Lessons From Davos, One Of Globalization's Best Classrooms, Knowledge@Wharton
Excerpts: (...) Davos has emerged as a "classroom on globalization." Among the key lessons from this year's class: Central bankers have lost their way; sovereign wealth, hedge and private equity funds are the new power brokers; and no new authority should be put in control. (...)
The Norwegian fund, for instance, has accumulated $380 billion, now the equivalent of Norway's GDP. Taken together, such funds worldwide control $2.5 trillion in assets, and like traditional institutional holders such as pension funds and investment companies, their managers said that they considered only risk and return in their investment decisions. But another panelist questioned whether they would long stay so un-sovereign in behavior. He urged that they explicitly pledge to use purely financial principles in their investment decisions now to ensure that political calculus would not intrude later.
Languages Evolve in Punctuational Bursts, Science
Excerpts: Linguists speculate that human languages often evolve in rapid or punctuational bursts, sometimes associated with their emergence from other languages, but this phenomenon has never been demonstrated. We used vocabulary data from three of the world's major language groups - Bantu, Indo-European, and Austronesian - to show that 10 to 33% of the overall vocabulary differences among these languages arose from rapid bursts of change associated with language-splitting events. Our findings identify a general tendency for increased rates of linguistic evolution in fledgling languages, perhaps arising from a linguistic founder effect or a desire to establish a distinct social identity.
Scientists Debate 'Six Degrees of Separation', NPR Science Friday
Excerpts: Judith Kleinfeld, a professor of psychology at the University of Alaska, researched Milgram's original experiment in the hopes of updating it for the digital world.
"Milgram's startling conclusion turns out to rest on scanty evidence," she says. "The idea of 'six degrees of separation' may, in fact, be plain wrong - the academic equivalent of an urban myth."
Steven Strogatz, a professor of applied mathematics at Cornell University, disputes this claim. He says it's important to remember that Milgram was not being deceptive in his original study, and describes the small world property as a sort of "universal architecture" of connection - both in the outside world and in the biology of the human body.
Tapping into the Cancer-Fighter Collective for Treatment, Scientific American
The Cancer Institute of New Jersey is working with others to develop software that lets doctors and researchers compare cases and treatment outcomes
TISSUE MICROARRAY (TMA) technique enables investigators to extract small cylinders of tissue from pathology specimens and arrange them in a matrix configuration on a recipient paraffin block such that hundreds can be analyzed simultaneously.
In an effort to improve cancer care, researchers today announced plans to create a giant database designed to allow oncologists and scientists to share vital information. The Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ) and Rutgers University, both in New Brunswick, along with IBM are developing a computer system that allows physicians and researchers worldwide to tap into the latest developments in cancer research and treatment; they envision it as a tool that will help doctors tailor the best possible therapies for their patients and let scientists track the success - or failure - of previous research.
Google Apps Team Edition Emulates Social Networking Model, InformationWeek
Excerpts: The search engine's latest software bundle builds a rudimentary social graph where workers can collaborate and share documents. (...)
Google Apps Team Edition is more or less identical to the standard version of Google Apps in function; it differs in that it's designed to spread virally and to encourage collaboration.
Upon logging in to Google Apps Team Edition, a user can identify other Google Apps users in his or her organization and can easily invite colleagues to share documents and calendars. Google Apps, in other words, has gained the makings of a rudimentary social graph, as social network friend lists are called.
Biological Moon Shot - Realizing The Dream Of A Web Page For Every Living Thing, Science News
So, the encyclopedia will release something fast, but just a small something: a portal to basic info on fish. The creators will present the pages as a work in progress, soliciting user comments.
NEW BLUE. The deep blue chromis, first described in January, will be among the 30,000 or so fish in the Encyclopedia of Life's first entries. T. Clark
Visitors will be able to admire a portrait of the zebra turkeyfish and a map of its range in the Pacific, for example, or learn that the white-spotted boxfish typically frequents tropical waters 1 meter to 30 m deep. The modern Latin names will be paired with tables of common names in dozens of languages.
Genome Studies: Genetics By Numbers, Nature
Excerpts: Genomewide association studies are starting to turn up increasingly reliable disease markers. (...)
As researchers scan larger populations for more SNPs [single nucleotide polymorphisms, Ed.], more SNPs will be associated more reproducibly with more diseases. "Finding the initial SNP is not the same as finding the underlying biology." David Altshuler
But ask when these obfuscated strings of digits and letters will be used to help find a drug, explain a disease, or recommend tailored treatments for patients, and you'll get a sober response that years of work lie ahead. Researchers readily admit that SNP-scanning studies cannot find important contributors to disease, such as environmental factors or extra copies of genes.
Cell Biology: Dying To Hold You, Nature
Excerpts: Certain cells bind so tightly to each other that, on occasion, one cell ends up inside another, usually with fatal consequences for the ingested cell. This involuntary cell death might help protect us from cancer.
The epithelial cells that cover most of the surfaces of our bodies create tight physical barriers that protect us from the outside world. To do this effectively, these cells need to stick to each other very well - which they do, thanks to molecular Velcro proteins known as cadherins.
Clinical Trials: Deaths Prompt a Review of Experimental Probiotic Therapy, Science
Experts: The high death rate in a Dutch clinical trial is raising concerns about the use of friendly bacteria, or probiotics, in some patients. (...)
Probiotic bacteria are thought to have a positive effect on the health of the gut, in part by stimulating the immune system and in part by outcompeting pathogenic bacteria. Strains used as probiotics are typically those that inhabit a healthy gut, such as lactobacilli or bifidobacteria. They have been used to treat a variety of conditions, including allergies and some inflammatory diseases.
Human Behaviour: Killer Instincts, Nature
Excerpts: What can evolution say about why humans kill - and about why we do so less than we used to? (...)
He says that the difference in the average volume of the orbitofrontal cortex between men and women accounts for about half of the variation in antisocial behaviour between the sexes. Just as evolution has shaped men's bodies to be, on average, larger than women's, it has also distributed the resources needed to regulate emotion and aggression unevenly between the sexes.
Scratching Linked to Specific Brain Regions, MedPage Today
Excerpts: The long-standing enigma of the itch-scratch cycle is beginning to be unraveled by functional MRI studies of the brain. Scratching alters brain activity in distinctive ways, increasing activity in several areas while decreasing it in others, reported Gil Yosipovitch, M.D., and colleagues at Wake Forest University online in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.
"We know scratching is pleasurable, but we haven't known why," Dr. Yosipovitch added.
The group studied 13 healthy volunteers who were scratched on the leg with a brush. Scratching lasted 30 seconds followed by no scratching for 30 seconds, for five minutes total.
Creative And Noncreative Problem Solvers Exhibit Different Patterns Of Brain Activity, ScienceDaily
Excerpts: Why do some people solve problems more creatively than others? Are people who think creatively somehow different from those who tend to think in a more methodical fashion? These questions are part of a long-standing debate, with some researchers arguing that what we call "creative thought" and "noncreative thought" are not basically different. If this is the case, then people who are thought of as creative do not really think in a fundamentally different way from those who are thought of as noncreative. (...) addresses these questions by comparing the brain activity of creative and noncreative problem solvers. (...)
Study Gives Key Role to Sleep in Helping Brain Learn Anew, NY Times
Excerpts: (...) rats had stronger synapses after periods of wakefulness than after periods of sleep. They measured the number of a certain type of neuroreceptor in the synapses and found that there were 50 percent fewer in rats that had been asleep. They also measured the electrical response across neurons in brains of live rats and found that the response was weaker. The results, Dr. Tononi said, suggest that after sleep "we get a leaner brain - there's a gain in terms of energy, space and supplies, and you are ready to learn anew."
New Tool Probes Brain Circuits: Method Applied To Learning And Memory Pathway, Science Daily
(...) to see how bypassing a major memory-forming circuit in the brain affected learning and memory in mice. "Our data strongly suggest that the hippocampal neural pathway called the tri-synaptic pathway, or TSP, plays a crucial role in quickly forming memories when encountering new events and episodes in day-to-day life," Tonegawa said. "Our results indicate that the decline of these abilities, such as that which accompanies neurodegenerative diseases and normal aging in humans, is likely to be due, at least in part, to the malfunctioning of this circuit."
The green-stained section of this mouse hippocampus represents where the new DICE-K technique blocked the neural-signal transmission in one of the hippocampal circuits of the brain. (Credit: Image / Toshi Nakashiba, MIT)
Scientists Discover A Way To Reverse Memory Loss In 'Accidental Breakthrough', Daily Mail
Scientists have stumbled on a world first in helping a man improve his memory.
Discovery: There has been an improvement in Alzheimer's patients
They were experimenting with deep-brain stimulation in an attempt to curb the appetite of a 30st patient who suffered from a lifelong obesity problem.
Electrodes were pushed into his brain and stimulated with an electric current.
The treatment did not cure his eating problem - but he experienced vivid memories of an event that occurred 30 years earlier.
In the following weeks, and up to a year later, the memory of the 50-year-old patient improved.
Deep Brain Stimulation In Hypothalamus Triggers Déjà Vu In Patient, ScienceDaily
Excerpts: Deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery, which is used to treat Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders, is now being studied for its potential to treat a variety of conditions. A new study found that hypothalamic DBS performed in the treatment of a patient with morbid obesity unexpectedly evoked a sense of déjà vu and detailed personal memories. (...) researchers conducted an experimental study to treat a 50-year-old man with a lifelong history of obesity (...). While they were identifying potential appetite suppressant sites in the hypothalamus by stimulating electrode contacts that had been implanted there, the patient suddenly experienced a feeling of "déjà vu." (...)
Newborn Brain Cells Modulate Learning And Memory, PhysOrg.com
Excerpts: Boosted by physical and mental exercise, neural stem cells continue to sprout new neurons throughout life, but the exact function of these newcomers has been the topic of much debate. Removing a genetic master switch that maintains neural stem cells in their proliferative state finally gave researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies some definitive answers.
Without adult neurogenesis - literally the "birth of neurons" - genetically engineered mice turned into "slow learners" that had trouble navigating a water maze and remembering the location of a submerged platform, (...).
Excerpts: (...) presents findings that indicate that elevated levels of blood sugar may have a negative impact on the memory function. It was previously known that patients with diabetes run a higher risk of developing various forms of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease. This increased risk may be caused by a combination of the risk factors for cardiovascular disorders that this patient group has, including high blood pressure, high blood fats, heightened inflammatory activity, and high blood sugar. (...)
Cancer Proliferation Gene Discovery Through Functional Genomics, Science
Excerpts: Retroviral short hairpin RNA (shRNA)-mediated genetic screens in mammalian cells are powerful tools for discovering loss-of-function phenotypes. We describe a highly parallel multiplex methodology for screening large pools of shRNAs using half-hairpin barcodes for microarray deconvolution. We carried out dropout screens for shRNAs that affect cell proliferation and viability in cancer cells and normal cells. We identified many shRNAs to be antiproliferative that target core cellular processes, such as the cell cycle and protein translation, in all cells examined. Moreover, we identified genes that are selectively required for proliferation and survival in different cell lines.
- Source: Cancer Proliferation Gene Discovery Through Functional Genomics, Michael R. Schlabach, Ji Luo, Nicole L. Solimini, Guang Hu, Qikai Xu, Mamie Z. Li, Zhenming Zhao, Agata Smogorzewska, Mathew E. Sowa, Xiaolu L. Ang, Thomas F. Westbrook, Anthony C. Liang, Kenneth Chang, Jennifer A. Hackett, J. Wade Harper, Gregory J. Hannon, Stephen J. Elledge, Science : 620-624., 08/02/01
Profiling Essential Genes in Human Mammary Cells by Multiplex RNAi Screening, Science
Excerpts: Systematic inhibition of gene expression with RNA interference screening reveals genes essential for growth and survival of tumor cells, potentially leading to new cancer drugs.
By virtue of their accumulated genetic alterations, tumor cells may acquire vulnerabilities that create opportunities for therapeutic intervention. We have devised a massively parallel strategy for screening short hairpin RNA (shRNA) collections for stable loss-of-function phenotypes. We assayed from 6000 to 20,000 shRNAs simultaneously to identify genes important for the proliferation and survival of five cell lines derived from human mammary tissue.
- Source: Profiling Essential Genes in Human Mammary Cells by Multiplex RNAi Screening, Jose M. Silva, Krista Marran, Joel S. Parker, Javier Silva, Michael Golding, Michael R. Schlabach, Stephen J. Elledge, Gregory J. Hannon, Kenneth Chang, Science : 617-620., 08/02/01
Harvard researchers are developing the first drug that specifically targets cancer stem cells. (...)
Roots of cancer: Not all melanoma cells (above) are equal. Some are capable of generating new tumors. Credit: Children's Hospital Boston
There is a hierarchy of cells inside a tumor, and only a few cells, called cancer stem cells, are capable of generating new tumors. Such tumor-initiating cells have been identified in many cancers, including those of the colon, brain, and breast. These cells are also thought to play an important role in chemotherapy resistance and cancer recurrence. (...)
Three-Parent Embryo Formed In Lab, BBC News
Scientists believe they have made a potential breakthrough in the treatment of serious disease by creating a human embryo with three separate parents.
The scientists have created the embryo in the lab
The Newcastle University team believe the technique could help to eradicate a whole class of hereditary diseases, including some forms of epilepsy.
The embryos have been created using DNA from a man and two women in lab tests.
It could ensure women with genetic defects do not pass the diseases on to their children. (...)
The Newcastle team have effectively given the embryos a mitochondria transplant.
Molecular Biology: The Art of Assembly, Science
Excerpts: Advances in delivering small interfering RNAs to specific tissues may bring these nucleotides closer to reality as therapeutic agents.
Small RNAs were chosen as the "Breakthrough of the Year" molecule for 2002 (1). One of these, small interfering RNA (siRNA), which is 20 to 23 nucleotides in length, can base pair with a target messenger RNA (mRNA) sequence and direct its degradation, thus blocking production of the encoded protein.
Chemistry: DNA Assembles Materials From the Ground Up, Science
Excerpts: On page 594 of this week's issue of Science, researchers report using DNA as tweezers to pick up compounds and place them where they're wanted. The technique could help researchers put chains of molecules together to answer questions such as how different enzymes work together in a series. (...)
Taken together, the results show that nanotechnologists are beginning to look at DNA in a whole new light. "This is a watershed in using DNA to assemble objects other than DNA,"
DNA Is Blueprint, Contractor And Construction Worker For New Structures, Science Daily
DNA is the blueprint of all life, giving instruction and function to organisms ranging from simple one-celled bacteria to complex human beings. Now Northwestern University researchers report they have used DNA as the blueprint, contractor and construction worker to build a three-dimensional structure out of gold, a lifeless material.
Computer rendition of a structure created by using DNA to assemble nanoparticles into well-defined crystal lattices. (Credit: Northwestern University)
New Process Makes Nanofibers In Complex Shapes And Unlimited Lengths, Science Daily
Excerpts: The continuous fabrication of complex, three-dimensional nanoscale structures and the ability to grow individual nanowires of unlimited length are now possible with a process developed by researchers at the University of Illinois. (...)
"The process is like drawing with a fountain pen -- the ink comes out and quickly dries or 'solidifies,' " said Min-Feng Yu, a professor of mechanical science and engineering, and an affiliate of the Beckman Institute. "But, unlike drawing with a fountain pen, we can draw objects in three dimensions."
Genetic 'Telepathy'? A Bizarre New Property Of DNA, PysOrg.com
Excerpts: Scientists are reporting evidence that intact, double-stranded DNA has the "amazing" ability to recognize similarities in other DNA strands from a distance. And then like friends with similar interests, the bits of genetic material hangout or congregate together. The recognition - of similar sequences in DNA's chemical subunits - occurs in a way once regarded as impossible, (...).
"Amazingly, the forces responsible for the sequence recognition can reach across more than one nanometer of water separating the surfaces of the nearest neighbor DNA," said the authors.
Dusty Clues: Study Suggests No Dearth Of Earths, Science News
But a new study suggests that earthlike planets orbit or are forming around many, if not most, nearby sunlike stars, providing places where life might have gained a foothold.
HOME AWAY FROM HOME. Artist's depiction of an earthlike planet orbiting a star outside the solar system. NASA/JPL-Caltech
That conclusion comes from an infrared survey of some 300 stars similar in mass to the sun and ranging in age from a youthful 3 million years to a middle-aged 3 billion. Using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, Mike Meyer of the University of Arizona in Tucson and his colleagues surveyed those stars and their surroundings at an infrared wavelength of 24 microns.
Seafloor Chemistry: Life's Building Blocks Made Inorganically, Science News
Hydrocarbons in the fluids spewing from a set of hydrothermal vents on the seafloor of the central Atlantic were produced by inorganic chemical reactions within the ocean crust, scientists suggest. The finding holds possibly profound implications for the origins of life. (...)
TALL TOWERS. Small amounts of hydrocarbons emitted from the Lost City hydrothermal vent field (map below shows location) were probably produced by inorganic chemical reactions. D.S. Kelley/Univ. of Washington, IFE, URI-IAO, NOAA
Although some types of microorganisms that inhabit the mineral chimneys in the Lost City may have generated a portion of the fluids' dissolved methane, none found there could have produced the ethane, butane, or other organic compounds in the vents' brew. Finding butane in the fluids is particularly important, because that hydrocarbon is a building block for some of the organic substances found in cell membranes,(...).
Artificial Letters Added To Life's Alphabet, New Scientist
Excerpts: Two artificial DNA "letters" that are accurately and efficiently replicated by a natural enzyme have been created by US researchers. Adding the two artificial building blocks to the four that naturally comprise DNA could allow wildly different kinds of genetic engineering, they say.
Eventually, the researchers say, they may be able to add them into the genetic code of living organisms. (...)
Two different screening approaches turned up the same pair of molecules, called dSICS and dMMO2.
Lethargus Is A Caenorhabditis Elegans Sleep-Like State, Nature
Excerpts: There are fundamental similarities between sleep in mammals and quiescence in the arthropod Drosophila melanogaster, suggesting that sleep-like states are evolutionarily ancient. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans also has a quiescent behavioural state during a period called lethargus, which occurs before each of the four moults. (...) suggest a common genetic regulation of sleep-like states in arthropods and nematodes. (...) sleep may have evolved to allow for developmental changes.
- Source: Lethargus Is A Caenorhabditis Elegans Sleep-Like State, David M. Raizen, John E. Zimmerman, Matthew H. Maycock, Uyen D. Ta, Young-jai You, Meera V. Sundaram, Allan I. Pack, DOI: 10.1038/nature06535, Nature 451, 569-572, 08/01/31
Sex Determination: Some Like It Hot (And Some Don't), Nature
Excerpts: There is a widely accepted theoretical explanation for why sex in some species is determined at the embryo stage by environmental factors such as temperature. That theory is now supported by experiment.
How the sex of offspring is determined seems simple enough if you don't look beyond ourselves. For humans, the system is genotypic: two X chromosomes, and you're female; an X and a Y, and you're male. There are plenty of variants of this system, but in many reptiles an entirely different mechanism applies: sex is determined by the temperature of the incubating egg, and clutches can be all-male, all-female or somewhere in between.
Conspicuous Social Signaling Drives Evolution Of Chameleon Color Change, ScienceDaily
Excerpts: What drove the evolution of color change in chameleons? Chameleons can use color change to camouflage and to signal to other chameleons, but a new paper shows that the need to rapidly signal to other chameleons, and not the need to camouflage from predators, has driven the evolution of this characteristic trait. The research, (...) shows that the dramatic color changes of chameleons are tailored to aggressively display to conspecific competitors and to seduce potential mates. Because these signals are quick--chameleons can change color in a matter of milliseconds--the animal can afford to make it obvious, (...).
Large Contribution Of Sea Surface Warming To Recent Increase In Atlantic Hurricane Activity, Nature
Excerpts: Atlantic hurricane activity has increased significantly since 1995, but the underlying causes of this increase remain uncertain. It is widely thought that rising Atlantic sea surface temperatures have had a role in this, but the magnitude of this contribution is not known. Here we quantify this contribution (...). (...) a 0.5 deg C increase in sea surface temperature is associated with a 40% increase in hurricane frequency and activity. (...) Our analysis does not identify whether warming induced by greenhouse gases contributed to the increase in hurricane activity, (...).
Climate Change: Stationarity Is Dead: Whither Water Management?, Science
Excerpts: Systems for management of water throughout the developed world have been designed and operated under the assumption of stationarity. Stationarity--the idea that natural systems fluctuate within an unchanging envelope of variability--is a foundational concept that permeates training and practice in water-resource engineering. It implies that any variable (e.g., annual stream-flow or annual flood peak) has a time-invariant (or 1-year-periodic) probability density function (pdf), whose properties can be estimated from the instrument record.
Nanomaterials: Golden Handshake, Nature
Experts: Three-dimensional nanoparticle arrays are likely to be the foundation of future optical and electronic materials. A promising way to assemble them is through the transient pairings of complementary DNA strands.
Progress in achieving the directed self-assembly of nanoparticles had been elusive, owing to one potentially daunting requirement: selective adhesion. Each microscopic part must be engineered so that it sticks only to the others it should abut in the desired final structure.
A Memory Breakthrough - Two Firms Have Doubled The Capacity Of Phase-Change Memory, A Likely Replacement For Flash., Technology Review
Phase-change memory differs from other solid-state memory technologies such as flash and random-access memory because it doesn't use electrons to store data. Instead, it relies on the material's own arrangement of atoms, known as its physical state. Previously, phase-change memory was designed to take advantage of only two states: one in which atoms are loosely organized (amorphous), and another where they are rigidly structured (crystalline).
Much more memory: A memory cell (shown above) in a phase-change memory chip stores data by maintaining a particular physical state, or orientation of atoms. A heater in the cell (the dark vertical line) heats the material so that can change states. Previously, only two states were used. Intel has now shown that there are two more distinct states that can be used to store data, effectively doubling the capacity of a memory cell. Credit: Intel
But in a paper presented at the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco, researchers illustrated that there are two more distinct states that fall between amorphous and crystalline, and that these states can be used to store data.
Excerpt: Proteins of photosynthetic bacteria can be used to generate photocurrent. How to do that - this can be learnt from the article by Russian researchers. Researchers from different countries are accommodating to their purposes proteins of photosynthesis system bacteria. They are used as an active component of the photocurrent generation chain in the sensory and energy-storing systems. (...)
Excerpts: In a fourth-floor lab at Harvard University, Adam Feinberg is peering through a low-magnification microscope and using a scalpel to cut out triangles and rectangles from a thin polymer. What's impossible to see with the naked eye is a one-cell-thick layer of heart tissue coating each shape. When Feinberg connects the petri dish holding the triangles and rectangles to a pacemaker, the tissue begins to rhythmically contract, and the shapes come alive--twisting, pinching, and even swimming through a solution.
Engineers Create New Adhesive That Mimics Gecko Toe Hairs, PhysOrg.com
A new anti-sliding adhesive developed by engineers at the University of California, Berkeley, may be the closest man-made material yet to mimic the remarkable gecko toe hairs that allow the tiny lizard to scamper along vertical surfaces and ceilings. (...)
The gecko-inspired adhesive can support significant weight. Increasing weight increases contact area for the adhesive (contact area is the bright area near the top of the patch). As the load increases, more fibers are recruited to make contact, increasing the strength of the adhesion parallel to the surface. When the sliding force is removed, the fibers straighten, and the patch is easily released with negligible pull-off force. The patch has demonstrated better than 1/6 of a real gecko's stress on the same glass surface. Credit: J. Lee and R.S. Fearing, UC Berkeley
Taking a cue from the millions of hairs covering a gecko's toes, researchers squeezed 42 million hard plastic microfibers onto each square centimeter of material and loaded it with various weights. They found that on a smooth, clean, vertical surface, two square centimeters of the synthetic adhesive could hold 400 grams (0.88 pounds). At the same time, the adhesive easily lifts off with minimal force and no residue.
Editor's Note: But does that explain how Geckos walk upside-down across the ceiling?
Smart 'Lego' Conjures Up Virtual 3D Twin, New Scientist
The high-tech construction kit can sense its position and makes a 3D virtual double. Physical additions or adjustments are immediately reproduced on-screen (Image: CoDe Lab/CMU)
Posey's plastic pieces are a mix of hubs and struts that connect with ball-and-socket joints. The pieces have LEDs and sensors built into their ends so that they can communicate using coded signals of light. Pieces can also sense the angles between themselves and their neighbours, allowing the software to model their overall shape.
Each piece's plastic shell is stuffed with chips and devices for processing these signals. They are sent wirelessly to a computer using a low-power protocol called ZigBee. This means, bending Posey's pieces can make objects on-screen respond in real time.
Complex Challenges: Global Terrorist Networks
Excerpts: Al-Qaeda, increasingly tamped down in Iraq, is establishing cells in other countries as Osama bin Laden's organization uses Pakistan's tribal region to train for attacks in Afghanistan, the Middle East, Africa and the United States, the U.S. intelligence chief said yesterday. "Al-Qaeda remains the pre-eminent threat against the United States," (...).
The next attack on the United States most likely would be launched by al-Qaeda operating in those "under-governed region" of Pakistan, said Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
UN Torture Investigator Blasts US White House Defense Of Waterboarding, The Associated Press
Excerpts: "This is absolutely unacceptable under international human rights law," said Manfred Nowak, the U.N. special rapporteur on torture. "Time has come that the government will actually acknowledge that they did something wrong and not continue trying to justify what is unjustifiable."
On Tuesday, the Bush administration acknowledged publicly for the first time that waterboarding was used by U.S. government questioners on three terror suspects. Testifying before Congress, CIA Director Michael Hayden said the suspects were waterboarded in 2002 and 2003.
Links & Snippets
- Social Networking Websites from A to Z, Keith Hanks, 08/01/23, CIO, Here's an A-to-Z list of professional and personal social networking sites to help you network your way around the world.
- Climate Change: The Big Thaw Reaches Mongolia's Pristine North, John Bohannon, 08/02/01, Science : 567-568. As warmer temperatures affect plants, animals, and human society, researchers ask whether ecological changes can be reversed.
- Insights into Phases of Liquid Water from Study of Its Unusual Glass-Forming Properties, 08/02/01, Science : 582-587.
- Single-Molecule Cut-and-Paste Surface Assembly, S. K. Kufer, E. M. Puchner, H. Gumpp, T. Liedl, H. E. Gaub, 08/02/01, Science : 594-596. An atomic force microscope tip derivatized with DNA can pick up and assemble large molecules bearing DNA handles into specific patterns on a surface in aqueous solution.
- Electronic Liquid Crystal State in the High-Temperature Superconductor, V. Hinkov, D. Haug, B. Fauqu?, P. Bourges, Y. Sidis, A. Ivanov, C. Bernhard, C. T. Lin, B. Keimer, 08/02/01, Science: 597-600. Neutron-scattering measurements suggest that ordering of fluctuating electron spins explains the liquid crystal phases recently seen in some correlated electron systems., DOI: 10.1126/science.1152309
- Prioritizing Climate Change Adaptation Needs for Food Security in 2030, David B. Lobell, Marshall B. Burke, Claudia Tebaldi, Michael D. Mastrandrea, Walter P. Falcon, Rosamond L. Naylor, 08/02/01, Science : 607-610. Analysis of 12 food-insecure regions for vulnerability to crop failure from climate change indicates that those in southern Africa and south Asia are in particular need of attention.
- Warning Sign: Genetic Fragments Tag Cancer Severity, Tina Hesman Saey, 08/02/02, Science News, High levels of the microRNA miR-21 lead to poor prognoses for colon cancer patients.
- Spice It Up: Naked Mole-Rats Feel No Pain From Peppers, Acid, 08/02/02, Science News, The African naked mole-rat doesn't feel pain from acid or chilies, a possible adaptation to its cramped underground habitat.
- Live Long And Perspire: Exercise May Slow Aging At Chromosomal Level, 08/02/02, Science News, A new study finds that a sedentary lifestyle is linked to short telomeres on chromosomes, potentially a sign of rapid aging.
- Embracing the Dark Side, 08/02/02, Science News, Ten years after researchers discovered that the expansion of the universe was speeding up rather than slowing down, cosmologists are still struggling to explain the astonishing finding.
- Receptor May Be Cancer Accomplice, 08/02/02, Science News, Suppressing a receptor protein called neuropilin-2 slows colon cancer growth in mice.
- Tasty Stalks, 08/02/02, Science News, Celery's tasteless compounds make chicken soup taste better.
- Female-Mediated Causes And Consequences Of Status Change In A Social Fish, J. L. Fitzpatrick, J. K. Desjardins, N. Milligan, K.A. Stiver, R. Montgomerie, S. Balshine, 2008/01/29, Proceedings B: Biological Sciences, DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2007.1449
- Place Memory In Crickets, J. Wessnitzer, M. Mangan, B. Webb, 2008/01/29, Proceedings B: Biological Sciences, DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2007.1647
- The Anna's Hummingbird Chirps With Its Tail: A New Mechanism Of Sonation In Birds, C. J. Clark, T. J. Feo, 2008/01/29, Proceedings B: Biological Sciences, DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2007.1619
- US IT Departments Slammed For Inefficiency: UK And German Departments 'Much More Efficient', Claims Survey, I. B. Williams, 2008/01/30, vnunet.com
- Wired For Sound: Implant Sends Signals Direct To Brain, 2008/01/31, ScienceDaily
- E. Coli Bacteria: A Future Source Of Energy?, 2008/01/31, ScienceDaily
- How Is That Whale Listening?, 2008/02/04, Innovations-report
- ‘Nationalizing Embryos’: The Politics Of Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research In Italy, I. Metzlera - ingrid.metzlerunivie.ac.at, Dec. 2007, online 2007/12/03, Biosocieties, DOI: 10.1017/S1745855207005856
- Self-Structuring In Spatial Evolutionary Ecology, S. Lion - slionbiologie.ens.fr, M. van Baalen, Mar. 2008, online 2007/12/07, Ecology Letters, DOI: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2007.01132.x
- Prediction Uncertainty Of Environmental Change Effects On Temperate European Biodiversity, C. F. Dormann - carsten.dormannufz.de, Oliver Schweiger, P. Arens, I. Augenstein, St. Aviron, Debra Bailey, J. Baudry, R. Billeter, R. Bugter, R. Bukácek, F. Burel, M. Cerny, Raphaël De Cock, Geert De Blust, R. DeFilippi, Tim Diekötter, J. Dirksen, W. Durka, P.J. Edwards, M. Frenzel, R. Hamersky, Frederik Hendrickx, F. Herzog, St. Klotz, B. Koolstra, A. Lausch, D. Le Coeur, J. Liira, J.P. Maelfait, P. Opdam, M. Roubalova, Agnes Schermann-Legionnet, N. Schermann, T. Schmidt, M. J. M. Smulders, M. Speelmans, P. Simova, J. Verboom, Walter van Wingerden, M. Zobel, Mar. 2008, online 2007/12/07, Ecology Letters, DOI: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2007.01132.x
- Optimization Of Synchronization In Complex Clustered Networks, L. Huang, Y.-C. Lai, R. A. Gatenby, Mar. 2008, online 2008/01/08, Chaos, DOI: 10.1063/1.2826289
- 7th Intl Conf on Complex Systems (ICCS), Boston, MA, 07/10/28-11/02
Reseau Nationale des Systemes Complexes , (in French), 2007
- World Economic Forum , Davos, Switzerland, 08/01/22-27
TED Talks, TED Conferences LLC , since 2006
Talking Robots: The PodCast on Robotics and AI, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland, 06/11/03
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
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
8. Interdisziplinärer Salon für Europa [I.S.E.]. Thema: Struktur, Berlin, Germany, 08/02/26
The 1st Conf on Artificial General Intelligence (AGI-08), Memphis, Tennessee, USA, 08/03/01-03
The 3rd Intl Nonlinear Sciences Conference (INSC), Tokyo, Japan, 08/03/13-15
19th European Meeting On Cybernetics And Systems Research, (EMCSR 2008), Vienna, Austria, 08/03/25-28
2nd KES Intl Symp on Agent and Multi-Agent Systems : Technologies and Applications, Incheon, Korea, 08/03/26-28
Nexus for Change II,
Bowling Green, OH, 08/03/29-04/01
2nd Applied Neuroscience Meeting, Monterrey, Mexico, 08/04/03-06
Fumee 1 - 1St Futures Meeting - Understanding Anticipatory Systems, Rovereto (Italy), 08/04/10-12
1st Intl Conf on Social Entrepreneurship & Complexity, Garden City, NY, USA, 08/04/10-12
Emergence In The Physical And Biological World: A Notion In Search Of Clarification, Erice (Italy), 08/04/12-16
Chaotic Modeling and Simulation International Conference, Chania, Crete, Greece, 08/06/03-06
International Conference on Chaos, Complexity & Conflict, Omaha, NE, 08/06/05-07
4th Organization Studies Summer Workshop: "Embracing Complexity: Advancing Ecological Understanding in Organization Studies", Pissouri, Cyprus, 08/06/05-07
Cambridge Healthtech Institute's Tenth Annual... Applying Systems Biology, San Francisco, CA, 08/06/09-11
9th Intl Mathematica Symposium, Maastricht, The Netherlands, 08/06/20-24
The 14th Intl Conf on Auditory Display (ICAD), Paris, France, 08/06/24-27
7th Intl Summer School and Conf "Let's Face Chaos through Nonlinear Dynamics", Maribor, Slovenia, 08/06/29-07/13
The 12th World Multi-Conf on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics: WMSCI 2008, Orlando, Florida, USA, 08/06/29-07/02
From Animals To Animats 10 - The 10th Intl Conf on the Simulation Of Adaptive Behavior (SAB'08), Osaka, Japan, 08/07/07-12
Complex Systems and Social Simulations, CEU Summer University, Budapest, Hungary, 08/07/07-18
Stochastic Resonance 2008, Perugia, Italy, 08/08/17-21
1st Intl Workshop on Nonlinear Dynamics and Synchronization
(INDS'08), Klagenfurt, Austria, 08/07/18-19
Scratch@MIT,Cambridge, MA, 08/07/24-26
8th Intl Conf on Epigenetic Robotics:
Modeling Cognitive Development in Robotic Systems, Brighton, UK, 08/07/31-08/02
A short notice from Dean LeBaron
Dear ComDig Readers,
Our editor, Dr. Gottfried Mayer, is affectionately esteemed by many of you -- as readers, you know he devotes himself unselfishly to widening our knowledge of complexity science. He was recently diagnosed with advanced colon cancer and given a timetable of a very few years. Knowing Gottfried, you can imagine that, in addition to the customary processes of chemotherapy, he would explore other frontier therapies, especially those arising out of interdisciplinary applications of complexity. These are expensive ... if he can find them.
Many of you have sent your good wishes and indicated your desire to assist. With Gottfried's permission, I am posting this note with information, below, about how to send contributions to him. Please indicate the source since Gottfried will want to express his warm gratitude.
I know that Gottfried, the good scientist that he is, will explain from time to time what he is doing and what the results are ... and we will follow his progress with great interest and hope.
Publisher, Complexity Digest
If your contribution is made by check:
Please mail the check, payable to "Gottfried Mayer", to:
Manufacturers & Traders Trust
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Guilderland, NY 12084 USA
(on the back of the check, please write: "For Deposit Only: Account # 983 338 3814")
If your contribution is made by wire:
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Account # 983 338 3814
Ref. Gottfried Mayer