that it won't crash. A tacit assumption behind this wish is that our biological system isn't about to crash either. It so happens that these systems share several features. Both have specific parts that serve certain functions. The plane was designed by engineers, who were in turn designed by evolution through natural selection. Both systems seem robust and yet fragile, but how can we reconcile these two seemingly opposing features?
Complex Challenges: Global Terrorist Network
Greetings From The Cybercaliphate: Some Notes On Homeland Insecurity, Int. Affairs
Excerpt: One of the paradoxical effects of the 7 July bombings in London was to expose the ambivalence in the British government's attempt to wage war on terror by forcefully prosecuting war against those who resort to jihad abroad, actively participating in coalitions of the willing whether in Afghanistan or Iraq, while affording some of Islamism's key ideologists and strategists a high degree of latitude in the United Kingdom itself. This indicates a number of contradictions in official policy that simultaneously recognizes the globalized threat from violent Islamic militancy while, under the rubric of multiculturalism, tolerating those very strains of Islamist radicalism, (...).
Religion And World Change: Violence And Terrorism Versus Peace, J. Social Issues
Excerpts: Our article portrays religion as a double-edged sword that can both encourage and discourage world change, and can facilitate both violent and peaceful activism. The article demonstrates how the meaning system approach to religion can shed light on the complicated relationship between religion and world change by illuminating the meaning of world change and the means to achieve it, inherent differences across religious groups, the complexity and malleability of religious meaning systems (...). The article discusses context and personality variables that may determine whether religion supports world change and either violent or peaceful activism. (...)
Links & Snippets
- Social Insecurity Crisis, Thomas L. Friedman, 06/01/04, NYTimes, Our energy gluttony is strengthening the worst forces in the world and our entitlement gluttony is going to weaken our capacity to deal with those forces.
- Generation Of A Functional Mammary Gland From A Single Stem Cell, Mark Shackleton, Fran?ois Vaillant, Kaylene J. Simpson, John Stingl, Gordon K. Smyth, Marie-Liesse Asselin-Labat, Li Wu, Geoffrey J. Lindeman, Jane E. Visvader, 06/01/05, Nature 439, 84-88, DOI: 10.1038/nature04372
- Alzheimer Clue: Busy Brain Connections May Have Downside, 06/01/07, Science News. Brain areas that are chronically activated have excess amyloid beta, the waxy protein associated with Alzheimer's disease.
- Locust Upset: DNA Puts Swarmer's Origin In Africa, 06/01/07, Science News. The desert locust was not an ancient export from the Americas, according to a new DNA analysis.
- Quantum Chip: Device Handles Ions As If They Were Data, 06/01/07, Science News. A new microchip can trap and move an ion, preliminary steps toward carrying out quantum computations on a chip.
- Protein Exposes Long-Term Risk From Heart Problems, 06/01/07, Science News. Elevated blood concentrations of a certain protein can signal risk of death in people with heart problems.
- European Face-Off For Early Farmers, 06/01/07, Science News. A new analysis of modern and ancient human skulls supports the idea that early farmers in the Middle East spread into Europe between 11,000 and 6,500 years ago, intermarried with people there, and passed on their agricultural way of life to the native Europeans.
- Magnetic Overthrow, 06/01/07, Science News. Researchers have discovered and begun to exploit a fundamentally new way to exert magnetic influences, at least on extremely small scales.
- Research Tracks Whales By Listening To Sounds, 2006/01/02, ScienceDaily & Oregon State University
- Energising the Quest for 'Big Theory', Paul Rincon, 2006/01/03, BBC News
- Ex-Diplomat Makes Torture Policy Claims On Web: Secret Memos 'Prove' UK Government Used Evidence Obtained By Torture, K. Young, 2006/01/03, vnunet.com
- Ultraviolet Signals Fighting Ability In A Lizard, J. Stapley, M. J. Whiting, 2006/01/03, Biology Letters, DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2005.0419
- Scotland Trials Wi-Fi Lamp-Posts: Solar Powered Devices Offer Free Light And Internet Access, K. Young, 2006/01/04, vnunet.com
- UCSD Team Creates Model For Genetic Brain Syndrome, 2006/01/05, Innovations-report & University of California - San Diego
- Fractal Dimensions In Perceptual Color Space: A Comparison Study Using Jackson Pollock's Art, J. R. Mureika, Dec. 2005, online 2005/11/16, Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science, DOI: 10.1063/1.2121947
- Religion, Meaning, And Prejudice, B. Hunsberger, L. M. Jackson - ljacks4uwo.ca, J. Social Issues Dec. 2005, Online 2005/11/16, Journal of Social Issues, DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-4560.2005.00433.x
- Is Global Warming For Real?, C. Sprott, Spring 2006, Madison Chaos and Complex Systems Seminar, 2006/01/17
- Investigating The Dynamics Of Complex Systems Through The Power Law Distributions They Generate, C. Hurd, Spring 2006, Madison Chaos and Complex Systems Seminar, 2006/01/24
- Brain Waves On Potential Energy Surfaces: Relating Particle Dynamics To Brain State, D. Hsu, Spring 2006, Madison Chaos and Complex Systems Seminar, 2006/01/31
Ralph Abraham on Complexity Digest, , Calcutta, India, 05/12/27
- An Afternoon with Michael Crichton, Washington, 05/11/06
Illuminating the Shadow of the Future, Ann Arbor, Mi 05/09/23-25
Open Network of Centres of Excellence in Complex Systems - Brainstorming Meeting, Paris, France 05/09/19-23
Complexity, Science & Society Conference 2005, U. Liverpool, UK 2005/09/11-14
ECAL 2005 - VIIIth European Conference on Artificial Life,
Canterbury, Kent, UK 2005/09/5-9
T. Irene Sanders, Executive Director and Founder, The Washington Center for Complexity & Public Policy, 05/08/27, QuickTime video (10:38 min), Podcast
- North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity 2005 Conference, Virtual Conference Network, St. Pete's Beach, Florida, 05/06/09-11
- Understanding Complex Systems - Computational Complexity and Bioinformatics, Virtual Conference Network, Urbana-Champaign, Il, UIUC, 05/05/16-19
- 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
From Autopoiesis to Neurophenomenology: A Tribute to Francisco Varela (1946-2001), Paris, France, 2004/06/18-20
Evolutionary Epistemology, Language, and Culture, Brussels, Belgium, 04/05/26-28
International Conference on Complex Systems 2004, Boston, 04/05/16-21
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
- One-Week Intensive Course: Complex Physical, Biological and Social Systems, Cambridge, MA, 06/01/09-13
The Second International Workshop on Biologically Inspired
Approaches to Advanced Information Technology , Senri Life Science Center, Osaka, Japan, 06/01/26-27
Intl Wkshp and Sem, Dynamics on Complex Networks and Applications, Dresden, Germany, 06/02/06-03/03
- FRACTAL 2006 Complexity and Fractals in Nature, 9th Intl Multidisciplinary Conf, Vienna, Austria, 06/02/12-15
'The Application of Complexity Science to Human Affairs , Milton Keynes, UK, 06/02/28
2nd Intl Nonlinear Science Conf, Heraklion, Crete, Greece, 06/03/10-12
- 18th European Meetings on Cybernetics and Systems Research (EMCSR), Vienna, Austria, 06/04/18-21
5th Intl Joint Conf on Autonomous Agents And Multiagent Systems (AAMAS 2006)
Future University, Hakodate, Japan, )6/05/08-12
- Nonlinearities: from Turbulent to Magic,
Copenhagen, Denmark. 06/05/17-20
- Alife X - The 10th Intl Conf on the Simulation and Synthesis of Living Systems,Bloomington, Indiana, 06/06/03-07
Intl. Conference on Complex Systems Boston, MA, 06/06/25-30
NKS 2006: The Wolfram Science Conference, Washington, D.C., 06/06/16-18
Intl Conf on Complex Systems (ICCS)
Boston, Ma, 06/06/25-30
2006 Genetic And Evolutionary Computation Conference (GECCO-2006),
Seattle, Washington, USA, 06/07/08-12
50th Anniversary Summit of AI, Monte Verita, Switzerland, 06/07/09-14
Symmetry Festival 2006, Symmetry in Art and Science Education, Budapest, Hungary, 06/08/12-18
World Conference on Social Simulation (WCSS-06) , Kyoto, Japan, 06/08/21-25
FROM ANIMALS TO ANIMATS 9, The Ninth Intl Conf on the SIMULATION OF ADAPTIVE BEHAVIOR (SAB'06), 06/09/25-30
Call for Papers - Book Announcements
Kinematic Self-Replicating Machines, © 2004 Robert A. Freitas Jr. and Ralph C. Merkle. All Rights Reserved. This book is now available for free on the Internet, 05/10
- New Issue of
E:CO (Emergence, Complexity and Organization) was published online.