The Bubble That Ate The Universe, New Scientist
Excerpt: Space-time fizzes with bubbles popping in and out of existence all across the cosmos - they could destroy the universe and everything in it
Throughout the universe, space-time is fizzing. Bubbles pop in and out of existence across the cosmos. Mostly, the froth is harmless. Yet at any moment, it could unleash a catastrophic reaction that rips through the fabric of space, destroying the universe and everything in it.
Clearly, a killer bubble hasn't formed so far in the 13 billion years since the universe began. Yet Louis Clavelli believes that space-time bubbles are ripping stars apart on a daily basis.
Stars Watch Their Weight, Science Now
City of stars. Stars can grow no bigger than 150 times as massive as our sun, according to a study of the dazzling "Arches" cluster near the center of our galaxy--shown here in an artist's impression. CREDIT: NASA, ESA, and A. Schaller (for STScI)
The cluster contains thousands of stars less than 2.5 million years old, making it the best place to find the biggest young stars that have not yet exploded.
(...) found no stars with more than 130 solar masses--even though an extrapolation of trends from lower-mass stars predicted that 18 such giants should exist. After allowing for possible errors, Figer concludes that no stars bigger than 150 solar masses arose. (...) Newborn giant suns produce fierce radiation that blows away gas and dust and keeps stars from violating the weight limit, (...).
Lightning Linked To Gap In Radiation Belts, New Scientist
The Van Allen belts pulse from solar particles, the gap towards the end is a "safe zone" for satellites like IMAGE - its orbit is shown in red (Image: NASA/Tom Bridgman)
Lightning bursts in clouds are responsible for clearing the enigmatic "safe zone" for satellites, lying between two doughnut-shaped radiation belts surrounding the Earth, (...). (...) had not expected an atmospheric phenomenon to affect a region 10,000 kilometres above the Earth's surface.(...)
He found that the two patterns matched - increases in lightning preceded increases in radio-wave activity in the radiation belts. When intense solar storms filled the gap with charged particles in November 2004, terrestrial lightning activity was low, and the gap took up to a week to reappear.
Summarizing Complexity in High Dimensions, Phys. Rev. Lett.
Abstract: High-dimensional, multispectral data on complex physical systems are increasingly common. As the amount of information in data sets increases, the difficulty of effectively utilizing it also increases. For such data, summary information is required for understanding and modeling the underlying dynamics. It is here proposed to use an extension of computational mechanics [C. R. Shalizi and J. P. Crutchfield, J. Stat. Phys. 104, 817 (2001)] to arbitrary spatiotemporal and spectral dimension, for providing such summary information. An example of the use of these tools to identify state evolution in the brain, an archetypal, complex biophysical system, serves as an illustration.
Self-similarity of Complex Networks, arXiv
Abstract: Complex networks have been studied extensively due to their relevance to many real systems as diverse as the World-Wide-Web (WWW), the Internet, energy landscapes, biological and social networks. A large number of real networks are called ``scale-free'' because they show a power-law distribution of the number of links per node. However, it is widely believed that complex networks are not length-scale invariant or self-similar. This conclusion originates from the ``small-world'' property of these networks, which implies that the number of nodes increases exponentially with the ``diameter'' of the network, rather than the power-law relation expected for a self-similar structure. Nevertheless, here we present a novel approach to the analysis of such networks, revealing that their structure is indeed self-similar. This result is achieved by the application of a renormalization procedure which coarse-grains the system into boxes containing nodes within a given "size". Concurrently, we identify a power-law relation between the number of boxes needed to cover the network and the size of the box defining a finite self-similar exponent. These fundamental properties, which are shown for the WWW, social, cellular and protein-protein interaction networks, help to understand the emergence of the scale-free property in complex networks. They suggest a common self-organization dynamics of diverse networks at different scales into a critical state and in turn bring together previously unrelated fields: the statistical physics of complex networks with renormalization group, fractals and critical phenomena.
How Much Information Can One Store in a Non-equilibrium Medium?, arXiv
Abstract: It has recently been emphasized again that the very existence of stationary stable localized structures with short range interactions might allow to store information in non-equilibrium media, opening new perspectives on information storage. We show how to use generalized topological entropies to measure aspects of the quantities of storable and non-storable information. This leads us to introduce a measure of the long term stably storable information. As a first example to illustrate these concepts, we revisit a mechanism for the appearance of stationary stable localized structures that is related to the stabilization of fronts between structured and unstructured states (or between differently structured states).
Why It Is Hard To Share The Wealth, New Scientist
Excerpts: The rich get richer while the poor remain poor, and anyone trying to redistribute wealth in a market economy may be up against a law of nature
Excerpt: In this paper, I review hypotheses about why hunters share meat, and I use quantitative data on meat transfers between households of Achuar, Quichua, and Zapara speakers in Conambo, an indigenous community of horticultural foragers in the Ecuadorian Amazon, to test them. I show that meat is distributed to political allies in Conambo and argue that meat is strategically transferred to recruit and maintain coalitional support in a political landscape where loyalties are shifting, crosscutting, and consequential. Additionally, I find clear evidence of kinship and reciprocity influences on meat transfers, with mixed support for tolerated theft, costly signaling, and showing-off influences. (...)
- Source: Meat Sharing For Coalitional Support, J. Q. Patton - pattonjwsu.edu, DOI: 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2004.08.008, Evolution and Human Behavior, Mar. 2005, Online 2005/02/26
- Contributed by Pritha Das - prithadas01yahoo.com
Free of Quota, China Textiles Flood the U.S., NY Times
Excerpts: In the first month after the end of all quotas on textiles and apparel around the world, imports to the U.S. from China jumped about 75 percent.
The Inescapable Need For Fractal Tools In Finance, Annals of Finance
Abstract: This short paper advances and defends a strong statement concerning financial modeling. It argues that, even when the present fractal models become superseded, fractal tools are bound to remain central to finance. The reasons are that the main feature of price records is roughness and that the proper language of the theory of roughness in nature and culture is fractal geometry.
Who Wins in a New Social Security?, NY Times
Excerpts: Would a new social security system retain the traditional approach of redistributing income from the more affluent to those in need?
Topic: Essays Are Useful. Discuss, NY Times
Excerpts: I'm glad the SAT is including an essay not because I think the SAT is important, but because I think writing is.
The Powers And Pitfalls Of Algorithmic Knowledge: A Case Study, J. Math. Behav.
Excerpt: This study examines one child's use of computational procedures over a period of 3 years in an urban elementary school where teachers were using a standards-based curriculum. From a sociocultural perspective, the use of standard algorithms to solve mathematical problems is viewed as a cultural tool that both enables and constrains particular practices. As this student appropriated and mastered procedures for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, she could solve problems that involved fairly straightforward computations or where she could easily model the action to determine an appropriate computation. (...)
Close Doesn't Always Count in Winning Games, NY Times
Excerpts: But social scientists who have studied group performance under pressure say that often it is decentralized groups (like the Yankees) that prove more resilient than strongly connected ones (like the Red Sox); they are better able to weather outside criticism and internal quarrels.
Evidence from personality profiles and from studies of military, corporate and space flight crews suggests that looser ties between group members can be a strength, if the team includes individuals who can generate collective emotion when needed. And the Yankees have several of them.
How Much Can Your Mind Keep Track Of?, APS News Release
Excerpts: It's difficult to measure the limits of processing capacity because most people automatically use problem solving skills to break down large complex problems into small, manageable "chunks." A baker, for example, will treat "cream butter, sugar and egg together" as a single chunk - a single step in the process - rather than thinking of each ingredient separately. Likewise she won't think, "break egg one into bowl, break egg two into bowl." She'll just think, "add all of the eggs."
To keep test subjects from breaking down problems into bite-size chunks, researchers needed to create problems that they weren't familiar with.
Scientists To Make 'Stuart Little' Mouse With The Brain Of A Human
Excerpts: In the next stage they plan to use stem cells from aborted foetuses to create an animal whose brain cells are 100 per cent human.
mice are unlikely to show such obvious human traits, but voice concerns that (...) the brain cells would begin to organise themselves in a way that was more human than mouse. There is growing unease over whether human stem cells could migrate to other parts of the animals, creating human sperm or eggs in their reproductive systems.
Ghosts In A Machine - What Is It That Triggers The Brain To Produce A Religious Experience?, Times Online
Excerpts: Persinger's chamber - one of whose visitors was the British arch-atheist Professor Richard Dawkins (he experienced nothing) - is what might be called a "mainframe" version of the portable Shakti equipment that Todd Murphy will be demonstrating at the conference.
What others have experienced in Room C002B depended on their cultural or religious beliefs. Some saw Jesus, the Virgin Mary, Muhammad, or the Sky Spirit. Others, with more than a passing faith in UFOs, tell of something that sounds more like a standard alien-abduction story.
Busy Brains May Stave Off Alzheimer's Signs
Excerpts: Mice who keep their brains and bodies busy in an "enriched" environment of chew toys, running wheels, and tunnels have lower levels of the peptides and brain plaques associated with Alzheimer's disease compared to mice raised in more sparse conditions, (...).
Levels of b-amyloid peptides, which clump together to form the brain "tangles" or plaques that are toxic to nerve cells in Alzheimer's disease, were significantly lower in the enriched mice (...). The enriched mice may have been better equipped than their less-stimulated counterparts to sweep these peptides out of the brain, (...).
Brain Suffers from Boring Life, Science Now
Brain saver. Mice in cages with toys and exercise equipment develop less brain amyloid than do ones in normal cages (inset). CREDIT: Orly Lazarow, John Robinson, and Sangram S. Sisodia
After 5 months, the researchers killed both sets of mice and examined their brains. Animals kept in the enriched environment showed "a marked reduction in amyloid burden," (...). The decrease appeared to be related to exercise; the more time the mice had spent on running wheels, the less _-amyloid buildup. (...), other aspects of the enriched environment, such as increased visual stimuli and social interactions, could also account for the reductions.
(...), the researchers saw increased activity of a _-amyloid--degrading enzyme called neprilysin in the brains of the busy mice,
Musical Imagery: Sound Of Silence Activates Auditory Cortex, Nature
Excerpts: Auditory imagery occurs when one mentally rehearses telephone numbers or has a song 'on the brain' ˇX it is the subjective experience of hearing in the absence of auditory stimulation, and is useful for investigating aspects of human cognition1. Here we use functional magnetic resonance imaging to identify and characterize the neural substrates that support unprompted auditory imagery and find that auditory and visual imagery seem to obey similar basic neural principles.
When The Brain, Not The Ears, Goes Hard Of Hearing, ScienceDaily
Excerpt: Problems with the brain - not just the ears - cause a great deal of the age-related hearing loss in older people. Researchers are finding more and more subtle problems in the way our brain processes information as we age, so much so that an older person whose ears are in fine shape may have trouble hearing because of an aging brain. In addition to earlier findings of a specific type of "timing" problem that limits our hearing as we age, the group is now finding increasing evidence of a "feedback" problem in the brain that diminishes our ability to hear. (...)
The Consummate Sperm Protein, Science Now
Closing the deal. The new protein, named after the Izumo shrine, allows sperm and egg to fuse. CREDIT: Photodisc Green
Sperm racing to fertilize an egg face numerous hurdles, including burrowing through the zona pellucida, a thick wall surrounding the cell membrane. Once that happens, a chemical reaction allows the two cells to fuse, creating a single cell with a full complement of chromosomes.
How the fusion occurs, however, has been a mystery that Okabe has been studying for nearly 2 decades. In 1987, his team reported that they had identified an antibody that could block mouse sperm from fusing with mouse eggs in vitro.
Excerpts: But eggs can activate on their own without sperm, a process known as 'parthenogenesis', from the Greek for 'virgin'. Although some insect species produce workers by parthenogenesis, mammalian parthenotes fail to develop into offspring. Mouse and rabbit parthenotes appear morphologically indistinguishable from fertilized eggs for the first few days of development, including the formation of the small group of pluripotent stem cells. But these parthenotes are not viable and fail to develop into offspring. Two types of growths (...) suggest that human eggs can also undergo parthenogenesis.
- Source: Eggs Alone, Ann A. Kiessling, DOI: 10.1038/434145a, Nature 434, 145, 05/03/10
Developmental Biology: Sperm-Egg Fusion Unscrambled, Nature
Excerpts: Briefly, the cumulus cells that surround an ovulated egg secrete a matrix containing hyaluronic acid. A sperm must first pass through this matrix, and then interact with the egg's coat (the zona pellucida); this stimulates secretion of the contents of the sperm's acrosome - an intracellular sack of molecules necessary for sperm to penetrate the zona pellucida. Once through this coat, the sperm gains access to the perivitelline space, and binds to the egg's plasma membrane. Sperm and egg membranes then fuse.
'Safer' Stem Cells Bring Therapies Closer, New Scientist
Excerpts: Completely fresh supplies of human embryonic stem cells have been created for the first time without having to grow them on potentially contaminating mouse "feeder" cells. (...)
The breakthrough boosts the prospects of growing safe tissues for transplant from embryonic stem cells - the unspecialised, primitive cells in the embryo from which all tissues originate.
"The ability to generate new stem cell lines in completely [mouse-]cell-free and serum-free conditions solves a major problem associated with the use of stem cells in the treatment of human medical conditions, (...).
New York Air To Have Its Genes Sequenced, New Scientist
Excerpts: The scientist who raced against the publicly funded project to decode the human genome will soon be sequencing the genomes of all the microbes floating in New York City air.
The "air genome project" was announced by Craig Venter (...). (...) could lead to the discovery of previously unknown organisms and aid biosecurity.
According to Venter, siphoning off vats of smoky New York City air each day and amplifying the DNA of the fungi, bacteria and viruses it contains is the only way to uncover the mysteries of airborne microbial life.
Epigenetics: Surveillance Team Against Cancer, Nature
Excerpts: Variations in the control of a phenomenon known as parental imprinting influence the likelihood of tumour development. (...)
Cancer is often viewed as a genetic disease - one that results when the DNA sequence of key genes is mutated, leading to the removal of protective roadblocks and/or to the unchecked proliferation of cells. (...) it has become clear that 'epigenetic' malfunctions can also contribute to cancer development. These malfunctions can be defined as being due to relatively stable changes in gene expression without changes in the DNA sequence of the gene.
The Long March of Human Genes, Science Now
The long road. Human colonization routes appear to originate in East Africa. CREDIT: : Prugnolle et al., Current Biology, 15,5
(...) geographic distance from Ethiopia (the place where the oldest human remains have been found) correlates with the genetic diversity of 51 present human populations distributed worldwide. (...), as humans left Africa, some versions of their genes became progressively lost over the migration routes. Thus, populations farther from Ethiopia are characterized by lower genetic variability.
(...) genetic diversity decreases very smoothly along ancient colonization routes with increasing distance from Africa. Under a multiregional origin scenario there is no way such a decline in genetic diversity (...) could be observed, (...).
No Stone Age Unturned, Science Now
Former farmers? New research indicates the Mlabri people practiced agriculture before becoming hunter-gatherers. CREDIT: Takafumi Ishida
A nomadic tribe from the forests of Thailand and Laos is providing anthropologists with new evidence that hunter-gatherer communities are not merely relics of the Stone Age.
The Mlabri hunt and forage for wild foods. Based on the tribe's location, many scientists assumed that the Mlabri came from the ancient Southeast Asian Hoabinhian culture that predates agriculture. Traditionally, anthropologists thought that modern hunter-gatherer tribes like the Mlabri descended through the ages unchanged. (...) indicates that these communities are more complex than previously imagined.
Nature of Normal Human Variety
Excerpts: So if you can just find who is a mutant for a particular gene, and examine what they look like, you can actually then work out what those genes do.
This raises a question: what exactly is a mutant? Worm biologists and fly biologists-geneticists generally, working on model organisms-use the word "mutant" in a very particular way. In worms and flies there is an arbitrarily defined strain which we call the "wild type". But in humans there is no arbitrary wild type. So can you, in fact, speak of mutant humans?
Skeleton of Upright Human Ancestor Discovered in Ethiopia, Science
Excerpts: Scientists working in the remote badlands of Ethiopia have found the oldest known skeleton of an upright walking hominid, roughly dated to nearly 4 million years ago. The remarkably preserved partial skeleton includes many bones of the pelvis, leg, back, and arms, (...).
The shape of the top of the lower leg bone and pelvis have already convinced the discoverers that this hominid walked on two legs, which is the traditional hallmark of being a member of the human family rather than an ancestor of apes. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime discovery," (...).
Battle on Teaching Evolution Sharpens, The Washington Post
Excerpts: Propelled by a polished strategy crafted by activists on America's political right, policymakers in 19 states are weighing proposals that question the science of evolution.
Palaeobiology: Dating Earliest Life, Nature
Excerpts: Claims that 3.8-billion-year-old rocks from Greenland contain carbonaceous remnants of very early life have been the subject of argument for several years. The latest analyses look like settling matters. To my regret, the ancient Greenland rocks have not yet produced any compelling evidence for the existence of life by 3.8 billion years ago. The reader is reminded that another debate on early life is currently in progress on 3.5-billion-year-old rocks in Western Australia, where chains of cell-like structures, long identified as genuine fossils10, have recently been downgraded by some workers11 to the status of artefacts produced by entirely non-biological processes. (...) true consensus for life's existence seems to be reached only with the bacterial fossils of the 1.9-billion-year-old Gunflint Formation of Ontario12.
Pigs Domesticated 'Many Times', BBC News
Excerpts: Pigs were domesticated independently at least seven times around the globe, a new study has found.
Malaria Prevalence Worse Than Thought, Science Now
High risk. Childhood infection rates are 10% in light green areas and more than 50% in dark green. Yellow is unclassified, and grey is unpopulated or not at risk. CREDIT: Snow et al., Nature
A new global map of malaria incidence suggests that 50% more people are suffering from the disease than previously thought.
Malaria affects millions around the world, but a reliable estimate of those infected and at risk from the disease has been difficult to come by. In many parts of Africa, children suffer more than one clinical bout of malaria each year, resulting in death or life-long health problems from delayed treatment. Most often public health officials and aid agencies do not know which regions are most affected.
Animal Behaviour: Meals Sized Up, Nature
Excerpts: (...) whether termites use vibrations generated during foraging to judge the resonance frequency of the wood, which is related to its size. (...) they presented hungry worker termites with blocks of wood of different sizes. The workers preferred blocks of a particular size, but this preference could be specifically altered by playing them recordings of termites feeding, or by producing artificially generated vibrations. Remarkably, the vibrational signals also affected reproductive development in the species, suggesting that such signals might play a wider role in termite biology than has been appreciated.
Heavy Flags Undergo Spontaneous Oscillations in Flowing Water, Phys. Rev. Lett.
Abstract: By immersing a compliant yet self-supporting sheet into flowing water, we study a heavy, streamlined, and elastic body interacting with a fluid. We find that above a critical flow velocity a sheet aligned with the flow begins to flap with a Strouhal frequency consistent with animal locomotion. This transition is subcritical. Our results agree qualitatively with a simple fluid dynamical model that predicts linear instability at a critical flow speed. Both experiment and theory emphasize the importance of body inertia in overcoming the stabilizing effects of finite rigidity and fluid drag.
Slick Surfaces: Pressure Builds To Make Better Motor Oils, Science News
Excerpts: Motor oil's protection against the wear and tear of steel engine parts takes effect only at high pressures.
Can a Virus Hitch a Ride in Your Car?, NY Times
The New York Times Computer Cooties and the Car.
What if viruses, worms or other forms of malware penetrated the computers that control ever more crucial functions in the car?
Could you find yourself at the wheel of two tons of rolling steel that has malevolent code coursing through its electronic veins?
That frightening prospect has had Internet message boards buzzing this year, amid rumors that a virus had infected Lexus cars and S.U.V.'s. The virus supposedly entered the cars over the Bluetooth wireless link that lets drivers use their cellphones (...) through the cars' microphones and speakers.
Moore Says Nanoelectronics Face Tough Challenges, CNET News.com
Excerpts: Although many believe the future of the computing industry lies with building chips out of carbon nanotubes or other novel materials, Intel co-founder Gordon Moore predicts it won't be easy to replace silicon.
"I will admit to being a skeptic to these things for replacing digital silicon," he told a gathering of reporters here Wednesday, where he also discussed artificial intelligence, Intel's future, and the early days of Silicon Valley. "We've got a cumulative couple of hundred billion dollars invested in R&D."
Cluster Computing Gets Closer, Science Now
Excerpts: New study shows that an alternative route to quantum computing is feasible
Get Ready For The "Desktop Search" Revolution, TrustedReviews
Excerpts: Web search monster Google has slipped what could be a revolutionary piece of software out of beta and made it freely available to the public. Called Google Desktop Search (we're convinced it will be GDS before too long), this nifty tool indexes your emails, Word, Excel, Powerpoint and pdf documents, text and audio files, web history and even instant messager chats. A small search box is installed which can be clamped to your taskbar or positioned anywhere on your desktop. Type in whatever you are looking for and an almost instantaneous list of results will be loaded into your default web browser. The results are categorised, linked to the original file, thumbnailed where appropriate and (because the system is cached) can get you out of a jam because for a short time it saves copies of files you have deleted. Naturally, you can exclude any formats you do not want indexed and skip password protected files and specific folders. And in case you were wondering: none of your collated file information is shared with Google.
What's The European Answer To Google - TERRIER, The Search Engine With Added Byte, University of Glasgow, Press Release
Excerpts: Terrier, a new cutting-edge software for the rapid development of web, intranet and desktop search engines, has all the prerequisites to become the European answer to Google. This groundbreaking system from DCS utilises state-of-the-art web search technology. It offers a modular platform for the rapid development of large-scale Information Retrieval applications. Providing indexing and retrieval functionalities, Terrier comes with a powerful proof-of-concept desktop search application. Terrier outperformed all other participating industrial and academic technologies, particularly in web and terabyte-scale settings, (...). A beta version of Terrier is now available as open source software, to allow experimentation and research in Information Retrieval. (...)
Earlier Web Usage Statistics as Predictors of Later Citation Impact, arXiv
Abstract: The use of citation counts to assess the impact of research articles is well established. However, the citation impact of an article can only be measured several years after it has been published. As research articles are increasingly accessed through the Web, the number of times an article is downloaded can be instantly recorded and counted. One would expect the number of times an article is read to be related both to the number of times it is cited and to how old the article is. This paper analyses how short-term Web usage impact predicts medium-term citation impact. The physics e-print archive (arXiv.org) is used to test this.
Next Big Step For The Web--Or A Detour?, cnet
Excerpts: Is the "Semantic Web" the new Internet, or a complex technology in search of a problem to solve?
The Pancake People, Or, "The Gods Are Pounding My Head" Vs. The Goedel-To-Google Net, Edge
Excerpts: As all computer users know, this system for Gödel-numbering the digital universe is rigid in its bureaucracy, and every bit of information has to be stored (and found) in precisely the right place. It is a miracle (thanks to solid-state electronics, and error-correcting coding) that it works. Biological information processing, in contrast, is based on template-based addressing, and is consequently far more robust. The instructions say "do X with the next copy of Y that comes around" without specifying which copy, or where. (...) The correspondence between Google and biology is not an analogy, it's a fact of life. Nucleic acid sequences are already being linked, via Google, to protein structures, and direct translation will soon be underway.
Movies, Technology and the Future of Viewing, NPR TOTN
Excerpts: It's been a long time since movies were only available in theaters. But now there are movies on demand over cable TV; compressed films in digital files; and DVDs in the mail. Technology is changing how we watch movies, and it may even change what we watch. We examine the future of movies
Under Bush, a New Age of Prepackaged Television News, NY Times
Transportation Security Administration Fictitious Reporter: A public relations person using a false name reported on airport security.
A second report told of "another success" in the Bush administration's "drive to strengthen aviation security"; the reporter called it "one of the most remarkable campaigns in aviation history." (...)
To a viewer, each report looked like any other 90-second segment on the local news. In fact, the federal government produced all three. The report from Kansas City was made by the State Department. The "reporter" covering airport safety was actually a public relations professional working under a false name for the Transportation Security Administration.
U.S. Says It Has Withdrawn From World Judicial Body, NY Times
Excerpts: The State Department said that the U.S. was prompted by a decision ordering new hearings for 51 Mexicans on death rows
Looting at Iraqi Weapons Plants Was Systematic, Official Says, NY Times
Excerpts: Some of the looted machinery included high-precision equipment capable of making parts for nuclear arms.
A Destabilizing Bit of Research, NY Times
Excerpts: Merely hypothesizing about the use of "bunker busting" nuclear weapons feeds anxiety about proliferation.
Rules of Engagement, NY Times
Excerpts: The rules of engagement for our military in Iraq must be clear-cut and mistake-proof enough to protect civilians if soldiers are jumpy.
Global Public Health Experts Say Failure To Count Iraqi Casualties Is Irresponsible, British Med. J.
Excerpts: We the undersigned experts in public health call on the US and UK Governments to commission immediately a comprehensive, independent inquiry into Iraqi war-related casualties. Monitoring casualties is a humanitarian imperative. (...) We believe that the joint US/UK failure to make any effort to monitor Iraqi casualties is, from a public health perspective, wholly irresponsible. (...) The inadequacy of the current US/UK policy was highlighted after the publication in the Lancet of a representative household survey that estimated that there had been in the region of 98,000 excess deaths since the 2003 invasion (...)
Army, CIA Held 'Ghost' Prisoners at Abu Ghraib, The Washington Post
Excerpts: Top military intelligence officials came to an agreement with the CIA to hide certain detainees at the facility without officially registering them, in possible violation of international law, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post.
Senators Question Absence of Blame in Abuse Report, Washington Post
Excerpts: Senators expressed dismay yesterday that no senior military or civilian Pentagon officials have been held accountable for the policy and command failures that led to detainee abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Navy admiral who wrote the most recent review of U.S. detention policies was largely unable to say where that accountability should lie.
Vice Admiral Albert T. Church III's review of interrogation policy and detention operations did not place specific blame for the confusing interrogation policies that migrated from Washington to the battlefield, (...).
Rule Change Lets C.I.A. Freely Send Suspects Abroad to Jails, NY Times
Excerpts: The Bush administration's secret program to transfer suspected terrorists to foreign countries for interrogation has been carried out by the Central Intelligence Agency under broad authority that has allowed it to act without case-by-case approval from the White House or the State or Justice Departments, (...).
The unusually expansive authority for the C.I.A. to operate independently was provided by the White House under a still-classified directive signed by President Bush within days of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the officials said.
Torture by Proxy, NY Times
Abstract: Editorial on nonsecret fact of CIA's top-secret program for sending terrorism suspects to countries where concern for human rights and rule of law do not pose obstacles to torture; explains that Pres Bush after Sept 11 attacks gave broad authority for 'extraordinary rendition' that has become central to antiterrorism operations at CIA, which also operates clandestine camps around world for prisoners it does not want Red Cross or American public to know about; denounces violation of US law and 'pretzel logic' used by such as Atty Gen Alberto Gonzales, who says that if US sends prisoner abroad, then US Constitution does not apply
Europeans Investigate CIA Role in Abductions, The Washington Post
In Germany, a 41-year-old man, Khaled Masri, has told authorities that he was locked up during a vacation in the Balkans and flown to Kabul, Afghanistan, in January 2004, where he was held as a suspected terrorist for four months. (...) take him back to the Balkans and dump him on a hillside along the Albanian border. He recalled his captors spoke English with an American accent.
This Gulfstream jet was ordered by a firm that appeared to be a front company for the CIA, according to records. (Special To The Washington Post)
German prosecutors, after several months of scrutinizing his account, have confirmed several key parts of his story and are investigating it as a kidnapping.
Complex Challenges: Global Terroist Networks
Terror Suspects Buying Firearms, U.S. Report Finds, NY Times
Excerpts: Dozens of terror suspects on federal watch lists were allowed to buy firearms legally, according to a Congressional inquiry.
Homegrown Osamas, NY Times
Excerpts: What troubled me most about Mr. Hale was not his extremist views, but his obvious organizational ability and talent to inspire his followers. When he was denied a law license in 1999 because of his racist views, a follower went on a rampage and shot 11 people - all blacks, Asians or Jews.
After the Oklahoma City bombing, American law enforcement authorities cracked down quite effectively on domestic racists and militia leaders. But Mark Potok (...), notes that after 9/11, the law enforcement focus switched overwhelmingly to Arabs.
Bush Calls Democracy Terror's Antidote, The Washington Post
Excerpts: President Bush said yesterday a fledgling democratic movement that he sees spreading through the Middle East is essential to defeating terrorism, and warned Syria and Iran against thwarting the "momentum of freedom" and fomenting instability in the region.
"The chances of democratic progress in the broader Middle East have seemed frozen in place for decades," Bush said at the National Defense University at Fort McNair. "Yet, at last, clearly and suddenly, the thaw has begun." (...)
The president sent a stronger message to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak (...).
Excerpts: Hackers' untiring efforts have heightened concerns that electric companies have failed to adequately fortify defenses against a potential catastrophic strike.
Links & Snippets
- Taming of the Shrews, Maureen Dowd, Americans like to see women who wear the pants be beaten up and humiliated.
- Spike-Timing-Dependent Synaptic Plasticity Depends On Dendritic Location, Robert?C.?Froemke, Mu-Ming?Poo, Yang?Dan, 05/03/10, Nature 434, 221 - 225, DOI: 10.1038/nature03366
- Evidence Of Dark Energy Missed 30 Years Ago, Stuart Clark, 05/03/11, New Scientist, Dark energy has been in our backyard all along, astronomers suggest, as shown by the peculiar velocities of our neighbouring galaxies
- Atoms Never Forget, Mark Peplow, 05/03/11, Nature News, Arrays of atoms could make faster, cheaper memory devices.
- Information from Seismic Noise, Richard L. Weaver, 05/03/11, Science : 1568-1569
- Signal Transduction:A New Mediator for an Old Hormone?, Sylvia Curtis Hewitt, Bonnie J. Deroo, Kenneth S. Korach, 05/03/11, Science : 1572-1573
- Monkey See, Monkey Think: Grape thefts instigate debate on primate's mind, 05/03/12, Science News, Rhesus monkeys treat a competitor's averted eyes as a license to steal his or her food.
- Anoint Them With Oil: Cheap-And-Easy Treatment Cuts Infection Rates In Premature Infants, 05/03/12, Science News, Massaging premature babies with sunflower-seed oil can cut bloodborne infection rates.
- Bacterial Nanny: Beewolf Grows Microbe For Protecting Young, 05/03/12, Science News, A European wasp leaves a smear of bacteria near each of her eggs as protection against the perils of youth.
- Faces Elicit Strong Emotions In Autism, 05/03/12, Science News, Children with autism avoid eye contact because they experience uncomfortably intense emotional reactions when looking at faces.
- The Bottleneck Of Central Processing: Clues From Reaction Times, M. Tettamanti, G. Buccino, M. C. Saccuman, V. Gallese, M. Danna, P. Scifo, F.Fazio, G. Rizzolatti, S. F. Cappa, D. Perani, 2005/02/08, Public Library of Science, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.0030084
- Self-Organization and the Physics of Glassy Networks, P. Boolchand, G. Lucovsky, J.C. Phillips, M.F. Thorpe, 2005/02/13, arXiv, DOI: cond-mat/0502312
- Contact Networks, Competing Pathogens, and the Coexistence Threshold, M. E. J. Newman, 2005/02/15, arXiv, DOI: cond-mat/0502373
- Facts From Text-Is Text Mining Ready To Deliver?, D. R.-Schuhmann - rebholzebi.ac.uk, H. Kirsch, F. Couto, 2005/02/15, Public Library of Science, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.0030065
- On the Statistical Law of Life, N. M. Pugno, 2005/03/07, arXiv, DOI: q-bio.PE/0503011
- MusicStrands Uses Artificial Intelligence For Music Recommendations, 2005/03/07, ScienceDaily & Universitat Autonoma De Barcelona
- Babies And Their Favourite Colours, 2005/03/09, University of Surrey Press Release
- Epilepsy And Depression - A Two-way Street?, 2005/03/09, ScienceDaily & American Association For The Advancement Of Science
- Finger Length Predicts Physically Aggressive Personalities, Study Shows, 2005/03/10, ScienceDaily & University Of Alberta
- Cracking The Olfactory Code In Bees, 2005/03/10, ScienceDaily & Public Library Of Science
- Statistical Shape Analysis: Clustering, Learning, And Testing, Srivastava, A. J., S.H. Mio, W. Xiuwen L., Apr. 2005, IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence
- Implicit Writing Beliefs And Their Relation To Writing Quality, M. J. Whit - whit0782umn.edu, R. Bruning, Apr. 2005, online 2004/12/01, Contemporary Educational Psychology, DOI: 10.1016/j.cedpsych.2004.07.002
- Toward Efficient Riparian Restoration: Integrating Economic, Physical, And Biological Models, M. Watanabe, R. M. Adams, J. Wu - junjie.wuoregonstate.edu, J. P. Bolte, M. M. Cox, S. L. Johnson, W. J. Liss, W. G. Boggess, J. L. Ebersole, Apr. 2005, online 2005/02/17, Journal of Environmental Management, DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2004.11.005
- Sprawl And Forest Cover: What Is The Relationship?, K. MacDonald, T. K. Rudel - rudelaesop.rutgers.edu, Jan. 2005, Applied Geography, DOI: 10.1016/j.apgeog.2004.07.001
- An Aphid-Ant Interaction: Effects On Different Trophic Levels, C. K. Renault, L. M. Buff, M. A. Delfino - madelfinoarnet.com.ar, Jan. 2005, online 2004/12/07, Ecological Research, DOI: 10.1007/s11284-004-0015-8
- Does Attitude Similarity Serve As A Heuristic Cue For Kinship? Evidence Of An Implicit Cognitive Association, J. H. Parkcor - jparkpsych.ubc.ca, M. Schaller, Mar. 2005, Online 2005/02/26, Evolution and Human Behavior, DOI: 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2004.08.013
- Attitudes Toward Heroic And Nonheroic Physical Risk Takers As Mates And As Friends, G. W. Farthing - farthingmaine.edu, Mar. 2005, Online 2005/02/26, Evolution and Human Behavior, DOI: 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2004.08.004
- Self-Organizing Learning Array, Starzyk, J. A., Zhu, Z., Liu, T.-H., March 2005, IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks
- Nanotechnology: From Feynman To The Grand Challenge Of Molecular Manufacturing, Peterson, C.L., Winter 2004, IEEE Technology and Society Magazine
- World Economic Forum , Davos, Switzerland, 05/01/26-30
1st European Conference on Complex Systems, Torino, Italy, 04/12/5-7
Neurobiological Foundation For The Meaning Of Information, Kolkata, India, Conference Webcast, 04/11/22-25
- ALife 9: Ninth International Conference on Artificial Life, Boston, MA, 04/09/12-15
The 4th Intl Workshop on Meta-synthesis and Complex System, Beijing, China, 04/07/22-23
Intl Conf on Complex Networks: Structure, Function and Processes, Kolkata, India, 04/06/27-30
From Autopoiesis to Neurophenomenology: A Tribute to Francisco Varela (1946-2001), Paris, France, 2004/06/18-20
ECC8 Experimental Chaos Conference, Florence, Italy,
Evolutionary Epistemology, Language, and Culture, Brussels, Belgium, 04/05/26-28
International Conference on Complex Systems 2004, Boston, 04/05/16-21
Life, a Nobel Story, Brussels, Belgium, 04/04/28
Nonlinear Dynamics and Statistical Mechanics Days, Brussels, Belgium, 04/04/26-27
Science Education Forum for Chinese Language Culture, Panel Discussion, Taipei, Taiwan, 04/05/01
Biologically Inspired Approaches to Advanced Information Technology, , Lausanne,Switzerland, 04/01/29-30
Nonlinear Dynamics And Chaos: Lab Demonstrations, Strogatz, Steven H., Internet-First University Press, 1994
- CERN Webcast Service, Streamed videos of Archived Lectures and Live Events
- Dean LeBaron's Archive of Daily Video Commentary, Ongoing Since February 1998
- Edge Videos
Conference & Call for Papers Announcements
Online Course on Genetic Programming, with Lee Altenberg, University of Hawaii Outreach College 2005/01/10 to 2005/05/13.
Intl Conf Nonlinearity, Fluctuations, And Complexity
with a celebration of the 65th birthday of Grégoire Nicolis, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium, 05/03/16-19
- Physik seit Einstein,
Berlin, Germany, 05/03/04-09
- 2005 Meeting Arbeitskreis
Physik sozio-oekonomischer Systeme, AKSOE (Socio-Economic-Physics)
- 2005 World Exposition "
Nature's Wisdom, Aichi, Japan, 05/03/25-09/25
- FINCO 2005: Foundations Of Interactive Computation, Edinburgh, Scotland, 05/04/09
5th Creativity And Cognition Conference, London.UK, 05/04/12-15
Connecting Biology, Chemistry & Business
San Francisco, California, 05/04/19-22
Social Intelligence and Interaction in Animals, Robots and Agents, Hatfield, UK, 05/04/12-15
2005 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show
Nanotech 2005, Anaheim, California, U.S.A., 05/05/08-12
- Socio-Dynamics, Networks and Markets, London, 05/05/09-11
- 2ndShanghai Intl Symposium on Nonlinear Science and Applications, Shanghai, 05/06/03-07
IEEE Swarm Intelligence Symposium
Pasadena, California, USA, 05/06/08-10
10th Annual Workshop on Economic Heterogeneous Interacting Agents (WEHIA 2005) , University of Essex, United Kingdom, 05/06/13-15
- Powders & Grains 2005, Stuttgart, Germany, 05/06/18-22
NKS Summer School,
Brown University, Providence, RI, 05/06/20-07/08
- 6th Intl Conf Symmetry in Nonlinear Mathematical Physics, Kiev, Ukraine, 05/06/20-26
- Workshop on Complexity and Policy Analysis, Cork, Ireland, 05/06/22-24
2005 Genetic And Evolutionary Computation Conference (GECCO-2005), Washington, DC, USA, 05/06/25-29
6th Intl Summer School/Conference "Let's Face Chaos Through Nonlinear Dynamics"Dedicated to the 75th Birthday of Professor Siegfried Grossmann, Maribor, Slovenia, 05/06/26-07/10
WOSC 13th International Congress Of Cybernetics And Systems, Maribor, Slovenia, 05/07/06-10
Summer Graduate Workshop In Computational Social Science Modeling And
Santa Fe, NM, 05/07/10-23
4th International Workshop on Computational Intelligence in Economics and Finance (CIEF'2005), Salt Lake City, 05/07/21-26
5th Gathering on Biosemiotics, Urbino, Italy, 05/07/22-24
- Soc for Chaos Theory in Psychology & Life Sciences
15th Annual Intl Conf, Denver, CO, USA, 05/08/04-06
- ECAL 2005 - VIIIth European Conference on Artificial Life, Canterbury, Kent, UK, 05/09/05-09
Complexity, Science and Society Conf 2005, Liverpool, UK, 05/09/11-14
18th International Conference on Noise and Fluctuations (ICNF 2005), Salamanca, Spain, 05/09/19-23
Genomics in Context,
University of Exeter, UK, 05/09/28-30
CSDS-2005 Intl Conf on CONTROL AND SYNCHRONIZATION OF DYNAMICAL SYSTEMS , Leon, Guanajuato, MEXICO, 05/10/04-07
- European Conference on Complex Systems, Paris, France, 05/11/14-18
3rd International Complexity Science and Educational Research Conference, Robert, Louisiana, 05/11/20-22, see also: Complicity: An International Journal of Complexity and Education, Inaugural issue - Free Online Access
The Second International Workshop on Biologically Inspired
Approaches to Advanced Information Technology , Senri Life Science Center, Osaka, Japan, 06/01/26-27