'Ancient Light' Takes Nobel Prize, BBC News
Two US scientists, John C Mather and George F Smoot, have won the 2006 Nobel Physics Prize.
The CMB - Old and Cold
They have been honoured "for their discovery of the blackbody form and anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB)".
The CMB is the "oldest light" in the Universe - it is all around us and comes from a time 380,000 years after the Big Bang.
Scientists say features in the CMB tell them about the evolution of the cosmos.
Nobel Prize For Genetic Discovery, BBC News
Two US scientists have been awarded the Nobel Prize for medicine for their pioneering work in genetics.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/help/3681938.stm Dr Mello on winning
The work of Dr Andrew Fire and Dr Craig Mello could lead to new treatments for a range of illnesses, including viral infections and cancer.
They discovered a phenomenon called RNA interference, which regulates the expression of genes.
The process has the potential to help researchers shut down genes which cause harm in the body.
The breakthrough has also given scientists the ability to systematically test the functions of all human genes.
UC Berkeley Offers Courses And Symposia Through Google Video, Physorg.com
Excerpts: In another innovative move to share its intellectual treasures with the public, the University of California, Berkeley, announced today that it is delivering educational content, including course lectures and symposia, free of charge through Google Video.
Because of the quality and quantity of these video offerings, UC Berkeley will be the first university with its own page on the Google Video Web site: http://video.google.com/ucberkeley , campus officials said. The campus is making more than 250 hours of content available to the public through Google Video.
Video Games Have 'Role In School', BBC News
Excerpts: Video games could have a serious role to play in the classroom, a survey of teachers and students suggests.
The Teaching with Games report was commissioned by games giant Electronic Arts (EA) and carried out by FutureLab.
It surveyed almost 1,000 teachers and more than 2,300 primary and secondary school students in the UK.
The survey found 59% of teachers would consider using off-the-shelf games in the classroom while 62% of students wanted to use games at school.
Excerpts: Most eras have distinct "ways of seeing" that end up defining the period in retrospect: the fixed perspective of Renaissance art, the scattered collages of Cubism, the rapid-fire cuts introduced by MTV and the channel-surfing of the 80's. Our own defining view is what you might call the long zoom: the satellites tracking in on license-plate numbers in the spy movies; the Google maps in which a few clicks take you from a view of an entire region to the roof of your house; (...)
Dot-Com Bubble, Part Ii? Why It's So Hard To Value Social Networking Sites, Knowledge@Wharton
Excerpts: Less than three years after emerging from nowhere, the hot social networking website MySpace is on pace to be worth a whopping $15 billion in just three more years. Or is it?
Is the much smaller Facebook, run by a 22-year-old, really worth the $900 million or more Yahoo is reported to have offered for it? Maybe. Or maybe this is Dot-Com Bubble, Part II, with MySpace, Facebook, YouTube and the other new Internet phenoms destined for oblivion when the fad fades.
The Social Network Benefit: Losing An Employee Doesn't Have To Mean Losing Knowledge, Knowledge@Wharton
Excerpts: It's always been assumed that one company's loss is another's gain when an employee jumps ship. Just think of the knowledge, experience and connections that go out the door along with a person's boxes and office belongings.
But now a new study suggests that losing an employee, at least in a high-tech field, is not necessarily as bad as it seems. "Firms can wind up learning when employees leave their firm, which is contrary to the conventional wisdom -- that firms learn by hiring away employees,"
Nationalism And The Cultivation Of Culture, Nations & Nationalism
Excerpts: On the basis of an extensive sample of European source material, the article investigates the meaning and importance of 'culture' in cultural nationalism. The author argues that European cultural nationalism in the nineteenth century followed a separate dynamic and chronology from political nationalism. Cultural nationalism involved an intense cross-border traffic of ideas and intellectual initiatives, and its participating actors often operated extraterritorially and in multi-national intellectual networks. This means that cultural nationalism needs to be studied on a supranational comparative basis (...). A working model is proposed which may serve to bring these ideas and activities into focus.
Excerpts: (...) suggest that judgments of attractiveness depend on mental processing ease, or being "easy on the mind." "What you like is a function of what your mind has been trained on," Winkielman said. "A stimulus becomes attractive if it falls into the average of what you've seen and is therefore simple for your brain to process. In our experiments, we show that we can make an arbitrary pattern likeable just by preparing the mind to recognize it quickly." (...) The phenomenon -- sometimes known as the "beauty-in-averageness effect" -- was first discovered in the late 1800s (...).
- Source: Beauty And The Brain, ScienceDaily & University of California - San Diego, 2006/09/27
- Contributed by Atin Das - dasatinyahoo.co.in
Multitasking Is No Problem, But Double Talk Overwhelms Us, ScienceDaily
Excerpts: We can listen to a car radio and drive while keeping an eye on changing traffic conditions -- separate complex tasks completed without much trouble. But if two people are talking to us at the same time, our perceptual frequencies get jammed. A new Cornell study shows that people are pretty good at perceptual multitasking -- except when multiple sources of incoming stimuli are of the same type. (...) Humans learn "sequential structure from multiple sources at the same time, as long as the sensory characteristics of the sources do not overlap," Christiansen said. (...)
Professor-Turned-Pope Leads A Seminar On Evolution, NY Times
Excerpts: They meet every year, the eminent German professor and his old doctoral students, for a weekend of high-minded talk on a chosen topic. For years it was nothing more than that.
But now the professor, once called Joseph Ratzinger, has become Pope Benedict XVI. And this year, for three days beginning Friday, the topic on the table is evolution, an issue perched on the ever more contentious front between science and belief.
Casting A Genetic Light On The Evolution Of Eyes, Science
Excerpts: Light has been exploited for information by organisms through the evolution of photoreceptors and, ultimately, eyes in animals. Only a handful of eye types exist because the physics of light constrains photodetection. In the past few years, genetic tools have revealed several parallel pathways through which light guides behavior and have provided insights into the convergent evolution of eyes. The gene encoding opsin (the primary phototransduction protein) and some developmental genes had very early origins and were recruited repeatedly during eye evolution.
How General Are Positive Relationships Between Plant Population Size, Fitness And Genetic Variation?, J. Ecol.
Excerpts: Relationships between plant population size, fitness and within-population genetic diversity are fundamental for plant ecology, evolution and conservation. We conducted meta-analyses of studies published between 1987 and 2005 to test whether these relationships are generally positive, whether they are sensitive to methodological differences among studies, whether they differ between species of different life span, mating system or rarity and whether they depend on the size ranges of the studied populations. (...) The observed generality of the positive relationships between population size, plant fitness and genetic diversity implies that the negative effects of habitat fragmentation on plant fitness and genetic variation are common. (...)
Approaches For Testing Herbivore Effects On Plant Population Dynamics, J. Appl. Ecol.
Excerpts: As plant invasions pose one of the greatest threats to biodiversity, it is critical to improve both our understanding of invasiveness and strategies for control. Much research into plant invasions and their management, including biological control, assumes strong demographic effects by natural enemies, including herbivores. However, the importance of natural enemies in the regulation of plant populations remains controversial: some ecologists contend that they rarely affect plant populations, and others that they can strongly limit plant population sizes. (...) We outline experimental and analytical approaches (...) provide a more complete test of the long-term effects of natural enemies on plant populations. (...)
Are Apes Really Inequity Averse?, Proc. Biol. Sc.
Excerpts: (...) found that chimpanzees showed increased levels of rejection for less-preferred food when competitors received better food than themselves and postulated as an explanation inequity aversion. In the present study, we extended these findings by adding important control conditions, and we investigated whether inequity aversion could also be found in the other great ape species (...). In the present study, (...) apes ignored fewer food pieces and stayed longer in front of the experimenter when a conspecific received better food than themselves. Moreover, chimpanzees begged more vigorously when the conspecific got favoured food. (...)
- Source: Are Apes Really Inequity Averse?, J. Bräuer, J. Call, M. Tomasello, DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2006.3693, Proceedings B: Biological Sciences, 2006/09/26
- Contributed by Atin Das - dasatinyahoo.co.in
An Elephant Crackup?, NY Times
Excerpts: 'We're not going anywhere,¡¨ my driver, Nelson Okello, whispered to me one morning this past June, the two of us sitting in the front seat of a jeep just after dawn in Queen Elizabeth National Park in southwestern Uganda. We'd originally stopped to observe what appeared to be a lone bull elephant grazing in a patch of tall savanna grasses off to our left. More than one "rogue" crossed our path that morning - a young male elephant that has made an overly strong power play against the dominant male of his herd and been banished, sometimes permanently.
'Google Of The Brain': Atlas Maps Brain's Genetic Activity, Science
Excerpts: With his Microsoft money, Paul Allen has funded a gene-expression database of the mouse brain
In 2002, Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul Allen asked a handful of neuroscientists how best he could use some of his fortune to advance their field. The researchers recommended the creation of a map of gene expression in the mouse brain, which they said would combine with knowledge gained from the Human Genome Project to illuminate how our brains work.
Biologists trying to understand the brain typically spend thousands of hours determining what genes are active in specific neural regions. Now they can save themselves the trouble, thanks to the completion of a Web-based brain atlas announced here today. Experts say the map will accelerate the search for drugs to treat psychiatric illnesses and help address fundamental questions about the development and function of different brain structures. Funded by Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul Allen, the brain atlas project took 3 years and $40 million to complete.
Within a mouse click. Researchers can view the expression of a specific gene in the brain--such as etv1, shown above--by typing the gene's name into the brain atlas.
Credit: Allen Institute for Brain Science
Ageing: Balancing Regeneration And Cancer, Nature
Excerpts: The proliferation of cells must balance the longevity assured by tissue renewal against the risk of developing cancer. The tumour-suppressor protein p16INK4a seems to act at the pivot of this delicate equilibrium.
Tissue repair and regeneration are essential for longevity in complex animals, and often depend on the proliferation of unspecialized cells known as stem or progenitor cells. In many tissues, the regenerative capacity of such cells declines with age, and it is thought that this decline drives many age-related symptoms. But stem/progenitor-cell proliferation is a double-edged sword.
How Nature Tinkers With The Cellular Clock, Innovations-report
Excerpts: The life of a cell is all about growing and dividing at the right time. That is why the cell cycle is one of the most tightly regulated cellular processes. A control system with several layers adjusts when key components of the cell cycle machinery are produced, activated and degraded to make sure that the schedule is kept. These layers of control work differently and are usually studied separately, but researchers (...) have now discovered that they change in a highly coordinated fashion during evolution. (...)
Enormous suns have baffled astronomers for years. On the one hand, young stars eventually produce so much radiation that they ought to repel any surrounding building material, and computer models suggested this should limit their mass to about 10 times that of the sun. On the other hand, direct observations routinely turn up bodies more than twice that size. What phenomenon could be creating such stellar giants?
An artist's conception shows the motions of gas around the young giant star G24 A1, as it gathers fuel, maintains a rotating disk, and spews out material.
Credit: BILL SAXTON, NRAO/AUI/NSF
Move Into Space, But Where?, Wired News
Excerpts: arious scientists make their case for Mars, the moon or habitats orbiting the Earth. While the question is not a pressing one for most people, for the futurists mapping the humans path to space, the destination makes all the difference in the world.
For Al Globus, senior research associate for human factors research and technology at NASA Ames Research Center, the most salient issue is one that most people take for granted on Earth: gravity. In low gravity, muscles atrophy and bones loose calcium and become brittle.
Future Flooding Disasters To Be Averted By Maths, Innovations-report
Excerpts: Oxford researchers have won funding to improve the usefulness of weather predictions regarding the probability and extent of extreme rainfall. This will help hydrologists, civil engineers, policy-makers and government to take appropriate measures to protect buildings and people from the devastating effects of extreme floods (...). 'What we are doing is bringing together, for the first time, three different areas of science: mathematics, supercomputer weather prediction, and historical data', (...). 'So if we can improve the mathematics to handle the uncertainty in the data and models, we can improve the accuracy of the predictions for people such as engineers and policy-makers.'
China, Wetlands Driving Global Warming, Science Now
Excerpts: Some countries have been trying to reduce greenhouse gases emissions over the last decade, but a perfect storm of methane emissions may undo all the good work. According to a new study, the environmental threat posed by China's booming economy has been partially masked by a decline in natural methane emissions from wetlands. Soon, however, the drought that has reduced wetland emissions will end, pumping additional greenhouse gases into the atmosphere as China's own emissions continue to rise.
Attack Of The Killer Prototype Robots, CNET News.com
Excerpts: Intel is trying to see if millions of tiny robots can work together to create a coffee cup, or a model of a truck.
Intel's lab in Pittsburgh, affiliated with Carnegie Mellon University, is showing off a technology concept at the Intel Developer Forum here this week called Dynamic Physical Rendering, which could ultimately lead to a shape-shifting fabric.
Apply the right voltage and software program and the flat piece of fabric turns into a 3D model of a car. Change those parameters and it transforms into a cube.
Powerful Batteries That Assemble Themselves, Technology Review
Excerpts: MIT researchers are developing low-cost manufacturing methods based on the rapid reproduction of viruses.
Biology may be the key to producing light-weight, inexpensive, and high-performance batteries that could transform military uniforms into power sources and, eventually, improve electric and hybrid vehicles.
(...) have engineered viruses to assemble battery components that can store three times as much energy as traditional materials by packing highly ordered materials into a very small space.
New Power Suit Amplifies Human Strength, LiveScience
Engineers in Japan are perfecting a wearable power suit that amplifies human strength to help lift hospital patients or heavy objects.
A labeled look at the power assist suit. Credit: Kanagawa Institute of Technology
Driven by portable batteries, micro air pumps and small body sensors that pick up even the slightest muscle twitch, the Stand-Alone Wearable Power Assist Suit is designed to help nursing home workers lift patients of up to 180 pounds while cutting the amount of strength required in half, project researcher Hirokazu Noborisaka told LiveScience today.
Complex Challenges: Global Terrorist Networks
Blinded By Hindsight, NY Times
Excerpts: FIVE years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, three years after the 9/11 commission report, and just weeks before a national election, the issues of what happened before those attacks have resurfaced. Suddenly, we are again witnessing heated disputes about such insignificant issues as whether the Clinton administration prepared a draft ¡§strategy¡¨ or, alternatively, ¡§a series of required decisions¡¨ about Al Qaeda for the incoming Bush administration.
Links & Snippets
- Pew Predicts Anti-Web Protests By 2020: A New Report From Pew Internet Suggests Discord Over The Role Of The Internet Is Set To Increase, D. Neal, 2006/09/26, vnunet.com
- Queen Promiscuity Lowers Disease Within Honeybee Colonies, T. D. Seeley, D. R. Tarpy, 2006/09/26, Proceedings B: Biological Sciences, DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2006.3702
- Negotiation Of Mutualism: Rhizobia And Legumes, E. Akçay, J. Roughgarden, 2006/09/26, Proceedings B: Biological Sciences, DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2006.3689
- Using Computers To Sort Out Facts From Opinions, 2006/09/26, ScienceDaily & Cornell University
- Eye-controlled Computer Operation, 2006/09/27, ScienceDaily & Fraunhofer Institute
- IBM Tackles US Patent Chaos: Big Blue Promotes Transparent Applications, A. Charlesworth, 2006/09/28, vnunet.com
- How To Reach Linguistic Consensus: A Proof Of Convergence For The Naming Game, B. De Vylder - bartdvarti.vub.ac.be, K. Tuyls - k.tuylscs.unimaas.nl, Oct. 2006, online 2006/06/07, Journal of Theoretical Biology, DOI: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2006.05.024
- Control Theory And The Management Of Ecosystems, C. Loehle - cloehlencasi.org, Oct. 2006, online 2006/07/25, Journal of Applied Ecology, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2006.01208.x
Potentials of Complexity Science for Business, Governments, and the Media 2006, Budapest, Hungary, 06/08/03-05
- 6th Intl Conf on Complex Systems (ICCS), Boston, MA, 06/06/25-30
Artificial Life X,
10th Intl Conf on the Simulation and Synthesis of Living Systems, Bloomington, IN, USA. 2006/06/03-07
6th Understanding Complex Systems Symposium, Urbana-Champaign, Il, 06/05/15-18
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
3rd Intl Congress of Nanotechnology 2006 (ICNT 2006) , San Francisco, 06/10/30-11/02
- Art & Artificial Life International Competition VIDA 9.0 , Deadline: 06/10/16
Weaving Smart Networks: Building Capacity for Positive Change in Organizations and Communities, Washington, DC USA, 06/10/12-13
- 2006 Wolfram Technology
Conference,Champaign, Illinois, 06/10/12-14
6th Intl Conf on Simulated Evolution and Learning , Hefei, China, 06/10/15-18
Regulomics Symposium: Focus on Systems Biology, Boston, MA, 06/10/23-26
- Complexity Cluster: Leading 21st Century Organizations, San Francisco, CA, 06/10/31
- 8th Annual Intl Leadership Association Conference: Leadership at the Crossroads,
Chicago, IIinois, USA, 06/11/01-05
Creating Interdisciplinary Cultures: Insights from Complexity Science and Relationship Centered Care, Indiana USA, 06/11/17-19
Self-Organization And Morphogenesis In Biological Systems ,
Schloss Ringberg, Germany. 06/12/03-06
- Japan Mathematica Conference 2006, Tokyo, Japan, 06/12/12
- 2006 IEEE/WIC/ACM Intl Workshop on
Interaction between Agents and Data Mining (IADM-06), Hongkong, China, 06/12/18
NECSI Winter School 2007, Cambridge, MA, 07/01/08-19
- Logic, Computability and Randomness 2007 , Buenos Aires, Argentina, 07/01/10-13
Managing Complex Organizations in a Complex World, Cambridge, MA, 07/01/25-26
3rd International Workshop on Complexity and Philisophy, Stellenbosch, South Africa, 07/02/22-23
- Complexity and Organizational Resilience
The Village, Pohnpei, Micronesia, 07/05
- 2nd Intl Conf on Built Environment Complexity - Embracing complexity thinking in built environments, Cape Town South Africa, 07/05/21-25
ECO 2007 Summit: Ecological Complexity and Sustainability: Challenges and Opportunities for 21st-Century Ecology, Beijing, China, 07/05/22-27
2007 IEEE/ICME Intl Conf on Complex Medical Engineering-CME2007, Beijing, China, 07/05/23-27
Summer School In Complexity Science, London, UK, 07/07/08-17
ECAL 2oo7 - 9th European Conference on Artificial Life
, Lisbon, Portugal, 07/09/10-14
European Conference on Complex Systems 2007 (ECCS'07) , Dresden, Germany, 07/10/01-05
Call for Papers - Course/Book Announcements
- The publishing consortium of
The European Physical Journal (EPJ), and the Editors-in-Chief are pleased to announce that The European Physical Journal B - Condensed Matter and Complex Systems - has substantially extended its existing publishing activities in the fields of Statistical Physics and Nonlinear Dynamics to encompass all aspects of the emerging field of Complex Systems.
- Call for Submissions:
The Journal of Developmental Processes will publish its first issue in fall 2006. , The JDP recognizes that complex developmental processes characterize the growth of living organisms. In humans, this complexity is highly elaborated, so that developmental change is affected by many interrelated factors of the body, the mind, family, society and the environment. New discoveries continually add to our understanding of these processes and demonstrate the inadequacy of reductionist approaches.
- Call for Papers:
Special Issue of the Artificial Life journal on the Evolution of Complexity,
Digital Graphics for Quantitative Finance,
Lineplot Productions, 2006
Why create movies of financial models? Because key stakeholders often don't understand them. The mathematical, data-intensive sphere of quantitative financial analysis can be a black box even for many in the industry. It is vital for users of this analysis to appreciate, understand and buy into, often literally, these difficult and important concepts.
Life: An Introduction to Complex Systems Biology, Kunihiko Kaneko, Springer Series: Understanding Complex Systems, 2006
What is life? Has molecular biology given us a satisfactory answer to this question? And if not, why, and how to carry on from there? This book examines life not from the reductionist point of view, but rather asks the question: what are the universal properties of living systems and how can one construct from there a phenomenological theory of life that leads naturally to complex processes such as reproductive cellular systems, evolution and differentiation? The presentation has been deliberately kept fairly non-technical so as to address a broad spectrum of students and researchers from the natural sciences and informatics.
- Chaos and Complexity
Resources for Students and Teachers, 06/03/01