Complexity Digest 2006.05

  "I think the next century will be the century of complexity." Stephen Hawking, 2000.

  1. On The Contrary: Why It Pays To Be Different, Investors Insight Publishing
  2. Internet Serves As 'Social Glue', BBC News
    1. Collective Intelligence 2.0, Nova Spivack's Journal of Unusual News and Ideas
  3. Belief Special: How Evolution Found God,
    1. Belief Special: When Delusion Triumphs Over Truth,
  4. Complexity, Class Dynamics, and Distance Learning, Computers and Composition
  5. Empathic Neural Responses Are Modulated By The Perceived Fairness Of Others, Nature
  6. The Scaling Laws Of Human Travel, Nature
  7. The Costs Of Global Warming, Nature
    1. Getting Serious About Biofuels, Science
    2. Atmosphere: Climate Change And Human Evolution, Science
  8. Treasure Island: Pinning Down A Model Ecosystem, Nature
    1. Physiology: Plants On A Different Scale, Nature
    2. Genomics: Discovery In The Dirt, Nature
  9. Mother-Of-Pearl On Ice: New Ceramics Might Serve In Bones And Machines, Science News
  10. The Right [Drug, Ed.] Combination, Nature
  11. Literary Darwinism: Textual Selection, Nature
  12. Development: Twists Of Fate In The Brain, Nature
    1. Use Your Brain, Halve Your Risk Of Dementia, Innovations-report
    2. In The Mind's Eye: How The Brain Makes A Whole Out Of Parts, ScienceDaily
  13. Studying The Evolutionary Development Of Species, NPR TOTN
    1. Regeneration Sans Stem Cells, Wired News
    2. Prions May Hold Key To Stem Cell Function,
    3. Bird Flu Genes Decoded; New Clue To How It Kills, National Geographic News
  14. Biologists Puzzle Over Bird's Ensemble Vocalizations, Science News
  15. Monkey Cops Keep Clans Together, New Scientist
    1. The Police Are A Bunch Of Monkeys
    2. Policing Stabilizes Construction Of Social Niches In Primates, Nature
  16. Small Rocky Planet Found Orbiting Normal Star,
    1. Extrasolar Planets: Light Through A Gravitational Lens, Nature
    2. I Spy ... A Cold, Little Planet, Science
  17. Gravity Theory Dispenses With Dark Matter, New Scientist
    1. A Better Than Perfect Match [Entanglement, Ed.], Nature
    2. South Pole Neutrino Detector Could Yield Evidences Of String Theory,
  18. Why Not Build A Bomb?, NY Times
  19. Complex Challenges: Global Terrorist Network
    1. Radicalization And Europe'S Counter-Terrorism Strategy,
    2. Vice President's Remarks On Iraq And The War On Terror At The Manhattan Institute For Policy Research, Whitehouse Press Release
  20. Links & Snippets
    1. Other Publications
    2. Webcast Announcements
    3. Conference Announcements
    4. Call for Papers - Book Announcements

  1. On The Contrary: Why It Pays To Be Different, Investors Insight Publishing Bookmark and Share

    Excerpts: However, in a world where investors are driven by fear and greed, not mean and variance, other approaches can add value. For instance, if we see a marked tendency to over-react to news then one could either try to go with the flow (momentum) or bet on an eventual return to normality (contrarian strategies).

    Moreover, in a world in which everyone is trying to outperform each other, doing what everyone else is doing is unlikely to generate outperformance.

  2. Internet Serves As 'Social Glue', BBC News Bookmark and Share

    Excerpt: The internet has played an important role in the life decisions of 60 million Americans, research shows. Whether it be career advice, helping people through an illness or finding a new house, 45% of Americans turn to the web for help, a survey by US-based Pew Internet think-tank has found.

    It set out to find out whether the web and e-mail strengthen social ties.

    The answer seems to be yes, especially in times of crisis when people use it to mobilise their social networks. In the past, it has been suggested that the internet and e-mail could diminish real relationships.

    1. Collective Intelligence 2.0, Nova Spivack's Journal of Unusual News and Ideas Bookmark and Share

      Excerpts: This article proposes the creation of a new open, nonprofit service on the Web that will provide something akin to ¡§collective self-awareness¡¨ back to the Web. This service is like a "Google Zeitgeist" on steroids, but with a lot more real-time, interactive, participatory data, technology and features in it. The goal is to measure and visualize the state of the collective mind of humanity, and provide this back to humanity in as close to real-time as is possible, from as many data sources as we can handle -- as a web service.

  3. Belief Special: How Evolution Found God, Bookmark and Share

    Excerpts: So, communal religion requires fifth-order intentionality, and this also happens to be the limit of most people's capacity as indicated by research done by myself and my colleagues. I think this is no coincidence. The majority of human activities can probably be dealt with using second or third-order intentionality. The two extra layers beyond this undoubtedly come at some considerable neural expense. Since evolution is frugal, there must be some good reason why we have them. The only plausible answer, so far as I can see, is religion. And that's where this line of reasoning can throw light on the origins of religious belief.

    1. Belief Special: When Delusion Triumphs Over Truth, Bookmark and Share

      Excerpts: Belief seems intangible until you take a close look inside the brain, as New Scientist discovers BELIEF has never literally moved a mountain, but it can have some dramatic effects. Take Madeleine Rizan. By the time she bathed in the waters of Lourdes in 1858 she had been paralysed for 24 years, yet, according to the record, she regained her ability to move. Then there are the dozens of heart patients in the 1950s who were helped by a procedure known as internal mammary ligation - which worked just as well when patients simply believed it had been done.

  4. Complexity, Class Dynamics, and Distance Learning, Computers and Composition Bookmark and Share

    Abstract: Classroom participants learn early on that each classroom has its own dynamic comprised of personalities, motivation levels, skills, and other variables. This paper explores features of complexity theory - "nonlinearity and emergent self-organization - relevant to dynamics in physical or virtual classrooms. These central notions of complexity theory and their importance in composition classrooms help explain why students in virtual classrooms are often less successful than their physical classroom counterparts in negotiating the eddies of virtual interactions. The paper closes with a brief consideration of how teachers can interrogate all the elements of teaching and classroom context (whether physical or virtual) to influence the emergent dynamic of our classrooms.

  5. Empathic Neural Responses Are Modulated By The Perceived Fairness Of Others, Nature Bookmark and Share

    Excerpts: We engaged male and female volunteers in an economic game, in which two confederates played fairly or unfairly, and then measured brain activity with functional magnetic resonance imaging while these same volunteers observed the confederates receiving pain. Both sexes exhibited empathy-related activation in pain-related brain areas (...) towards fair players. However, these empathy-related responses were significantly reduced in males when observing an unfair person receiving pain. This effect was accompanied by increased activation in reward-related areas, correlated with an expressed desire for revenge.

  6. The Scaling Laws Of Human Travel, Nature Bookmark and Share

    Excerpts: Here we report on a solid and quantitative assessment of human travelling statistics by analysing the circulation of bank notes in the United States. Using a comprehensive data set of over a million individual displacements, we find that dispersal is anomalous in two ways. (...) We show that human travelling behaviour can be described mathematically on many spatiotemporal scales by a two-parameter continuous-time random walk model to a surprising accuracy, and conclude that human travel on geographical scales is an ambivalent and effectively superdiffusive process.

  7. The Costs Of Global Warming, Nature Bookmark and Share

    Excerpts: Efforts to forecast how Earth's future climate will affect us must consider the economic growth of both rich and poor nations. But there are doubts over the theories being used, as Quirin Schiermeier explains.

    Discussions of climate change tend to involve uncertainties, and most climate researchers have come to accept the inherent unknowns of their business. After all, the climate models they use to project the course of global warming are generally seen as the best that science can offer. But there is a growing feeling that the economic assumptions on which their work is based are outdated and unreliable. And this could have serious implications for assessments of climate change.

    1. Getting Serious About Biofuels, Science Bookmark and Share

      Excerpts: Although Rudolf Diesel imagined that his eponymous engine would be fueled by vegetable oils, the widespread availability of inexpensive petroleum during the 20th century determined otherwise. (...)

      Credible studies show that with plausible technology developments, biofuels could supply some 30% of global demand in an environmentally responsible manner without affecting food production. To realize that goal, so-called advanced biofuels must be developed from dedicated energy crops, separately and distinctly from food. This is a multidisciplinary task in which biologists, agronomists, chemical engineers, fuel specialists, and social scientists must work to integrate and optimize several currently disjoint activities.

    2. Atmosphere: Climate Change And Human Evolution, Science Bookmark and Share

      Excerpts: Climate and biological evolution have interacted throughout Earth's history, together creating many small and a few major transformations in the planet's atmosphere and biota. The role of climate in the origin and adaptations of humans relates not only to our past but also, potentially, to our future. A number of hypotheses propose that climate-driven environmental changes during the past 7 million years were responsible for hominin speciation, the morphological shift to bipedality, enlarged cranial capacity, behavioral adaptability, cultural innovations, and intercontinental immigration events .

  8. Treasure Island: Pinning Down A Model Ecosystem, Nature Bookmark and Share

    Excerpts: Every species on paradise isle to be catalogued.

    Lounging on Craig Venter's yacht in the South Pacific a couple of years ago, Neil Davies contemplated the tiny island of Moorea. Venter, famous for his work on the human genome, was sailing around the world to catalogue the microscopic life of the oceans. But Davies was pondering a more audacious goal: a plan to sequence an entire island. He mentioned the plan to a scientist on Venter's crew: "He just laughed," Davies remembers.

    But Davies was on to something. He and a band of ecologists are launching the Moorea Biocode Project, which aims to turn the island into something like a model organism for tropical ecology.

    1. Physiology: Plants On A Different Scale, Nature Bookmark and Share

      Excerpts: Is there a unified theory that relates size and metabolic rate across all organisms? Maybe not, according to the results of experiments that measured respiration in plants of widely varying mass.

      There is no question of the value of ideas such as those of West and colleagues, as they dare to invoke first-principle universal mechanisms. But these new findings question a central tenet of the metabolic scaling theory - that size-dependent distribution networks exert the primary constraint on metabolic rates in vascular plants. Reich and colleagues' results1 will spark considerable debate among ecologists and physiologists: at stake is the issue of whether there is a truly unified theory of metabolism that encompasses all organisms.

    2. Genomics: Discovery In The Dirt, Nature Bookmark and Share

      Excerpts: Soil microbes are notoriously hard to culture, so how can we make the ground yield its secrets? Virginia Gewin finds that genetic sequencing - of samples not species - may be the answer.

      Leonardo da Vinci once remarked that "We know more about the movement of celestial bodies than about the soil underfoot." You could argue that his insight still holds true the best part of 500 years later. But new genomic technologies mean that the microscopic bodies that enliven soil may be about to get the attention they deserve - if not as individuals, then as communities.

  9. Mother-Of-Pearl On Ice: New Ceramics Might Serve In Bones And Machines, Science News Bookmark and Share

    BRICK-A-STACK. Novel materials made from microplates of ceramic such as alumina (left) joined by metal mortar replicate the microstructure and properties of natural mother-of-pearl of an abalone shell (right). The two micrographs are at different scales; the artificial plates are actually about 10 times as thick as those in the mother-of-pearl. Deville et al./Science
    Mollusks such as abalone and oysters create their iridescent armor, known as nacre, from brittle calcium carbonate microcrystals and pliant proteins arranged like bricks and mortar, respectively (...). Materials specialists have long envied the composite's resilience, which is superior to that of human-made ceramics.

    Past efforts to artificially replicate the shells' architecture have typically stalled after a few microlayers or generated cruder laminations than those in the real stuff, (...). Using the new method, he, (...) fabricated centimeters-thick chunks of ceramic with internal layering almost as thin as that of natural nacre.

  10. The Right [Drug, Ed.] Combination, Nature Bookmark and Share

    Excerpts: Instead of the painstaking process of developing new drugs, one Boston-based company is making its mark by pairing up those we already have.

    Drug research largely boils down to the search for 'magic bullets' - molecules that act against single, specific biological targets. But putting each candidate bullet through its paces is a laborious and expensive business. Flying in the face of convention, a young biotech company in Boston, Massachusetts, has adopted a very different approach, and has so far been well rewarded for its efforts.

    CombinatoRx (pronounced Combinatorix) is the brainchild of Harvard chemistry PhD dropout Alexis Borisy and several pals, all of whom worked in the lab of leading chemical biologist Stuart Schreiber.

  11. Literary Darwinism: Textual Selection, Nature Bookmark and Share

    Excerpts: Can reading the classics through Charles Darwin's spectacles reawaken literary study? (...)

    When, at the beginning of The Iliad - and Western literature - King Agamemnon steals Achilles' slave-girl, Briseis, the king tells the world's greatest warrior that he is doing so "to let you know that I am more powerful than you, and to teach others not to bandy words with me and openly defy their king". But literary scholar Jonathan Gottschall believes that the true focus of Homer's epic is not royal authority, but royal genes.

  12. Development: Twists Of Fate In The Brain, Nature Bookmark and Share

    Excerpts: How does the complex array of cell types and functions in the mammalian brain develop? Tracking cells by gene expression shows how their fates derive from organization within the simple embryonic neural tube.

    While forming functional domains in the developing brain, cells crawl considerable distances to reach their final destinations. So it has been extremely difficult to determine when and where during this process the neuronal cells 'learn' which distinct brain region they are fated to become.

    1. Use Your Brain, Halve Your Risk Of Dementia, Innovations-report Bookmark and Share

      Excerpts: Research from UNSW provides the most convincing evidence to date that complex mental activity across people's lives significantly reduces the risk of dementia. The researchers found that such activity almost halves the incidence of dementia. The paper, (...) is the first comprehensive review of the research in the field of 'brain reserve', which looks at the role of education, occupational complexity and mentally stimulating lifestyle pursuits in preventing cognitive decline. The paper integrates data from 29,000 individuals across 22 studies from around the world. (...)

    2. In The Mind's Eye: How The Brain Makes A Whole Out Of Parts, ScienceDaily Bookmark and Share

      Excerpts: When a human looks at a number, letter or other shape, neurons in various areas of the brain's visual center respond to different components of that shape, almost instantaneously fitting them together like a puzzle to create an image that the individual then "sees" and understands, (...) describes the complex but speedy process in detail (...). "This may not even seem like a scientific question to some people, because seeing is so automatic and we are so good at it - far better than the best computer vision systems yet devised (...)".

  13. Studying The Evolutionary Development Of Species, NPR TOTN Bookmark and Share

    Excerpts: A relatively new field of study aims to explain how so many different life forms emerged from just a handful of genes. Leading "evo-devo" scientist Sean B. Carroll talks about his line of work.

    1. Regeneration Sans Stem Cells, Wired News Bookmark and Share

      Excerpts: Hydra Biosciences is working a regeneration drug that stimulates heart muscle-cell regrowth, and could lead to better recoveries for heart attack sufferers. The protein-based drug induces mature cells to become a little bit like stem cells.

      It causes heart cells to "dedifferentiate" partially, reverting them to an earlier stage of development and activating their ability to generate more muscle cells. Stem cells, by contrast, are fully undifferentiated, meaning they're a clean slate and have the ability to turn into any type of tissue.

    2. Prions May Hold Key To Stem Cell Function, Bookmark and Share

      Excerpts: (...) used radiation to deplete the bone marrow of mice genetically engineered to not produce the prion proteins. The animals' marrow regenerated quickly at first, but eventually slowed to a stop. The marrow also lost its regenerative abilities when transplanted into normal mice.

      "For years we've wondered why evolution has preserved this protein, what positive role it could possibly be playing,¡¨ (...). "With these findings we have our first answer.¨

      The question of how prions sustain stem cell activity remains unanswered, but the finding is a first step to understanding (...).

    3. Bird Flu Genes Decoded; New Clue To How It Kills, National Geographic News Bookmark and Share

      A colorized image shows H5N1 avian flu strain viruses (gold) grown in dog kidney cells (green).

      Photograph by C. Goldsmith/U.S. Centers for Disease Control

      A bird-flu pandemic is unlikely until the virus becomes able to be passed from human to human, rather than from animal to human. To decipher how that might happen, and why the influenza is so deadly in the first place, scientists have to understand how the virus is built. For this, they need lots of genetic data on the virus - and they just got a lot more.

  14. Biologists Puzzle Over Bird's Ensemble Vocalizations, Science News Bookmark and Share

    CHORUS LINES. The song of the plain-tailed wren of Ecuador sounds like one continuous bubbling tone. However, it comes from two birds and often more. In the jagged sonogram trace (bottom), males sing two kinds of sections (under blue bars) and females fill in gaps with two kinds of phrases (under red bars). Double bars represent two same-sex singers. Mann/Biology Letters
    (...) songs typically repeat four phrases: ABCDABCD.... Only males sing the As and Cs, and only females sing Bs and Ds. Each singer knows 25-to-30 variations on each of its two possible parts, and for each variation of A, a particular variation of B usually follows, as do particular Ds after Cs.

    When more than two birds strike up a tune, they double up on the parts so precisely that if one bird stops singing, the tune keeps going.

  15. Monkey Cops Keep Clans Together, New Scientist Bookmark and Share

    Excerpts: Human societies rapidly descend into anarchy and chaos without policing. Now, researchers have found that the same thing happens when groups of monkeys are left to their own devices instead of being "policed" by dominant males. (...)

    To find out what happens when the primate police are missing, Jessica Flack of the Santa Fe Institute (...), and her colleagues temporarily removed three of four dominant males simultaneously from a captive group of 84 pigtailed macaques (...) .

    While they were gone, group cohesion rapidly began to disintegrate.

    1. The Police Are A Bunch Of Monkeys Bookmark and Share

      Simian society, too, needs the forces of law and order

      The police in Dr Flack's monkey societies are not specially assigned task forces, but small coteries of high-ranking individuals. The point about these individuals' behaviour is that, unlike most so-called alpha animals, they do not just defend their own interests. They do that, too, of course. But they also intervene to break up conflicts between lower-ranking individuals in an apparently disinterested way.

      Dr Flack had discovered this behaviour in earlier research. Her latest work, just published in Nature, looked at how important policing is in maintaining harmony in the monkeys she studies, an Asian species called the pigtailed macaque.

    2. Policing Stabilizes Construction Of Social Niches In Primates, Nature Bookmark and Share

      Excerpts: We focus on the behavioural process of construction within a single generation, identifying the role a robustness mechanism - conflict management - has in promoting interactions that build social resource networks or social niches. Using 'knockout' experiments on a large, captive group of pigtailed macaques (Macaca nemestrina), we show that a policing function, performed infrequently by a small subset of individuals, significantly contributes to maintaining stable resource networks in the face of chronic perturbations that arise through conflict. When policing is absent, social niches destabilize, (...).

  16. Small Rocky Planet Found Orbiting Normal Star, Bookmark and Share

    Artist conception of new planet OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb in orbit around a red dwarf star. Credit: ESO
    Astronomers announced today the discovery of what is possibly the smallest planet known outside our solar system orbiting a normal star.

    Its orbit is farther from its host star than Earth is from the Sun. Most known extrasolar planets reside inside the equivalent of Mercury's orbit.

    The planet is estimated to be about 5.5 times as massive as Earth and thought to be rocky. It orbits a red dwarf star about 28,000 light-years away. Red dwarfs are about one-fifth as massive as the Sun and up to 50 times fainter. But they are among the most common stars in the universe.

    1. Extrasolar Planets: Light Through A Gravitational Lens, Nature Bookmark and Share

      Excerpts: A planet with a mass lower than that of Neptune has been detected as its gravity bent the light from a remote star. This lensing technique adds to our arsenal for spotting small planets outside the Solar System. (...)

      On page 437 of this issue, Beaulieu et al.2 report the use of a different technique, known as gravitational microlensing, to detect a planet with a mass less than that of Neptune. Its orbital distance is about 2 AU (1 AU, or astronomical unit, is the Earth to Sun distance), which would correspond to an orbit between those of Mars and Jupiter in the Solar System. The planet's orbit is thus considerably larger than those found for planets of similarly small mass using the Doppler technique, for which the orbital distances are no more than 0.15 AU.

    2. I Spy ... A Cold, Little Planet, Science Bookmark and Share

      Excerpts: Applying the technique of gravitational microlensing to the search for planets beyond the solar system, a superconsortium of astronomers has detected a frozen ice ball much smaller than Neptune orbiting a faint star in the distant central bulge of the galaxy. It's the first of a new class of cold, diminutive extrasolar planets.

  17. Gravity Theory Dispenses With Dark Matter, New Scientist Bookmark and Share

    Excerpts: The theory, called scalar-tensor-vector gravity (STVG), adds quantum effects to Einstein's theory of general relativity. As in other branches of physics, the theory says that quantum fluctuations can affect the force felt between interacting objects.

    In this case, a hypothetical particle called a graviton - which mediates gravity - appears in large numbers out of the vacuum of space in regions crowded with massive objects such as stars. "It's as if gravity is stronger" near the centres of galaxies, Brownstein told New Scientist. "Then, at a certain distance, the stars become sparse, and the gravitons don't contribute that much." So at larger distances, gravity returns to the behaviour described by Newton.

    1. A Better Than Perfect Match [Entanglement, Ed.], Nature Bookmark and Share

      Excerpts: Entanglement, a mind-boggling form of correlations that exist between objects in the quantum world, is helping to explain phenomena and jazzing up computing. But it looks as if much more may be in store. (...)

      A view is now emerging according to which points in space and time can be thought of as correlated quantum objects, just like electrons in a typical solid. Can spatial and temporal distances between these points then be described as the amount of entanglement between them? Whatever the answer, one thing is certain: when it comes to entanglement, we have only just uncovered the tip of the iceberg.

    2. South Pole Neutrino Detector Could Yield Evidences Of String Theory, Bookmark and Share

      Diagram of IceCube. IceCube will occupy a volume of one cubic kilometer. Here we depict one of the 80 strings of opctical modules (number and size not to scale). IceTop located at the surface, comprises an array of sensors to detect air showers. It will be used to calibrate IceCube and to conduct research on high-energy cosmic rays. Author: Steve Yunck, Credit: NSF
      For example, extra dimensions may cause neutrinos to create microscopic black holes, which instantly evaporate and create spectacular showers of particles in the Earth's atmosphere and in the Antarctic ice cap. This increases the number of 'down' neutrinos detected. At the same time, the creation of black holes causes 'up' neutrinos to be caught in the Earth's crust, reducing the number of 'up' neutrinos. The relative 'up' and 'down' rates provide evidence for distortions in neutrino properties that are predicted by new theories.

  18. Why Not Build A Bomb?, NY Times Bookmark and Share

    Excerpts: When the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons entered into force in 1970, five countries had the bomb. Thirty-six years later, that number, as far as we know, has reached only eight (the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China, plus Israel, India and Pakistan). By the standards of arms control, that's quite an achievement. Why, then, do so many people think the nonproliferation regime is in a shambles?

  19. Complex Challenges: Global Terrorist Network Bookmark and Share

    1. Radicalization And Europe'S Counter-Terrorism Strategy, Bookmark and Share

      Excerpts: Increased counter-terrorism decisions brought the EU in uncharted territory, especially in the realm of Home and Justice Affairs, boosting existing cooperation and furthering political integration to a degree nobody would have imagined some years earlier.

      What was created as the result of urgent action, ultimately became a patchwork of decisions and mechanisms so complex that even EU-officials - and not to speak the public at large - lost oversight of what had been decided, who was doing what when and who implemented what decisions.

    2. Vice President's Remarks On Iraq And The War On Terror At The Manhattan Institute For Policy Research, Whitehouse Press Release Bookmark and Share

      The war against terror includes a home front, which is every bit as important as the battlefields overseas. (...), President Bush said the United States would, "direct every resource at our command -- every means of diplomacy, every tool of intelligence, every instrument of law enforcement, every financial influence, and every necessary weapon of war -- to the disruption and the defeat of the global terror network." The Congress backed him up in full, authorizing the President to defeat an enemy that had already slipped into our country (...).

      Editor's Note:

      It is clear that not "every resource at our command" has been used to fight terrorism. From a complexity perspective it would be interesting to estimate how many resources have been invested (or not invested) by the U.S. government for what projects and how much each of them contribute to minimize the risk of terror attacks.

  20. Links & Snippets Bookmark and Share

    1. Other Publications Bookmark and Share

      1. DNA-Wrapped Carbon Nanotubes Serve As Sensors In Living Cells, James E. Kloeppel, 06/01/26, UIUC news.
        Michael Strano, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, and his research team's discovery opens the door to new types of optical sensors and biomarkers that exploit the unique properties of nanoparticles in living systems.
      2. Quantum Physics: Measurement Schemes Let Physicists Tiptoe Through the Quanta, Adrian Cho, 06/01/27, Science : 451.
      3. Ecology: Staying Connected in a Turbulent World, Robert S. Steneck, 06/01/27, Science : 480-481. Globally, coral reefs are endangered ecosystems that continually frustrate marine resource managers and policymakers charged with their protection and restoration.
      4. Red Alert For Red Apes: DNA Shows Big Losses For Borneo Orangutans, Bruce Bower, 06/01/28, Science News,
        UP A TREE. New genetic study portrays a bleak future for orangutans in Borneo if conservation efforts are not initiated. DNA changes indicate a rapid drop in population. J. Sinyor/KOCP
      5. Eggs Scramble: Fungi Trick Termites Into Babysitting, 06/01/28, Science News, A fungus may be taking advantage of hardworking termite nursemaids by tricking them into tending egg-shaped fungal reproductive bodies along with real termite eggs.
      6. India Cultivated Homegrown Farmers, 06/01/28, Science News, A new analysis of Y chromosome structure supports the view that around 10,000 years ago, people living in what's now India took up farming rather than giving way to foreigners who brought agriculture into South Asia.
      7. Engineering Membranes From Cellular Parts, 06/01/28, Science News, Chemists have for the first time spun the molecules that make up cellular membranes into fibrous networks.
      8. Reactions On The Spot, 06/01/28, Science News, Researchers report that they have engineered a miniature pipette that can dispense solutions at volumes of a billionth of a billionth of a liter.
      9. Enzyme Measures RNA Using Natural Ruler, 06/01/28, Science News, An enzyme that chops RNA into identically sized pieces uses itself to measure those lengths.
      10. New Law To Limit Politicized Science, 06/01/28, Science News, A new law prohibits three federal agencies from knowingly disseminating bad data and bans application of any political litmus test to experts under consideration as advisers.
      11. Extinction in Genetic Bit-string Model With Sexual Recombination, D. Stauffer, S. Cebrat, 2006/01/17, arXiv, DOI: q-bio.PE/0601036
      12. Space in Urgent Need of Cleaning, Mark Peplow, 2006/01/19, News@Nature, DOI: 10.1038/news060116-9
      13. Osama's Bedtime Reading Makes Amazon Top 50: The New Jihadist Book Club?, I. Thomson, 2006/01/24,
      14. Attentional Modulation Of Perceptual Stabilization, R. Kanai, F. A.J. Verstraten, 2006/01/24, Proceedings: Biological Sciences, DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2005.3430
      15. Spacecraft, Heal Thyself, 2006/01/24, ScienceDaily & European Space Agency
      16. Academics Team Up To Fight 'Badware': IT Companies Fund Research Into Adware And Spyware, I. Thomson, 2006/01/25,
      17. Robo-Pets As Good As The Real Thing: Pet Substitutes Can Lower Stress Levels In Their Owners, I. Thomson, 2006/01/25,
      18. How Taste Response Is Hard-wired Into The Brain, 2006/01/25, ScienceDaily & Cell Press
      19. Humans Have A Strong Desire To Help Each Other, But Is Spite Also Part Of The Human Condition?, 2006/01/25, ScienceDaily & Max Planck Society
      20. Britons Unconvinced On Evolution, 2006/01/26, BBC News
      21. 'To Be Or, Or ... Um ... Line!': Research Puts Actors' Memory On Center Stage, 2006/01/26, Innovations-report & American Psychological Society
      22. Penguins Okay With Human Visitors- For Now, 2006/01/26, Innovations-report & Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
      23. Cooperative Hole Avoidance in a Swarm-bot, Vito Trianni, Stefano Nolfi, Marco Dorigo, 2006/02/28, Robotics and Autonomous Systems 54(2):97-103, DOI: 10.1016/j.robot.2005.09.018
      24. The Use Of Discontinuities And Functional Groups To Assess Relative Resilience In Complex Systems, C. R. Allen -, L. Gunderson, A. R. Johnson, Dec. 2005, Online 2005/11/28, Ecosystems, DOI: 10.1007/s10021-005-0147-x
      25. The Future Of U.S.-China Relations: Is Conflict Inevitable?, A. L. Friedberg, Fall 2005, International Security
      26. Growth And Development: Integrating Signals And Differentiating Tissues - The 'Calculus' Of Plant Development, D. R Smytha -, T. Berleth -, Feb. 2006, online 2005/12/13, Current Opinion in Plant Biology, DOI: 10.1016/j.pbi.2005.11.014
      27. A Robot Model Of The Basal Ganglia: Behavior And Intrinsic Processing, T. J. Prescott -, F. M. M. González, K. Gurney, M. D. Humphries, P. Redgrave, Jan. 2006, online 2005/08/08, Neural Networks, DOI: 10.1016/j.neunet.2005.06.049
      28. Timing Is Everything, N. Friess -, R. Vogt -, J. Aycock -, Nov. 2005, online 2005/11/09, Computers & Security, DOI: 10.1016/j.cose.2005.09.007

    2. Webcast Announcements Bookmark and Share

      1. Ralph Abraham on Complexity Digest, , Calcutta, India, 05/12/27
      2. An Afternoon with Michael Crichton, Washington, 05/11/06
      3. Illuminating the Shadow of the Future, Ann Arbor, Mi 05/09/23-25
      4. Open Network of Centres of Excellence in Complex Systems - Brainstorming Meeting, Paris, France 05/09/19-23
      5. Complexity, Science & Society Conference 2005, U. Liverpool, UK 2005/09/11-14
      6. ECAL 2005 - VIIIth European Conference on Artificial Life, Canterbury, Kent, UK 2005/09/5-9
      7. T. Irene Sanders, Executive Director and Founder, The Washington Center for Complexity & Public Policy, 05/08/27, QuickTime video (10:38 min), Podcast
      8. 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
      9. Understanding Complex Systems - Computational Complexity and Bioinformatics, Virtual Conference Network, Urbana-Champaign, Il, UIUC, 05/05/16-19
      10. 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
      11. World Economic Forum , Davos, Switzerland, 05/01/26-30
      12. 1st European Conference on Complex Systems, Torino, Italy, 04/12/5-7
      13. From Autopoiesis to Neurophenomenology: A Tribute to Francisco Varela (1946-2001), Paris, France, 2004/06/18-20
      14. Evolutionary Epistemology, Language, and Culture, Brussels, Belgium, 04/05/26-28
      15. International Conference on Complex Systems 2004, Boston, 04/05/16-21
      16. Nonlinear Dynamics And Chaos: Lab Demonstrations, Strogatz, Steven H., Internet-First University Press, 1994
      17. CERN Webcast Service, Streamed videos of Archived Lectures and Live Events
      18. Dean LeBaron's Archive of Daily Video Commentary, Ongoing Since February 1998
      19. Edge Videos

    3. Conference Announcements Bookmark and Share

      1. Intl Wkshp and Sem, Dynamics on Complex Networks and Applications, Dresden, Germany, 06/02/06-03/03
      2. FRACTAL 2006 Complexity and Fractals in Nature, 9th Intl Multidisciplinary Conf, Vienna, Austria, 06/02/12-15
      3. 'The Application of Complexity Science to Human Affairs , Milton Keynes, UK, 06/02/28
      4. 2nd Intl Nonlinear Science Conf, Heraklion, Crete, Greece, 06/03/10-12
      5. 18th European Meetings on Cybernetics and Systems Research (EMCSR), Vienna, Austria, 06/04/18-21
      6. 5th Intl Joint Conf on Autonomous Agents And Multiagent Systems (AAMAS 2006) Future University, Hakodate, Japan, )6/05/08-12
      7. Nonlinearities: from Turbulent to Magic, Copenhagen, Denmark. 06/05/17-20
      8. Alife X - The 10th Intl Conf on the Simulation and Synthesis of Living Systems,Bloomington, Indiana, 06/06/03-07
      9. Intl. Conference on Complex Systems Boston, MA, 06/06/25-30
      10. NKS 2006: The Wolfram Science Conference, Washington, D.C., 06/06/16-18
      11. Intl Conf on Complex Systems (ICCS), Boston, Ma, 06/06/25-30
      12. 11th Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science, Lausanne, Switzerland, 06/07/05-08
      13. 2006 Genetic And Evolutionary Computation Conference (GECCO-2006), Seattle, Washington, USA, 06/07/08-12
      14. 5th World Congress of Biomechanics, Munich, Germany, 06/07/29-08/04
      15. 50th Anniversary Summit of AI, Monte Verita, Switzerland, 06/07/09-14
      16. 2006 Intl Conf on Nonlinear Science and Complexity, Beijing, China, 06/08/07-12
      17. Symmetry Festival 2006, Symmetry in Art and Science Education, Budapest, Hungary, 06/08/12-18
      18. World Conference on Social Simulation (WCSS-06) , Kyoto, Japan, 06/08/21-25
      19. FROM ANIMALS TO ANIMATS 9, The Ninth Intl Conf on the SIMULATION OF ADAPTIVE BEHAVIOR (SAB'06), 06/09/25-30

    4. Call for Papers - Book Announcements Bookmark and Share

      1. 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
      2. New Issue of E:CO (Emergence, Complexity and Organization) was published online.

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