Epigenetics: Unfinished Symphony, Nature
Excerpts: To correctly 'play' the DNA score in our genome, cells must read another notation that overlays it ¡X the epigenetic code. (...)
Researchers have known for years that, despite their common genes, identical twins can have very different physical constitutions and develop different diseases. The traditional explanation for this is that our environment somehow interacts with our genes to produce our physical attributes, or phenotype, but no one knew exactly how.
Evolution Of The Selfish Gene, Nature
Excerpt: Richard Dawkins: How a Scientist Changed the Way We Think
edited by Alan Grafen and Mark Ridley
Oxford University Press: 2006.
"We are survival machines - robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes. This is a truth which still fills me with astonishment ... One of my hopes is that I may have some success in astonishing others." That hope, expressed by Richard Dawkins in the preface of The Selfish Gene, has been more than fulfilled.
Social Insects: from Selfish Genes to Self Organisation and Beyond, Trends in Ecology & Evolution
Abstract: Selfish gene and self-organisation approaches have revolutionised the study of social insects and have provided unparalleled insights into the highly sophisticated nature of insect social evolution. Here, we briefly review the core programs and interfaces with communication and recognition studies that characterise these fields today, and offer an interdisciplinary future perspective for the study of social insect evolutionary biology.
Methane-belching Bugs Inspire A New Theory Of The Origin Of Life On Earth, ScienceDaily
Excerpts: Two laboratories at Penn State set out to show how an obscure undersea microbe metabolizes carbon monoxide into methane and vinegar. What they found was not merely a previously unknown biochemical process--their discovery also became the inspiration for a fundamental new theory of the origin of life on Earth, reconciling a long-contentious pair of prevailing theories. This new, "thermodynamic" theory of evolution improves upon both previous theories by proposing a central role for energy conservation during early evolution, based on a simple three-step biochemical mechanism. Their results also provide insights into the evolution of the microbial production of methane, (...).
Evolution's Human And Chimp Twist, BBC News
Humans and chimpanzees may have split away from a common ancestor far more recently than was previously thought.
The new finding raises questions about the Toumai fossil from Chad
A detailed analysis of human and chimp DNA suggests the lines finally diverged less than 5.4 million years ago.
The finding, published in the journal Nature, is about 1-2 million years later than the fossils have indicated.
A US team says its results hint at the possibility that interbreeding occurred between the two lines for thousands, even millions, of years.
Scientists Have Identified Some Basic Principles Of Communication, Innovations-report
Excerpts: How do we succeed in putting our ideas into words, so that another person can understand them? This complex undertaking involves translating an idea into a one-dimensional sequence, a string of words to be read or spoken one after the other. Of course the person on the receiving end might not get the intended point: The effective expression of one's ideas is considered an art, or at least a desirable and important skill. A team of scientists (...) investigated this process by applying scientific methods to some of our culture's most successful models for effective transfer of ideas (...).
Funding And Bureaucracy, Not Access To Journals, Are Chief Obstacles To Scientific Productivity, ScienceDaily
Excerpts: The single most important issue obstructing the productivity of biomedical scientists today is the culture of research funding. This finding challenges the belief of some that the lack of "open access" to journal content is a major barrier to scientific productivity. A survey of 883 biomedical scientists -- in Europe and North America - commissioned by the Publishing Research Consortium found that aside from lack of resources, a 'stop-go' funding culture prohibits scientists from initiating new ideas, choosing research projects that contrast with funders' priorities, and recruiting and retaining qualified staff. (...)
Future Fitness And Helping In Social Queues, Nature
Excerpts: Helpers in primitively eusocial and cooperatively breeding animal societies forfeit their own reproduction to rear the offspring of a queen or breeding pair, but may eventually attain breeding status themselves. (...) An alternative explanation for this variation lies in a fundamental trade-off faced by helpers: by working harder, they increase the indirect component of their fitness, but simultaneously decrease their own future survival and fecundity. Here, we show that individuals work less hard when they stand to lose more future fitness through working.
Neurons In The Orbitofrontal Cortex Encode Economic Value, Nature
Excerpts: Economic choice is the behaviour observed when individuals select one among many available options. There is no intrinsically 'correct' answer: economic choice depends on subjective preferences. (...). Theories of human and animal choice have a cornerstone in the concept of 'value'. Consider, for example, a monkey offered one raisin versus one piece of apple: behavioural evidence suggests that the animal chooses by assigning values to the two options. (...) Here we show that, during economic choice, neurons in the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) encode the value of offered and chosen goods.
Study Shows Apes Can Plan Ahead, BBC News
Excerpts: Bonobos and orangutans are capable of future planning, according to a study published in the journal Science.
Researchers found the apes could select a suitable tool for reaching a treat, carry it away, and return with it to retrieve the reward hours later.
Forward planning is thought by some to be a uniquely human trait.
The German team suggests such skills may have evolved about 14 million years ago, when bonobos, orangutans and humans shared a common ancestor.
Pigeon-Brained Birds Can Think In Logarithms, New Scientist
Excerpts: There are asymmetries in the way animals perceive numbers and time, and a recent experiment showed that pigeons underestimate the midpoint between two time intervals.
In the experiment, pigeons were trained to tap one lever when a light flash was "short", perhaps 1 second long, and another lever when the flash was "long", say 16 seconds. When the birds then saw flashes of intermediate length, you would expect them to distinguish long from short around the mid-point of 8 or 9 seconds. But instead they switched at 4 seconds.
Robots Manipulating Animal Behaviour, Innovations-report
Excerpts: A pet dog sits on command, but nobody expects an insect to follow human instructions. So it may come as a surprise to learn that researchers recently succeeded in controlling cockroaches with tiny mobile robots. The results hint at a future where we can interact and communicate with many different kinds of animal. Little larger than a thumbnail, the cubic insect-like robots or 'insbots' are technological marvels. (...) the insbots are fitted with two motors, wheels, a rechargeable battery, several computer processors, a light-sensing camera and an array of infrared proximity sensors. (...)
Vaccines: Engineering Immune Evasion, Nature
Excerpts: One obstacle to realizing the promise of viral vectors for vaccine delivery is pre-existing immunity to such vectors. An adroit application of structure-based design points to a way around that problem. (...)
(...) circumventing this problem by replacing parts of an Ad5 viral capsid protein with those from a related virus, (...). The strategy was effective in tests in mice and monkeys; if the work can be repeated in humans then modified Ad5 will be a strong candidate as a vector for vaccines and also for delivering gene therapy.
Sharing The Health: Cells From Unusual Mice Make Others Cancerfree, Science News
Immune-cell transplants from an extraordinary strain of mice that resists cancer can pass this trait to mice that aren't as lucky, according to a new study.
FADE TO PINK. This skin tumor on a normal mouse shrank and disappeared over the course of 3 weeks after the animal received immune cells from unusual mice that resist cancer. PNAS
The mouse continued to thrive even after the scientists repeatedly injected it with a wide range of cancer-cell types in increasing amounts. Eventually, the researchers came to a surprising conclusion: The rodent was eradicating cancer cells from its body.
In breeding tests, the trait turned up in about 40 percent of the unusual mouse's offspring.
How Our Body's Defences Aid Computers In Distress, New Scientist
Excerpts: THE way the body's immune system responds when its cells are under attack has inspired a new way of protecting computer networks from viruses and hackers.
An intrusion detection system for networks that listens for distress signals from besieged computers is being developed by a team led by computer scientist Uwe Aickelin at the University of Nottingham in the UK. It is designed to offer networks better protection from the ravages of email viruses and denial of service attacks, and in tests has already defended a network against simulated hacker attacks.
Thermodynamics: When A Phase Is Born, Nature
Excerpts: Phase changes in matter generally occur by building up from small nuclei of the new phase. Scattering experiments and computer simulations reveal the characteristic size of the smallest of these nuclei.
Rain and snowfall, petroleum refining and the purification of pharmaceuticals by crystallization are examples of natural and industrial processes that involve a phase transition. (...)
(...) novel way of measuring the characteristic size of the smallest building-block of a new phase that can grow spontaneously, and show how this quantity changes across thermodynamic conditions ranging from metastability to instability.
New Look For "Newton's Bucket", PhysicsWeb.org
What happens when you rapidly rotate the bottom plate of an otherwise stationary cylinder filled with water? According to new work by physicists in Denmark, you produce rotating polygons with up to six corners on the water's surface. This new and spectacular type of "instability" could be used to study a wide variety of complex systems in physics, including rotating flows on Earth, hydraulic machinery in industry, vortices and tornadoes (...).
he setup, consisting of a stationary Plexiglas cylinder of radius 19.4 cm with a circular plate that is rotated by a motor (image courtesy: Phys. Rev. Lett. 96 174502).
(...) the polygons are new members of a fascinating class of systems where spontaneous breaking of axial symmetry leads to simple stationary or rigidly rotating shapes.
Outsourcing, Schmoutsourcing! Out Is Over, NY Times
Excerpts: There is enough bandwidth now, even reaching big Indian villages, to parcel out this work, (...). It gives educated villagers a chance to stay on the land, he said, and not have to migrate to the cities.
(...) Google Finance, (...) entirely conceived by the Google team in India and then Google engineers from around the world fed into that team ¡X rather than the project's being driven by Google headquarters in Silicon Valley.
It's called "around sourcing" instead of outsourcing, because there is no more "out" anymore. Out is over.
Humanities And Social Sciences Needed To Increase Understanding And Identify Problems In Society, Innovations-report
Excerpts: With the ever more pervasive emphasis today on results, benefits and profits, research and science are under increasing pressure to show an impact. (...) Although funding for research has increased considerably, competition for that funding has increased even more. This is seen both within the field of science and in the interaction and exchange between science and other spheres of life. Whenever questions are asked about the allocation of funds, about why science is more worthy of support than health care or the police service, the attention turns to impacts. Every aspect of the debate on impacts is dominated by money. (...)
User-Generated Future For Gaming, BBC Click
Excerpts: Gamers today, instead of being thrown into a universe created by teams of designers, can grow their own world, inhabited by any shape of creature they can imagine. (...)
"First and foremost it allows them to exploit their creative energies and display all the wonderful things that they're good at doing, whether it's manufacturing clothing or architecture.
"In some cases the creations are so fantastic that we even label them as being vanity creations, where they've put all their energies into something that really represents who they are."
Complex Challenges: Global Terrorist Network
Will The Academy Survive 9/11? Scholarship, Security, And United States Government Policy, Gov. Info. Quart.
Excerpts: This paper examines the direct and indirect impacts of 9/11 on the academy. The USA Patriot Act and other legislative and administrative responses are discussed in relation to previous actions in times of crisis. Cases involving free speech and academic freedom are examined. It is concluded that requirements and procedures for tracking overseas students, along with long delays in processing visas, have had the most direct impact on the academy in terms of on-going administrative requirements and reduced applications and enrollments by international students. Self-censorship appears to have chilled free speech from within the academy. (...)
Almost Famous: Army Games Project, Military.com
Excerpts: Building off the success of the smash hit computer game "America's Army," members of the Army Games Project want to mainstream the real heroes of the Global War on terrorism. (...)
The Real Heroes vision is exciting: mainstream the Global War on terror's most decorated soldiers, and recruit through the examples that they set. The Army Games Team frequently uses the phrase "strategic communication" to describe America's Army. The infantry-simulator isn't so much a video game as it is a vehicle for the Army to deliver its message to their target audience, teenage to twenty-something men and women, the precise demographic that makes up the bulk of the video game playing audience.
Links & Snippets
- Hubble Eyes Jupiter's Second Red Spot, 06/05/13, Science News, Hubble Space Telescope images are providing astronomers with the sharpest views yet of a new red spot on Jupiter.
- Monkey Business: Specimen Of New Species Shakes Up Family Tree, 06/05/13, Science News, The new monkey species found in Tanzania last year may be unusual enough to need a new genus, the first one created for monkeys in nearly 80 years.
- An Aging Protein?, 06/05/13, Science News, The defective protein that, when defective, causes a premature-aging disease may also play a role in normal aging.
- Redesigning Life: Meet The Bio-Hackers, 06/05/20, New Scientist
- Modelling Aspects Of Cancer Dynamics: A Review, H. M. Byrne, T. Alarcon, M. R. Owen, S. D. Webb, P. K. Maini, 2006/04/20, Philosophical Transactions: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, DOI: 10.1098/rsta.2006.1786
- The Network Of Sheep Movements Within Great Britain: Network Properties And Their Implications For Infectious Disease Spread, I. Z. Kiss, D. M. Green, R. R. Kao, 2006/04/28, Journal of The Royal Society Interface, DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2006.0129
- Growing Scale-free Small-world Networks With Tunable Assortative Coefficient, Qiang Guo, Tao Zhou, Jian-Guo Liu, Wen-Jie Bai, Bing-Hong Wang, Ming Zhao, 2006/05/02, Physica A, Article in Press, Uncorrected Proof, DOI: 10.1016/j.physa.2006.03.055
- 'Cellular Antennae' On Algae Give Clues To How Human Cells Receive Signals, 2006/05/08, Innovations-report & UT Southwestern Medical Center
- Evolutionary Forces Explain Why Women Live Longer Than Men, 2006/05/10, ScienceDaily & University of Michigan
- For A Bigger Computer Hard-drive, Just Add Water, 2006/05/11, ScienceDaily & Drexel University
- China Launches Its Own Wikipedia: Negative Vibes Not Allowed, M. Chapman, 2006/05/12, vnunet.com
- Bush Insists Domestic Phone Monitoring Is Legal: US Telcos May Have Sold Out Customers, I. Thomson, 2006/05/12, vnunet.com
- What Restrictions Do Bayesian Games Impose On The Value Of Information?, E. Lehrer - lehrerpost.tau.ac.il, D. Rosenberg - dinahmath.univ-paris13.fr, Jun. 2006, online 2006/03/26, Journal of Mathematical Economics, DOI: 10.1016/j.jmateco.2005.09.002
- Japanese Knowledge Creation And The Fundamental Illusion Theory: A Fresh Look, M. Sarabi - sarabiamunican.es, J. Corro, J. M. Sarabia, Mar. 2006, Journal of Information & Knowledge Management, DOI: 10.1142/S021964920600130X
- Biological Applications Of The Theory Of Birth-And-Death Processes, A. S. Novozhilov, G. P. Karev, E. V. Koonin - kooninncbi.nlm.nih.gov, Mar. 2006, online 2006/02/03, Briefings in Bioinformatics, DOI: 10.1093/bib/bbk006
Ralph Abraham on Complexity Digest, , Calcutta, India, 05/12/27
- An Afternoon with Michael Crichton, Washington, 05/11/06
Illuminating the Shadow of the Future, Ann Arbor, Mi 05/09/23-25
Open Network of Centres of Excellence in Complex Systems - Brainstorming Meeting, Paris, France 05/09/19-23
Complexity, Science & Society Conference 2005, U. Liverpool, UK 2005/09/11-14
ECAL 2005 - VIIIth European Conference on Artificial Life,
Canterbury, Kent, UK 2005/09/5-9
T. Irene Sanders, Executive Director and Founder, The Washington Center for Complexity & Public Policy, 05/08/27, QuickTime video (10:38 min), Podcast
- North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity 2005 Conference, Virtual Conference Network, St. Pete's Beach, Florida, 05/06/09-11
- Understanding Complex Systems - Computational Complexity and Bioinformatics, Virtual Conference Network, Urbana-Champaign, Il, UIUC, 05/05/16-19
- Nonlinearity, Fluctuations, and Complexity, with a celebration of the 65th birthday of Gregoire Nicolis. , Complexity Session, Universite' Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium, 05/03/16
- World Economic Forum , Davos, Switzerland, 05/01/26-30
1st European Conference on Complex Systems, Torino, Italy, 04/12/5-7
From Autopoiesis to Neurophenomenology: A Tribute to Francisco Varela (1946-2001), Paris, France, 2004/06/18-20
Evolutionary Epistemology, Language, and Culture, Brussels, Belgium, 04/05/26-28
International Conference on Complex Systems 2004, Boston, 04/05/16-21
Nonlinear Dynamics And Chaos: Lab Demonstrations, Strogatz, Steven H., Internet-First University Press, 1994
- CERN Webcast Service, Streamed videos of Archived Lectures and Live Events
- Dean LeBaron's Archive of Daily Video Commentary, Ongoing Since February 1998
- Edge Videos
Intl Wkshp on Software Engineering Challenges for Ubiquitous Computing
, Lancaster, UK, 06/06/01-02
- Alife X - The 10th Intl Conf on the Simulation and Synthesis of Living Systems,Bloomington, Indiana, 06/06/03-07
1st Intl Conf on Economic Sciences with Heterogeneous Interacting Agents, Univ of Bologna, Italy, 06/06/15-17
NKS 2006: The Wolfram Science Conference, Washington, D.C., 06/06/16-18
Beyond Genome, 8th Annual Systems Biology - Pathway and Disease Modeling, San Francisco, California, 06/06/19-21
Intl Conf on Complex Systems (ICCS), Boston, Ma, 06/06/25-30
11th Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science, Lausanne, Switzerland, 06/07/05-08
2006 Genetic And Evolutionary Computation Conference (GECCO-2006),
Seattle, Washington, USA, 06/07/08-12
- Intl Soc for the Systems Sciences
50th Ann Conf - Complexity, Democracy & Sustainability, Sonoma, California, 06/07/09-14
- The 1st Intl Conf on Knowledge Communication and Peer Reviewing: KCPR 2006 ,
Orlando, Florida USA, 06/07/20-23
- Toward Social Mechanisms of Android Science, An ICCS Symposium co-located at CogSci 2006, Vancouver , Canada, 06/07/26
5th World Congress of Biomechanics, Munich, Germany, 06/07/29-08/04
50th Anniversary Summit of AI, Monte Verita, Switzerland, 06/07/09-14
- Potentials of Complexity Science for Business, Governments, and the Media 2006
FIAS Summer School - Theoretical Neuroscience & Complex Systems, Frankfurt/Main, Germany, 06/08/05-27
2006 Intl Conf on Nonlinear Science and Complexity, Beijing, China, 06/08/07-12
Symmetry Festival 2006, Symmetry in Art and Science Education, Budapest, Hungary, 06/08/12-18
6th International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents, Marina Del Rey, Ca, U.S.A., 06/08/21-23
- World Conference on Social Simulation (WCSS-06) , Kyoto, Japan, 06/08/21-25
- Intl Conf on Parallel Problem Solving From Nature (PPSN), Reykjavik, Iceland, 06/09/09-13
7th Intl Symposium on Knowledge and Systems
Sciences (KSS'2006), Beijing, 06/09/22-25.
European Conference on Complex Systems 2006 (ECCS'06), Oxford, England, 06/09/25-29
FROM ANIMALS TO ANIMATS 9, The Ninth Intl Conf on the SIMULATION OF ADAPTIVE BEHAVIOR (SAB'06), Roma, Italy, 06/09/25-30
6th Intl Conf on Simulated Evolution and Learning , Hefei, China, 06/10/15-18
- 2006 IEEE/WIC/ACM Intl Workshop on
Interaction between Agents and Data Mining (IADM-06), Hongkong, China, 06/12/18
3rd International Workshop on Complexity and Philisophy, Stellenbosch, South Africa, 07/02/22-23
Summer School In Complexity Science, London, UK, 07/07/08-17
Call for Papers - Course/Book Announcements
- Chaos and Complexity
Resources for Students and Teachers, 06/03/01
MSc Complexity Science: Systems Thinking from New Biology to Novel Computation, Southampton, UK
Volume Four Complexity and Knowledge Management: Understanding the Role of Knowledge in the Management of Social Networks, ISCE Managing the Complex Book Series
- New Issue of
Emergence: Complexity & Organization (E:CO), Volume 7 Numbers 3 & 4, 2005
Special Double Issue: Complexity and Storytelling
Guest Editors: Ken Baskin & David Boje was published online.