Complexity Digest 2004.39
Archive: http://www.comdig.org, European Mirror: http://www.comdig.de Asian
Mirror: http://www.phil.pku.edu.cn/resguide/comdig/ (Chinese GB-Code) "I think
the next century will be the century of complexity." Stephen Hawking
01. ALife 9: Ninth International Conference on Artificial Life, Complexity
Digest Virtual Conference Network
01.01. Cells By Design, The Potential For Synthetic Biology, The Scientist
02. New Mars Data Gives Life Clue, BBC News
02.01. Martian Methane Hints At Oases Of Life, Nature News
02.02. Polar Microbes Get Helping Hand, Nature News
02.03. Virus Forms Nano Template, Technology Research News
02.04. From Earth's Primitive Atmosphere To Chiral Peptides - The Origin Of
Precursors For Life, Chem. & Biodiversity
03. Evolution's No-Fly Zone, Science Now
03.01. Evolution: A Is For Adaptation, Nature
03.02. Gene Made Apes Smarter, Science Now
03.03. Competition Boosts Chimp Comprehension, Science Now
03.04. Men Migrated More, Science Now
03.05. Lessons From Snakes: The Better Part Of Valor, ScienceDaily
04. Mystery From The Deep Creates Elongated Puzzle, China Daily
04.01. A Triassic Aquatic Protorosaur with an Extremely Long Neck, Science
05. Genes From Engineered Grass Spread for Miles, Study Finds, NY Times
05.01. Genes from Engineered Grass Spread Far, NPR ME
05.02. Omega-3s Without That Fishy Odor, Science Now
06. Alternative Energy for Biomotors, The Scientist
06.01. Smart Biomaterials, Science
06.02. Biology and the Inkjets, Science
06.03. Enzymes: By Chance, Or By Design?, Nature
07. A Novel, Safer Strategy for Regulating Gene Expression, Children's Hospital
07.01. Safer Route to Gene Therapy Found, BBC News
07.02. Drug Companies on the Defensive, NPR TOTN
08. Researchers Eliminate Leukemia In Mice, bio.com
08.01. New Anti-Inflammatory Strategy For Cancer Therapy, bio.com
08.02. Cancer: An Inflammatory Link, Nature
08.03. Mending And Malignancy, Nature
08.04. Strep Bacteria Uses A Sword And Shield To Win Battle, ScienceDaily
09. Theory Predicts The Uneven Distribution Of Genetic Diversity Within
09.01. Invasion In Space And Time: Non-Native Species Richness And Relative
Abundance, Ecol. Lett.
09.02. Uncertainty In Integrated Regional Models, Econ. Sys. Res.
09.03. Avoiding Brotherly Love, Science Now
09.04. 2004 Visualization Challenge, Science
10. Web Tool May Banish Broken Links, BBC News
10.01. How to Compute Using Globally Coupled Oscillators, arXiv
10.02. A Domain-Independent Framework for Modeling Emotion, Cognitive Systems
11. Information, Please - Betting On Whether Data Disappear Down Black Holes,
11.01. Hubble's Deepest Shot Is A Puzzle, BBC News
12. A Taylor Vortex Analogy In Granular Flows, Nature
13. Hurricanes And Markets ..., American Public Media
13.01. How Not to Save Social Security, NY Times
13.02. A Stubborn Storm Hangs On in a Busy Hurricane Season, NYTimes
14. Dynamic Footprint-Based Person Recognition Method, Int. J. Intell. Sys.
14.01. Chicago Moving to 'Smart' Surveillance Cameras, NY Times
14.02. Domestic Surveillance Technology, NPR TOTN
14.03. Silicon Sensors Could Save Lives, BBC News
15. The Wizard's Warning, The Peer-Review Bureaucracy Is Strangling Creativity,
15.01. Does the Patent System Need an Overhaul?, NY Times
16. 'A Massive Experiment' In Voting, Washington Post
16.01. Still Seeking a Fair Florida Vote, Washington Post
16.02. Florida Officials Stand By Ballot, BBC News
16.03. To Find Insight, Think Complex, Educator Says, JS Online
17. Annan Faults Both Sides of Terror War for Eroding Rule of Law, Washington
17.01. Bush Defends Iraq Policies At UN, BBC News
17.02. The Face of Iraqi Democracy, NY Times
18. Panel Calls U.S. Troop Size Insufficient for Demands, NY Times
18.01. Charges for 60 Detainees Ordered, Washington Post
18.02. Troubled Unit of Halliburton May Go on Block, NY Times
19. Complex Challenges: Global Terroist Networks
19.01. Twisting Dr. Nuke's Arm, NY Times
19.02. Election Heightens Terrorism Offensive, Washington Post
19.03. Terrorists Have Oil Industry in Cross Hairs, Washington Post
20. Links & Snippets
20.01. Other Publications
20.02. Webcast Announcements
20.03. Conference & Call for Papers Announcements
01. ALife 9: Ninth International Conference on Artificial Life , Complexity
Digest Virtual Conference Network
Xabier Barandiaran. "Behavioral Adaptive Autonomy. A milestone in the Alife
route to AI?". Video Summary [asf: 15.5 Mb]. Alessandro Fontana & Walter
Fraccaro. "A Functional Model of Cell Genome". Video Summary [asf: 6.1 Mb].
Carlos Gershenson. "Introduction to Random Boolean Networks" (Tutorial). Video
Summary [asf: 2.1 Mb] Full paper [pdf]. Slides [pdf]. Patrick Grim, Evan
Selinger, William Braynen, Robert Rosenberger, Randy Au, Nancy Louie & John
Connolly. "Reducing Prejudice: A Spatialized Game-Theoretic Model for the
Contact Hypothesis". Video Summary [asf: 2.9 Mb]. More Info Inman Harvey.
"Homeostasis and Rein Control: From Daisyworld to Active Perception". Video
Summary [asf: 9.1 Mb]. Paul Dwight Kuo & Wolfgang Banzhaf. "Small World
and Scale-Free Network Topologies in an Artificial Regulatory Network". Video
Summary [asf: 1.5 Mb]. Hod Lipson. "Recent Work in Evolution and
Fabrication of Robots". Video Summary [asf: 3.8 Mb]. Once More Unto the
Breach: Co-evolving a Robot and its Simulator (with Josh Bongard), and
Functional Freeform Fabrication for Physical Artificial Life (with Evan Malone)
Liviu Panait & Sean Luke. "Learning Ant Foraging Behaviors" and "Ant
Foraging Revisited". Video Summary [asf: 3.5 Mb]. More info and MASON software
Evan Malone & Hod Lipson . "Functional Freeform Fabrication for Physical
Artificial Life". Video Summary [asf: 2.5 Mb]. Dusan Misevic, Richard
Lenski & Charles Ofria. "Sexual Reproduction and Muller's Ratchet in Digital
Organisms". Video Summary [asf: 1.5 Mb]. Best student paper award Gentaro
Morimoto & Takashi Ikegami. "Evolution of Plastic Sensory-motor Coupling and
Dynamical Categorization". Video Summary [asf: 4.9 Mb]. Satoshi Murata.
"Self-Reconfigurable Robot --- A Platform of Evolutionary Robotics". Video
Summary [asf: 2.8 Mb]. Full talk Audio 51:19 [mp3: 64Kbps, 23.4 Mb]
(Introduced by Takashi Ikegami). Impressive robots which can assamble and
dissassamble themselves for achieving different tasks. More details and videos
Shin Nishimura & Masaki Sasai. "Inertia of Chemotactic Motion as an Emergent
Property in a Model ofan Eukaryotic Cell". Video Summary [asf: 2.4 Mb].
Jason Noble & Manuel de Pinedo. "Mechanistic and Ecological Explanations in
Agent-based Models of Cognition ". Video Summary [asf: 3.3 Mb]. Luis M.
Rocha. "Evolving Memory: Logical Tasks for Cellular Automata" and "The Role of
RNA Editing in Dynamic Environments" (with Chien-feng Huang). Video Summary
[asf: 2.7 Mb]. Chris Salzberg, Antony Antony & Hiroki Sayama. "Complex
genetic evolution of self-replicating loops". Video Summary [asf: 4.4 Mb].
Yoon Sik Shim, Sun Jeong Kim & Chang Hun Kim. "Evolving Flying Creatures with
Path Following Behaviors". Video Summary [asf: 3.8 Mb]. Hideaki Suzuki and
Tim Hutton. "Workshop: Artificial Chemistry and its Applications". Video
Summary [asf: 5.8 Mb]. Keiske Suzuki & Takashi Ikegami. "Self-repairing and
Mobility of a Simple Cell". Video Summary [asf: 1.3 Mb]. Reiji Suzuki &
Takaya Arita. "Drastic Changes in Roles of Learning in the Course of
Evolution". Video Summary [asf: 2.1 Mb]. Eörs Szathm¨¢ry. "Origin and
Evolution of Various Genetic Systems". Video Summary [asf: 5.0 Mb]. Full talk
Audio 57:23 [mp3: 64Kbps, 26.2 Mb] (Introduced by Phil Husbands). Different
issues on major evolutionary transitions from the point of view of theoretical
biology. Eric Vaughan, Ezequiel Di Paolo & Inman Harvey. "The Evolution of
Control and Adaptation in a 3D Powered Passive Dynamic Walker". Video Summary
[asf: 2.8 Mb]. More videos Richard Watson & Daniel Weinreich. "Life as it
is? Population genetics basics for evolutionary computation experts"
(Tutorial). Video Summary [asf: 10.1 Mb]. George M. Whitesides. "Emergence
in Synthetic Systems". Video Summary [asf: 7.3 Mb]. Full talk Audio 55:07 [mp3:
24Kbps, 7.9 Mb] (Introduced by Jordan Pollack). Very interesting examples of
complex behaviours emerging in very simple systems, such as bubbles. With
applications in nanotechnology. Peter Wills. "Stepwise Evolution of Molecular
Biological Coding". Video Summary [asf: 4.5 Mb]. "Ethics of Artificial Life".
Video Summary [asf: 5.7 Mb] Stephen Wolfram. "A New Kind of Science & the
Future of Artificial Life". Video Summary [asf: 5.7 Mb]. Full talk Audio 55:22
[mp3: 24Kbps, 7.8 Mb]. Examples of mathematical tools which could be useful
for understanding living systems. Contributed by Nadia Gershenson (video) and
Carlos Gershenson (audio, video, and html). We thank Jordan Pollack for his
great support in the webcast. Webserver space kindly provided by the Centrum
Leo Apostel of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Note: Audio files are in downloadable mp3 format for portable mp3 players or
mp3 software players. Video files are in asf format and can be played e.g. with
windows media player. If you have problems, suggestions, or comments with the
file formats, please contact Carlos Gershenson.
* ALife 9: Ninth International Conference on Artificial Life, 04/09/12-15,
* AUDIO - Complexity Digest Virtual Conference Network
* VIDEO - Complexity Digest Virtual Conference Network
* Contributed by Carlos Gershenson
01.01. Cells By Design, The Potential For Synthetic Biology , The Scientist
Biofactories: Above is a depiction of the genetic network engineered into
Escherichia coli for production of amorphadiene via the DXP or mevalonate
isoprenoid pathway. The black triangles represent the PLAC promoter. Genes
isolated from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, E. coli, and Haematococcus pluvialis
were used to construct the network. (From V.J.J. Martin et al., Nat Biotechnol,
21: 796-802, 2003.)
In the future, bioengineers will create new organisms based on the same
strategies that engineers use to design computer chips, bridges, and
skyscrapers. Mathematical modeling will drive the design of useful, artificial
organisms, instead of relying on the blind, trial-and-error methods of natural
Advocates say synthetic biology will develop because of the rapidly decreasing
cost of DNA synthesis and sequencing.(...)
Just as cheap transistors preceded the computer revolution, commoditization of
DNA synthesis will spur huge changes in biological construction.
* Cells By Design, The Potential For Synthetic Biology, 04/09/27, The Scientist
02. New Mars Data Gives Life Clue , BBC News
The finding does not, by itself, suggest life
New data showing that patterns of water and methane in Mars' atmosphere overlap
may have important implications for the idea that the planet could harbour
The finding comes from the Mars Express probe in orbit around the Red Planet.
If microbes are making methane seen in Mars' atmosphere, they would rely on
But other scientists have pointed out that this overlap could just as easily be
explained by alternative processes.
Not all of these processes necessarily involve microbial life.
* New Mars Data Gives Life Clue, 04/09/20, BBC News
02.01. Martian Methane Hints At Oases Of Life , Nature News
Methane and water vapour seem to be seeping out from below the surface.
In the first published study to track methane on Mars, researchers have
concluded that life is the only plausible source of the gas. The putative
martians are hiding in a few isolated spots and the rest of the planet is
totally sterile, they say.(...)
He and his colleagues used the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (...) to detect
minute traces of methane in the red planet's atmosphere; they found levels of
10 parts per billion. This matches other researchers' estimates, and suggests
that methane is being continually released from the surface.
* Martian Methane Hints At Oases Of Life, Mark Peplow , 04/09/22, Nature News
02.02. Polar Microbes Get Helping Hand , Nature News
The polar deserts are teeming with buried microbes.
?Canadian Space Agency
You might think that the polar deserts are barren, lifeless places. But you
would be wrong. A British microbiologist has shown how the freezing and thawing
of ice can turn polar rocks into a haven for microorganisms.
What is more, he believes that meteor impacts, rather than being purely
destructive, could also create oases for life by heating rocks and melting ice,
either on Earth or on other icy worlds in the Solar System.(...)
This seems to be a paradox: how do photosynthetic microbes live underneath
* Polar Microbes Get Helping Hand, Michael Hopkin , 04/09/22, Nature News
02.03. Virus Forms Nano Template , Technology Research News
Living matter self-assembles into complex organisms that can contain billions
of cells, and researchers have tapped biological molecules like DNA and viruses
to self-assemble technologically useful structures and materials.
Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Brown
University have showed how self-assembly mechanisms that bring together charged
membranes and oppositely charged polymers like biological molecules can be
understood in terms of simple rules, and have applied the rules to make
virus-membrane complexes with pore sizes that can be used to organize
* Virus Forms Nano Template, 04/09/22, Technology Research News
02.04. From Earth's Primitive Atmosphere To Chiral Peptides - The Origin Of
Precursors For Life , Chem. & Biodiversity
Excerpts: (...) After the formation of our planet and its atmosphere, prebiotic
chemical evolution started its course with the formation of the first building
blocks for the formation of biomolecules. In the case of proteins, those
building blocks were amino acids that had to be formed in the primitive
atmosphere, and then had to react to peptides and proteins as the main pillar
of first life. In this paper, we describe the processes in the primordial
atmosphere (...) leading to the synthesis of amino acids until the formation of
homochiral peptides, and, thus, show a plausible pathway towards the origin of
* From Earth's Primitive Atmosphere To Chiral Peptides - The Origin Of
Precursors For Life, K. Plankensteiner , H. Reiner , B. M. Rode
Bernd.M.Rode@uibk.ac.at , Oct. 2004, Online 2004/09/23, DOI:
10.1002/cbdv.200490093, Chemistry & Biodiversity
* Contributed by Atin Das
03. Evolution's No-Fly Zone , Science Now
When bugs fly. Wingless insects, like this darkling beetle (Apterotheca
costata), don't become genetically isolated more often than their winged
Credit: Anthony O'toole
Wings made little difference for speciation. About one-third of both winged and
flightless insects had become new species when their range was sliced up by a
geographical barrier--in this case, a dry valley. In addition, the absence of
wings did not appear to hamper dispersal, (...). Apparently, says Brooks,
"flightless insects have other means of dispersal than flying, and flying
insects do not fly as far as they might." He adds that insects may fly more for
finding food and mates than for long-distance travel.
* Evolution's No-Fly Zone, 04/09/22, Science Now
03.01. Evolution: A Is For Adaptation , Nature
Excerpt: Studies of a bacterial virus have revealed an unexpected weapon that
helps it to overcome its host's rapidly changing defences. (...) the mechanism
might be widespread.
Adapt or die. This axiom has been used so many times, in so many different
contexts, that its origin is difficult to trace. But it aptly describes an
intriguing mechanism exploited by viruses that infect Bordetella bacteria. This
mechanism guarantees the viruses' survival in the face of host adaptations that
would otherwise severely limit their ability to infect and multiply.
* Evolution: A Is For Adaptation, Jef D. Boeke , 04/09/23, DOI:
10.1038/431408a, Nature 431, 408 - 409
03.02. Gene Made Apes Smarter , Science Now
Brain boost. A neurotransmitter-recycling gene may have given chimps (left) a
cognitive advantage over Old World monkeys (right).
Credit: Gerald And Buff Corsi/California Academy Of Sciences; Martin
(...) another gene may have given the brains of apes, including humans, a major
cognitive boost millions of years ago.
The gene, called GLUD2, (...) helps recycle one of the brain's most important
neurotransmitters, glutamate. But there are actually two types of GDH: the one
coded by GLUD2, which is found mostly in nerve tissues, and a second type,
(...), which is found in many different cells and performs a variety of
(...) the brain-specific gene, GLUD2, is found only in apes and humans but not
in Old World Monkeys, (...).
* Gene Made Apes Smarter, 04/09/21, Science Now
03.03. Competition Boosts Chimp Comprehension , Science Now
Excerpt: Chimpanzees seem to understand competition better than cooperation.
Chimps searching for a hidden food prize are better at recognizing clues from a
competitor striving for the same treat than those from a helpful observer.
(...) whether apes--especially our closest genetic cousins, the
chimpanzees--can understand what others are thinking. Experiments have shown
that chimpanzees can easily tell whether someone else can see the same thing
they do and can even hide things from humans and other chimps. But they're not
as good at comprehending helpful hints.
* Competition Boosts Chimp Comprehension, 04/09/21, Science Now
03.04. Men Migrated More , Science Now
On the move. A genetic study suggests that during human history, more men than
women--like these Dogon people of Mali--traveled widely.
Credit: Wolfgang Kaehler/Corbis
Researchers probing our past have often studied two kinds of DNA: the
paternally inherited Y chromosome and the maternally inherited mitochondrial
DNA (mtDNA). When comparing people in far-flung regions, they found that mtDNA
was more similar than were the Y chromosomes. This evidence of more homogenized
mtDNA suggested that throughout human history, women have spread their genes
farther than men. But some geneticists were skeptical, (...).
(...) the proportionally smaller group of reproducing males must have traveled
farther than their female counterparts.
* Men Migrated More, Elizabeth Culotta , 04/09/21, Science Now
03.05. Lessons From Snakes: The Better Part Of Valor , ScienceDaily
Excerpts: (...) found that when test snakes were confronted with danger their
first reaction was to retreat. Smaller snakes, although just as likely to flee
or strike as larger snakes, were more likely to issue warnings. But, over all,
test snakes of all sizes were more likely to exercise the better part of valor:
they ran away. Rather, slithered. (...) "We found that antipredator behavior
varied with body size," said Johnson. "The bigger the snake, there was less
defensive response and fleeing became more common." Were the bigger snakes
older and wiser? Perhaps. "Younger snakes may exhibit an elevated defense
* Lessons From Snakes: The Better Part Of Valor, 2004/09/22, ScienceDaily &
University Of South Florida
* Contributed by Atin Das
04. Mystery From The Deep Creates Elongated Puzzle , China Daily
Two fossil specimens of the strange long-necked protorsaur found near Xinmin in
Guizhou Province. [China Daily]
They found the protorosaur, which has a 1.7-metre-long neck and a trunk less
than 1 metre long, was a marine species. "So it is unlike most protorosaurs
which were living on land," says Li.
(...) Dinocephalosaurus share additional diagnostic characters with the other
protorosaurs, such as elongated cervical ribs and very low neural spines on the
But its limbs indicate full marine habits - and different from all the other
protorosaurs, which retain juvenile characteristics throughout adulthood, they
are relatively short and broad.
* Mystery From The Deep Creates Elongated Puzzle, 04/09/25, China Daily
04.01. A Triassic Aquatic Protorosaur with an Extremely Long Neck , Science
Excerpt: By Middle Triassic time, a number of reptile lineages had diversified
in shallow epicontinental seas and intraplatform basins along the margins of
parts of Pangea, including the giraffe-necked protorosaurid reptile
Tanystropheus from the Western Tethys (Europe and the Middle East), which grew
to ~5 to 6 m long. Here we report another long-necked fossil,
Dinocephalosaurus, from southwestern China, recently collected in Middle
Triassic marine deposits ~230 million years old. (...) Its extremely elongated
neck is explained as an adaptation for aquatic life, perhaps for an increase in
* A Triassic Aquatic Protorosaur with an Extremely Long Neck, Chun Li , Olivier
Rieppel , Michael C. LaBarbera
, 04/09/24, Science : 1931
05. Genes From Engineered Grass Spread for Miles, Study Finds , NY Times
Excerpt: A new study shows that genes from genetically engineered grass can
spread much farther than previously known, a finding that raises questions
about the straying of other plants altered through biotechnology (...).
(...) have developed a strain of creeping bentgrass for use on golf courses
that is resistant to the widely used herbicide Roundup. (...)
Critics worry that the grass could spread to areas where it is not wanted or
transfer its herbicide resistance to weedy relatives, creating superweeds that
would be immune to the most widely used weed killer.
* Genes From Engineered Grass Spread for Miles, Study Finds, Andrew Pollack ,
05.01. Genes from Engineered Grass Spread Far , NPR ME
Excerpt: A grass genetically modified to be resistant to a popular herbicide
can spread new genes to other grass plants located miles away, scientists
discover. The findings raise questions about how well altered plant genes can
be contained. Hear NPR's Christopher Joyce.
* Genes from Engineered Grass Spread Far , 04/09/21, NPR ME
05.02. Omega-3s Without That Fishy Odor , Science Now
Flax on Friday? Plants biologists have engineered flaxseeds to contain
heart-friendly fats normally only found in fish.
CREDIT: CLARENCE A. RECHENTHIN/USDA/NRCS TEXAS STATE OFFICE
Scientists have for the first time genetically modified plants to contain a
particularly healthy kind of fatty acid in their seeds. The most beneficial of
so-called omega-3 fatty acids are found only in fish, so growing omega-3-rich
transgenic plants instead could increase public consumption while relieving
pressure on fisheries, researchers say. (...)
Plants don't contain either, but precursors of these fatty acids are fairly
abundant in flaxseed, canola oil, soybeans, and walnuts. The human body can
synthesize DHA from these precursors, although not efficiently.
* Omega-3s Without That Fishy Odor, 04/09/24, Science Now
06. Alternative Energy for Biomotors , The Scientist
A biomolecular 'piston' derived from viral peptides should respond to changes
Erica P. Johnson
It makes sense to use these off-the-shelf engines as they're 1,000 times
smaller than anything humans can yet build. But recent research indicates that
by the time bioengineers are ready to begin assembling their intracellular
delivery vehicles, they will have a wider range of motors to choose from. Tiny
pistons borrowed from HIV and other viruses, G-protein springs, and even
nucleic acid-based motors are finding their way to the drawing board. Each uses
a different source of energy to accomplish a different task, (...).
* Alternative Energy for Biomotors, Bennett Daviss , 04/09/27, The Scientist
06.01. Smart Biomaterials , Science
Excerpt: In addition to biomaterials that direct specific cellular behaviors,
researchers are also developing smart biomaterials that respond to specific
cellular signals. (...) The presence of these MMP [matrix metalloproteinase,
Ed.] sites allows native cells to control gel remodeling such that these cells
replace the synthetic gel material with tissue. When these biomaterials are
further supplemented with specific growth factors, such as bone morphogenetic
proteins, these gels support the infiltration of cells and the formation of
mineralized tissue for the healing of critical-sized cranial defects in rats.
* Smart Biomaterials, Daniel G. Anderson , Jason A. Burdick , Robert Langer ,
04/09/24, Science : 1923-1924
06.02. Biology and the Inkjets , Science
Excerpt: Inkjet technology has entered the biology lab because of its ability
to generate, under surprisingly benign conditions, tiny droplets of
reproducible size and deposit them at a spot with positional accuracy of 100
micrometers or better. (...).
To lay down mammalian cells, along with growth factors and immobilizing
matrices, in layers, a step toward what Boland calls "organ printing," he and
his colleagues are using a basic HP printer modified so that the printing
substrate can pass straight through the printer without curling around a
* Biology and the Inkjets, Joe Alper , 04/09/24, Science : 1895
06.03. Enzymes: By Chance, Or By Design? , Nature
Excerpt: Enzymes are well known for speeding up reactions. But have they
evolved to use quantum mechanics to exert their effects?
(...) Scrutton, meanwhile, believes that even if vibration-assisted tunnelling
does occur, it is not absolutely essential. In his view, the available evidence
suggests that many enzymes are already optimized for tunnelling without the
help of vibrations. For example, his group has found that the enzyme
trimethylamine dehydrogenase doesn't seem to exploit vibrations in its natural
form but does make use of them in a mutant form.(...)
* Enzymes: By Chance, Or By Design?, Philip Ball , 04/09/23, DOI:
10.1038/431396a, Nature 431, 396 - 397
07. A Novel, Safer Strategy for Regulating Gene Expression , Children's
Hospital Press Release
Excerpts: Researchers at Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School
have created a novel, elegant, and safer system for controlling gene expression
- turning genes on and off as needed - that involves an intervention as simple
as giving a drug. Potentially, with this technique, a gene could even be
activated by natural conditions in the body - for example, in a diabetic
patient, a rise in glucose concentration would automatically turn on the gene
responsible for insulin production.
* A Novel, Safer Strategy for Regulating Gene Expression, 04/09/22, Children's
Hospital Press Release
07.01. Safer Route to Gene Therapy Found , BBC News
A special sequence of DNA was inserted
Current methods of switching genes on and off usually involve complicated
systems and have serious side effects like cancer. (...) The new method
involves inserting a special DNA sequence into the patient's own genes or into
the therapeutic gene introduced by gene therapy. (...) This piece of DNA holds
coding for making something called ribozyme. Ribozyme contains the instructions
for switching genes on, but has a natural tendency to split itself in half
meaning the instructions cannot be read and the genes remain switched off.
Drugs can stop ribozyme splitting so the "therapeutic" genes are switched on.
* Safer Route to Gene Therapy Found, 2004/09/22, BBC News
* Contributed by Nadia Gershenson
07.02. Drug Companies on the Defensive , NPR TOTN
Excerpt: Are America's big drug companies more interested in profits, or cures?
Join NPR's Ira Flatow and guests as we search for the truth about America's
* Drug Companies on the Defensive, 04/09/24, NPR-TOTN
08. Researchers Eliminate Leukemia In Mice , bio.com
Excerpts: Scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have corrected a flaw in
cancer cells that lets them evade the normal cell-death process, and as a
result they eliminated leukemia cells from mice. With this achievement, the
researchers confirm that a key anti-cell-death molecule called BCL-2 is
required by many types of cancer cells to survive, and that silencing it with
designer drugs may prove to be an effective new avenue for cancer therapy.
Using drugs to manipulate apoptosis, or "programmed cell death" in cancers "is
a new paradigm that hasn't been well explored yet,"(...).
* Researchers Eliminate Leukemia In Mice, 04/09/20, Bio.com
08.01. New Anti-Inflammatory Strategy For Cancer Therapy , bio.com
Excerpt: A new strategy for cancer therapy, which converts the tumor-promoting
effect of the immune system's inflammatory response into a cancer-killing
outcome, is suggested in research findings by investigators at the University
of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine.
The findings provide new insight into the immune system's response to
inflammation, the connection between inflammation and malignancy, and how the
delicate balance between cancer promotion and inhibition can be manipulated in
the patient's favor, according to the study's senior author, Michael Karin,
Ph.D., UCSD professor of pharmacology, American Cancer Society Research
Professor, and a member of the Rebecca and John Moores UCSD Cancer Center.
* New Anti-Inflammatory Strategy For Cancer Therapy, 04/09/20, Bio.com
08.02. Cancer: An Inflammatory Link , Nature
Excerpt: Moreover, most solid tumours contain many non-malignant cells,
including immune cells and blood-vessel cells, that are important in
inflammation. But the crucial molecular pathways that permit communication
between abnormally growing cancer cells and these inflammatory cells remain
unknown. A complex network of pro-inflammatory mediators is probably involved,
because deletion of certain key molecules can reduce cancer susceptibility in
mice. Two mouse models of inflammation-associated cancer now implicate the
gene-transcription factor NF-B and the inflammatory mediator known as
tumour-necrosis factor- (TNF-) in cancer progression.
* Cancer: An Inflammatory Link, Fran Balkwill , Lisa M. Coussens , 04/09/23,
DOI: 10.1038/431405a, Nature 431, 405 - 406
08.03. Mending And Malignancy , Nature
Excerpt: How, then, does injury contribute to cancer risk?
To answer this question, we consider tissue response to injury. (...) This
repair programme includes movement of cells to patch defects, as well as rapid
production of cells that can differentiate (...). The ultimate source of these
differentiated cells within the injured tissue is stem cells.
Stem cells are also increasingly being viewed as playing a role in cancer.
Their capacity for self-renewal and unlimited replication make them appealing
candidates as the cell of origin for cancer.
* Mending And Malignancy, Philip A. Beachy , Sunil S. Karhadkar , David M.
Berman , 04/09/23, DOI: 10.1038/431402a, Nature 431, 402
08.04. Strep Bacteria Uses A Sword And Shield To Win Battle , ScienceDaily
Excerpts: A single gene called cylE within the important bacterial pathogen
Group B Streptococcus (GBS), controls two factors that act together as a
"sword" and "shield" to protect the bacteria from the killing effects of the
immune system's white blood cells, (...). GBS is the leading cause of serious
bacterial infections such as meningitis and pneumonia in newborns and is
increasingly recognized as a serious pathogen in adult populations, including
the elderly, pregnant women and diabetics. (...). These findings could lead to
new therapeutic approaches that disarm the bacteria and allow the immune system
to do its work. (...)
* Strep Bacteria Uses A Sword And Shield To Win Battle, 2004/09/23,
ScienceDaily & University Of California, San Diego School Of Medicine
* Contributed by Atin Das
09. Theory Predicts The Uneven Distribution Of Genetic Diversity Within Species
Excerpt: Global efforts to conserve species have been strongly influenced by
the heterogeneous distribution of species diversity across the Earth. This is
manifest in conservation efforts focused on diversity hotspots. The
conservation of genetic diversity within an individual species is an important
factor in its survival in the face of environmental changes and disease. (...)
Contrary to previous studies, our results imply that diversity loss due to
severe extinction events is high and focusing conservation efforts on highly
distinctive groups can save much of the diversity.
* Theory Predicts The Uneven Distribution Of Genetic Diversity Within Species,
Erik M. Rauch1 , Yaneer Bar-Yam , 04/09/23, DOI: 10.1038/nature02745, Nature
431, 449 - 452
* AUDIO - BBC' morning news
09.01. Invasion In Space And Time: Non-Native Species Richness And Relative
Abundance , Ecol. Lett.
Excerpts: Ecologists have long sought to understand the relationships among
species diversity, community productivity and invasion by non-native species.
Here, four long-term observational datasets were analyzed using repeated
measures statistics to determine how plant species richness and community
resource capture (i.e. productivity) influenced invasion. Multiple factors
influenced the results, including the metric used to quantify invasion,
interannual variation and spatial scale. (...) Our analysis suggests that while
non-natives were most likely to establish in species rich communities, their
success was diminished by high resource capture by the resident community.
* Invasion In Space And Time: Non-Native Species Richness And Relative
Abundance Respond To Interannual Variation In Productivity And Diversity, E. E.
Cleland , M. D. Smith , S. J. Andelman , C. Bowles , K. M. Carney , M. C.
H.-Devine , J. M. Drake , S. M. Emery , J. M. Gramling , D. B. Vandermast ,
Oct. 2004, DOI: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2004.00655.x, Ecology Letters
* Contributed by Pritha Das
09.02. Uncertainty In Integrated Regional Models , Econ. Sys. Res.
Excerpts: This paper examines the nature of uncertainty in integrated
econometric+input-output (ECIO) regional models. We focus on three sources of
uncertainty: (a) econometric model parameter uncertainty; (b) econometric
disturbance term uncertainty; and (c) input-output coefficient uncertainty.
Through a series of Monte Carlo simulations we analyse the relative importance
of each component as well as the question of how their interaction may
propagate through the integrated model to affect the distributions of the
endogenous variables. Our results suggest that there is no simple answer to the
question of which source of uncertainty is most important in an integrated
* Uncertainty In Integrated Regional Models, S. Rey , G. West , M. Janikas ,
Sep. 2004, DOI: 10.1080/0953531042000239365, Economic Systems Research
* Contributed by Pritha Das
09.03. Avoiding Brotherly Love , Science Now
Rough love. Hens can resist their brothers' sperm, if not their sexual
Credit: T. Pizzari And C.K. Cornwallis
Female jungle fowl have a sneaky way of avoiding incest
Mating with close relatives often leads to no good, so most animals try to
avoid it. So pity the female red jungle fowl. With randy and aggressive
brethren, they don't have much choice when it comes to mates. But the hens can
avoid the ill effects of inbreeding by picking which sperm fertilize their
eggs, scientists have discovered.(...)
Females stored fewer sperm from brothers and fewer of those sperm reached their
* Avoiding Brotherly Love, Fiona Proffitt , 04/09/23, Science Now
09.04. 2004 Visualization Challenge , Science
Excerpt: A multicolored deer tick latched onto the ear of a hamster ... water
molecules shuttling across a cell membrane ... a bat's sonar locking onto its
prey ... the cauldron of Mount Etna getting ready to rumble. The following
pages bring to life intricate interactions, from the workings of cells to the
geological processes that threaten cities. These stunning visualizations won
top honors in the second Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge, co-
sponsored by Science and the National Science Foundation (NSF).
* 2004 Visualization Challenge, Curt Suplee , Monica Bradford
, 04/09/24, Science : 1903
10. Web Tool May Banish Broken Links , BBC News
Excerpt: Students have developed a tool which could mean broken weblinks are
Peridot, developed by UK intern students at IBM, scans company weblinks and
replaces outdated information with other relevant documents and links.
It works by automatically mapping and storing key features of webpages, so it
can detect significant content changes.
The students said Peridot could protect companies by spotting links to sites
that have been removed, or which point to wholly unsuitable content. (...)
"The way we identify the content is through a process called fingerprinting
* Web Tool May Banish Broken Links, Jo Twist , BBC News
10.01. How to Compute Using Globally Coupled Oscillators , arXiv
Abstract: Synchronization is known to play a vital role within many highly
connected neural systems such as the olfactory systems of fish and insects. In
this paper we show how one can robustly and effectively perform practical
computations using small perturbations to a very simple globally coupled
network of coupled oscillators. Computations are performed by exploiting the
spatio-temporal dynamics of a robust attracting heteroclinic network (also
referred to as `winnerless competition' dynamics). We use different cluster
synchronization states to encode memory states and use this to design a simple
multi-base counter. The simulations indicate that this gives a robust
computational system exploiting the natural dynamics of the system.
* How to Compute Using Globally Coupled Oscillators, Peter Ashwin , Jon
Borresen , 2004/09/09, DOI: q-bio.NC/0409012, arXiv
* Contributed by Carlos Gershenson
10.02. A Domain-Independent Framework for Modeling Emotion , Cognitive Systems
Abstract: In this article, we show how psychological theories of emotion shed
light on the interaction between emotion and cognition, and thus can inform the
design of human-like autonomous agents that must convey these core aspects of
human behavior. We lay out a general computational framework of appraisal and
coping as a central organizing principle for such systems. We then discuss a
detailed domain-independent model based on this framework, illustrating how it
has been applied to the problem of generating behavior for a significant social
training application. The model is useful not only for deriving emotional
state, but also for informing a number of the behaviors that must be modeled by
virtual humans such as facial expressions, dialogue management, planning,
reacting, and social understanding. Thus, the work is of potential interest to
models of strategic decision-making, action selection, facial animation, and
* A Domain-Independent Framework for Modeling Emotion, Jonathan Gratch , Stacy
Marsella , 2004/12, DOI: 10.1016/j.cogsys.2004.02.002, Cognitive Systems
* Contributed by Carlos Gershenson
11. Information, Please - Betting On Whether Data Disappear Down Black Holes ,
[Question: What's wrong with this picture?, Ed.]
How might information avoid being lost from a fading black hole? It would have
to be carried by the Hawking radiation, which is the only stuff that travels
away from the hole. But Hawking radiation originates just outside the event
horizon, not inside the hole. How can radiation from outside the black hole
contain information about what fell in? (...)
In one picture emerging from string theory, the essential properties of an
object can be deduced entirely from the object's surface, (...) two-dimensional
* Information, Please - Betting On Whether Data Disappear Down Black Holes, Ron
Cowen , 04/09/25, Science News
11.01. Hubble's Deepest Shot Is A Puzzle , BBC News
Buried in the image are objects that shone not long after the Big Bang
But the Hubble Ultra Deep Field presents a problem for this story.
When Bunker and colleagues measured the rate of star formation in the image's
earliest galaxies, they found it was insufficient to create the levels of
radiation needed to produce the intergalactic plasma.
"There is not enough activity to explain the re-ionisation of the Universe," Dr
Bunker told the BBC. "Perhaps there was more action in terms of star formation
even earlier in the history of the Universe - that's one possibility.
* Hubble's Deepest Shot Is A Puzzle, 04/09/23, BBC News
12. A Taylor Vortex Analogy In Granular Flows , Nature
Excerpt: Here, using gas fluidization to overcome jamming, we show
experimentally that granular materials develop vortices consistent with the
primary Taylor instability in fluids. However, the vortices observed in our
fluidized granular bed are unlike those in fluids in that they are accompanied
by novel mixing-segregation transitions. The vortices seem to alleviate
increased strain by spawning new vortices, directly modifying the scale of
kinetic interactions. Our observations provide insights into the mechanisms of
shear transmission by particles and their consequent convective mixing.
* A Taylor Vortex Analogy In Granular Flows, Stephen L. Conway , Troy Shinbrot
, Benjamin J. Glasser , 04/09/23, DOI: 10.1038/nature02901, Nature 431, 433 -
13. Hurricanes And Markets ... , American Public Media
Excerpt: Just when we thought the coast was clear, the remnants of Hurricane
Ivan are creeping back. Ivan's now a tropical storm heading toward southwest
Louisiana and the Texas coast. Some weather experts are saying this season's
spate of hurricanes is more typical than not. Our own commentator and
mathematician says bad weather in financial markets is also more common than we
want to admit.
* Hurricanes And Markets ... , Benoit Mandelbrott , 04/09/23, American Public
13.01. How Not to Save Social Security , NY Times
Excerpt: In proposing personal accounts, Mr. Bush has promised to retain the
current benefits for today's retirees and for those who are nearing retirement.
So for some 40 years, workers would be making deposits into their accounts with
tax money that - under the current system - would have been used to pay the
benefits of those who are retired. The government would have to make up the
difference, and Mr. Bush has no reasonable plan for covering this cost, which
is estimated to be at least $1 trillion.
* How Not to Save Social Security, 04/09/23, NYTimes
13.02. A Stubborn Storm Hangs On in a Busy Hurricane Season , NYTimes
Excerpts: Its [hurricane Ivan, Ed.] obituary had already been written late on
Sept. 16 by federal meteorologists (...).
Part of the disintegrating storm spun south, drenched eastern Florida (...). It
could then draw on the warm, storm-nourishing waters of the Gulf of Mexico and
so was reborn.
(...) Breaking from its usual deadpan tones, the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration issued an update saying: "It sounds like the sequel
to a very bad horror movie, but it's no joke. Ivan is back."
* A Stubborn Storm Hangs On in a Busy Hurricane Season, Andrew C. Revkin ,
14. Dynamic Footprint-Based Person Recognition Method , Int. J. Intell. Sys.
Excerpts: Many diverse methods have been developed in the field of biometric
identification as a greater emphasis is placed on human friendliness in the
area of intelligent systems. One emerging method is the use of footprint shape.
However, in previous research, there were some limitations resulting from the
spatial resolution of sensors. One possible method to overcome this limitation
is through the use of additional and independent information such as gait
information during walking. In this study, we suggest a new person-recognition
scheme based on the center of pressure (COP) trajectory in the dynamic
* Dynamic Footprint-Based Person Recognition Method Using A Hidden Markov Model
And A Neural Network, J.-W. Jung email@example.com , T. Sato
firstname.lastname@example.org , Z. Bien email@example.com , Nov. 2004, online
2004/09/24, DOI: 10.1002/int.20040, International Journal of Intelligent
* Contributed by Pritha Das
14.01. Chicago Moving to 'Smart' Surveillance Cameras , NY Times
Excerpt: An advanced system of video surveillance will alert Chicago police
whenever anyone viewed by the cameras acts suspiciously. (...) plan to install
by 2006 will make people here some of the most closely observed in the world.
Mayor Richard M. Daley says it will also make them much (...) ''Cameras are the
equivalent of hundreds of sets of eyes,''(...)
* Chicago Moving to 'Smart' Surveillance Cameras, Stephen Kinzer , 04/09/21,
14.02. Domestic Surveillance Technology , NPR TOTN
Excerpt: The electronic eyes of the nation's security cameras watch over
everything from public buildings to traffic patterns. But in Chicago, they have
a new job: spotting terrorists, before they attack. We discuss the many uses,
and debatable effectiveness, of video surveillance.
* Domestic Surveillance Technology , 04/09/22, NPR-TOTN
14.03. Silicon Sensors Could Save Lives , BBC News
The sensor could be used in portable travel alarms
Siemens is developing small sensors that can detect a wide variety of odours,
opening the door to portable devices that can spot fires or health problems
early. (...) The sensors produced by Dr Fleischer and colleagues are about 1 mm
square and can be tuned to react to many different gases. The sensors can spot
the target gas often when it is present in tiny quantities. If a gas is present
in the air wafted across the detector, it reacts with the silicon substrate of
the sensor causing a reaction that can be electronically measured. Once exposed
to ambient air the sensor regenerates ready to be used again.
* Silicon Sensors Could Save Lives, 2004/09/23, BBC News
* Contributed by Nadia Gershenson
15. The Wizard's Warning, The Peer-Review Bureaucracy Is Strangling Creativity
, The Scientist
Excerpt: Until about 1970, creativity was managed as the wizard would wish, and
its harvest was as rich as he promised. However, fueled by success, the number
of scientists increased beyond what could be fully supported. Politicians
responded by insisting that publicly funded research is the best possible value
for money. Many private funders followed suit. Thus, progressively over the
last three decades, research has focused on the targets consensus deems would
have the most industrial, scientific, or social benefit. Little funding remains
for anything else.
* The Wizard's Warning, The Peer-Review Bureaucracy Is Strangling Creativity,
Don Braben , 04/09/27, The Scientist
15.01. Does the Patent System Need an Overhaul? , NY Times
Excerpt: (...) described the patent system, 20 years after the reforms, as
mired in "the land of unintended consequences."(...)
"The easier it became to get patents, the more people wanted to apply for them,
and that led to a situation where examiners grappled with more patents to
review, which led to them being pressed to do quicker reviews and a degradation
in quality of patents issued." (...)
"The ability to litigate and expect to get substantial award from litigation
increased,"(...). "So as a result we've got somewhat of a vicious cycle.
* Does the Patent System Need an Overhaul?, Sabra Chartrand , 04/09/27,
16. 'A Massive Experiment' In Voting , Washington Post
Excerpt: "If there were some kind of major meltdown on Election Day, there
might be the possibility of these bills moving forward post-election," said
Doug Chapin, director of electionline.org, a nonpartisan clearinghouse that
monitors and analyzes election reforms. "This is a crisis-driven issue."
On the other side are groups representing minorities, arguing that touch-screen
voting without a paper trail could make it easier for a corrupt elections
official to make those votes disappear. (...)
"There is no entry point for someone to hack the system," [Diebold spokesman
David Bear, Ed.]
* 'A Massive Experiment' In Voting , Robert MacMillan , 04/09/23,
16.01. Still Seeking a Fair Florida Vote , Washington Post
Excerpt: After the debacle in Florida four years ago, former president Gerald
Ford and I were asked to lead a blue-ribbon commission to recommend changes in
the American electoral process. After months of concerted effort by a dedicated
and bipartisan group of experts, we presented unanimous recommendations to the
president and Congress. The government responded with the Help America Vote Act
of October 2002. Unfortunately, however, many of the act's key provisions have
not been implemented because of inadequate funding or political disputes.
* Still Seeking a Fair Florida Vote, Jimmy Carter , 04/09/27, Washingtonpost
16.02. Florida Officials Stand By Ballot , BBC News
Excerpt: Election officials in Florida have rejected a suggestion that the
state's preparations for the presidential election are seriously flawed. (...)
A spokesman for Florida's election body told the BBC it was disappointed by the
former president's remarks.
(...) Mr Carter seemed "misinformed" about the true state of preparations.
"We have had hundreds of successful elections since the new systems were put in
place in 2002? Alia Faraj Florida election spokeswoman
"I think there's some misinformation in it and we're disappointed that he
didn't contact us to ensure accurate, up-to-date information," (...).
* Florida Officials Stand By Ballot, 04/09/28, BBC News
16.03. To Find Insight, Think Complex, Educator Says , JS Online
Excerpt: I think it [Canddates?better understanding of complexity, Ed.] would
ramp up the level of debate and we, the public, would certainly be grateful for
that. And it would also help guide some of their thinking about how they would
intervene and how they would take action. . . . In this election, I think what
you have to count on - and this is one of the concepts from complexity - is
that crowds have a certain wisdom, there is an underlying order that begins to
emerge from what looks like chaos in an election year.
Editor's Note: I am not sure I agree with that conclusion. Who, besides some
brainy intellectuals would go through the trouble to understand a complex issue
and especially that someone might change a position in order to "make
corrective actions" to adapt to a changing situation? Doesn't the majority
prefer a simple, 30sec message that is repeated many times to demonstrate that
the candidate is not a "flip-flopper"?
* To Find Insight, Think Complex, Educator Says, 04/09/20, JS Online
17. Annan Faults Both Sides of Terror War for Eroding Rule of Law , Washington
Excerpt: The overarching theme of Annan's address is that the "basic rules of
human conduct" are at risk -- as evidenced in Beslan, Russia, where Chechen
militants appear to have slaughtered hundreds of children, the U.N. official
Annan will also issue veiled criticism of the Bush administration by citing the
abuse of prisoners of war in Iraq by U.S. troops, according to the U.N.
official. He will also say that, at times, the vital struggle against terrorism
has interfered with civil liberties and human rights, the official said.
* Annan Faults Both Sides of Terror War for Eroding Rule of Law, Colum Lynch ,
04/09/21, Washington Post
17.01. Bush Defends Iraq Policies At UN , BBC News
Excerpt: US President George W Bush has strongly defended his decision to
invade Iraq and has called on the United Nations to "do more" to help rebuild
Speaking at the UN General Assembly in New York, Mr Bush urged members to
support Iraq's interim government. (...)
"There is no safe isolation from terror networks or failed states that shelter
them," Mr Bush said.(...)
He said the decision to invade Iraq was justified, and he challenged UN members
to back the government of Iraq's interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi.
* Bush Defends Iraq Policies At UN, 04/09/21, BBC News
17.02. The Face of Iraqi Democracy , NY Times
Excerpt: Until Iraq holds free elections, Mr. Allawi cannot claim to speak for
more than the narrow coalition of exile parties that maneuvered his appointment
as interim prime minister. Increasingly well-organized and deadly attacks are
directed against American troops, foreign relief workers and Iraqi security
recruits. Sunni towns like Falluja and Mosul and Shiite areas, including much
of Baghdad, are gripped by insurgencies that American military analysts believe
are nowhere near being overcome. Oil pipelines are attacked regularly,
electricity supplies remain erratic, and foul drinking water breeds disease.
* The Face of Iraqi Democracy, 04/09/24, NYTimes
18. Panel Calls U.S. Troop Size Insufficient for Demands , NY Times
Excerpt: A Pentagon-appointed panel of outside experts has concluded in a new
study that the American military does not have sufficient forces to sustain
current and anticipated stability operations, like the festering conflicts in
Iraq and Afghanistan and other missions that might arise.
(...) During testimony by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld (...), Senator
Reed said he found the study "provocative and startling."
Mr. Rumsfeld said the report was an "excellent piece of work," and that he had
ordered briefings on its findings for senior military and civilian officials.
* Panel Calls U.S. Troop Size Insufficient for Demands, Thom Shanker ,
18.01. Charges for 60 Detainees Ordered , Washington Post
Excerpt: A federal judge ordered the government to justify why it has been
holding detainees in a U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for nearly
three years without charges and explain why they should not be released.
(...) the Defense Department must provide the charge or factual basis for
detaining each of the 60 detainees (...).
"After almost three years, it's high time the government should be required to
say why it's holding people," Wilner said. "How the heck can you hold somebody
without saying why you're holding them?"
* Charges for 60 Detainees Ordered , Carol D. Leonnig , 04/09/21, The
18.02. Troubled Unit of Halliburton May Go on Block , NY Times
Excerpt: Halliburton said this month that it might reduce its activities in
Iraq after it became apparent that the Army was planning to split up its
largest Iraq contract, effectively dividing more than $12 billion of work among
several companies. Halliburton has repeatedly had to respond to accusations
that KBR overcharged the Defense Department for some of its services. (...)
The Department of Justice is also investigating Halliburton's activities in
Iran, where it operates through a loophole allowing it to remain there despite
American sanctions limiting business in that country.
* Troubled Unit of Halliburton May Go on Block, Simon Romero , 04/09/24,
19. Complex Challenges: Global Terroist Networks
19.01. Twisting Dr. Nuke's Arm , NY Times
Excerpt: If a nuclear weapon destroys the U.S. Capitol in coming years, it will
probably be based in part on Pakistani technology. The biggest challenge to
civilization in recent years came not from Osama or Saddam Hussein but from
Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of Pakistan's atomic bomb. Dr. Khan definitely
sold nuclear technology to Iran, North Korea and Libya, and, officials believe,
to several more nations as well.
But, amazingly, eight months after Dr. Khan publicly confessed, we still don't
know who the rest of his customers were.
* Twisting Dr. Nuke's Arm, Nicholas D. Kristof , 04/09/25, NYTimes
19.02. Election Heightens Terrorism Offensive , Washington Post
Excerpt: The warnings are reminiscent of those this summer when officials
expressed extreme concern about the potential for terror attacks on the
Republican and Democratic national conventions and at the Olympic Games in
Athens. Those events passed without any known disruption.
Earlier this month, the FBI's " '04 Threat Task Force" issued an advisory
saying there was no intelligence detailing the timing, status or targets of any
plot, but it said an increased threat of terrorist action will continue through
the Jan. 20 inauguration, (...).
* Election Heightens Terrorism Offensive , Dan Eggen , Spencer S. Hsu ,
04/09/27, Washington Post
19.03. Terrorists Have Oil Industry in Cross Hairs , Washington Post
Excerpt: Terrorists and insurgents are stepping up attacks on oil and gas
operations overseas in an effort to disrupt jittery energy markets, destabilize
governments and scare off foreign workers, analysts said.
The attacks have been most intense in Iraq, but also have occurred in recent
months in Indonesia, Pakistan, India, Russia and Nigeria.
In many cases, the attacks are orchestrated by terrorists or rebels, often
Islamic extremists, seeking to cause economic disruption or steal oil to
finance their operations, analysts said.
* Terrorists Have Oil Industry in Cross Hairs, Justin Blum , 04/09/27,
20. Links & Snippets
20.01. Other Publications
- Evolution Management in a Complex Adaptive System: Engineering the Future,
David M.D. Smith , Neil F. Johnson , 2004/09/21, arXiv, DOI: cond-mat/0409036
- Information Processing in Cells and Tissues, Christof Teuscher (Ed.) ,
2004/08-10, Biosystems, 76(1-3):1-320. Papers presented at the Fifth
International Workshop on Information Processing in Cells and Tissues
- Species Abundance Patterns in Complex Evolutionary Dynamics, Kei Tokita ,
2004/09/09, arXiv, DOI: nlin.AO/0409033
- Thermodynamic Prediction of Protein Neutrality, Jesse D. Bloom , Jonathan J.
Silberg , Claus O. Wilke , D. Allan Drummond , Christoph Adami , Frances H.
Arnold , 2004/09/13, arXiv, DOI: q-bio.BM/0409013
- Quantifying Self-Organization with Optimal Predictors, Cosma Rohilla Shalizi
, Kristina Lisa Shalizi , Robert Haslinger , 2004/09/10, arXiv [Physical Review
Letters 93(11)], DOI: nlin.AO/0409024
- The Mathematics of Phylogenomics, Peter Ashwin , Jon Borresen , 2004/09/08,
arXiv, DOI: math.ST/0409132
- India Launches Learning Satellite, 2004/09/20, BBC News
- Music Analysis And Retrieval Systems For Audio Signals, G. Tzanetakis
firstname.lastname@example.org , P. Cook email@example.com , Oct. 2004, Online 2004/05/25,
Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, DOI:
- An Architecture For Effective Music Information Retrieval, A. L. Uitdenbogerd
firstname.lastname@example.org , J. Zobel email@example.com , Oct. 2004, Online 2004/06/03,
Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, DOI:
- Discursive Identity: Assimilation Into The Culture Of Science And Its
Implications For Minority Students, B. A. Brown firstname.lastname@example.org , Online
2004/09/07, Journal of Research in Science Teaching, DOI: 10.1002/tea.20228
- Teaching Evolutionary Biology: Pressures, Stress, And Coping, J. A. Griffith
, S. K. Brem email@example.com Online 2004/08/25 , Journal of Research in
Science Teaching, DOI: 10.1002/tea.20027
- Improving Judgement With Prepaid Expert Advice, J. A. Sniezek , G. E. Schrah
, R. S. Dalal firstname.lastname@example.org , Jul. 2004, Online 2004/06/11, Journal
of Behavioral Decision Making, DOI: 10.1002/bdm.468
- What Is Learned From Experience In A Probabilistic Environment?, S. E. Edgell
email@example.com , J. I. Harbison , W. P. Neace , I. D. Nahinsky , A.
S. Lajoie , Jul. 2004, Online 2004/06/11, Journal of Behavioral Decision
Making, DOI: 10.1002/bdm.471
- Human Brain Connectivity Mapping, K. Bruty firstname.lastname@example.org ,
- Why So Few Women In Science? The `Queen Bee Syndrome', D. Hogenelst
email@example.com , 2004/09/23, Alphagalileo
- Doh! New Format Could Store All Of Homer's Life On One Optical Disk, A. Smith
firstname.lastname@example.org , 2004/09/24, Alphagalileo & Imperial College,
University of London
- How Would You Spend $50 Billion?, Global Crises, Global Solutions by B.
Lomborg (editor) et al, Cambridge University Press, Oct. 2004., R. George
email@example.com , 2004/09/24, Alphagalileo
- Long-term Eradication Of Brain Tumor In Lab Model Holds Promise For Treatment
In Humans, 2004/09/21, ScienceDaily & St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
- Anxious Mice May Parallel Men, 2004/09/22, ScienceDaily & University Of
- New Way To Protect Brain From Stroke Damage, 2004/09/23, ScienceDaily & Cell
- A New Interpretation Of The Exchange Rate-Yield Differential Nexus, J.
Coakley , A.-M. Fuertes firstname.lastname@example.org , A. Wood , Jul. 2004,
International Journal of Finance & Economics, DOI: 10.1002/ijfe.230
- 'As Earth's Testimonies Tell': Wilderness Conservation In A Changing World,
L. Gillson , K. J. Willis , Oct. 2004, Ecology Letters, DOI:
- Dragonfly Species Richness On Man-Made Ponds: Effects Of Pond Size And Pond
Age On Newly Established Assemblages, T. Kadoya , S. Suda , I. Washitani ,
Sep. 2004, Ecological Research, DOI: 10.1111/j.1440-1703.2004.00659.x
- Alice Chatbot Wins For Third Time, 04/09/20, BBC News, A computer program
called Alice has won a prestigious prize for human-like talk for the third
- Key Cell-Death Step Found, 04/09/21, UC Davis news release
- Trained Rats Reach The Places That Sniffer Dogs Cannot, Emily Singer ,
Trained rats reach the places that sniffer dogs cannot
- Eavesdropping Call Centre Computers Cut Talk Time, Duncan Graham-Rowe ,
04/09/27, New Scientist, The next generation of call centre will utilise
eavesdropping artificial intelligence to hunt down the information required
while you chat
- Burp Vaccine Cuts Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Rachel Nowak , 04/09/25, New
- Dogs Trained To Sniff Out Bladder Cancer, Gaia Vince , 04/09/24,
The dogs were trained to lie down in front of the urine sample from a cancerous
bladder (Image: Hearing Dogs for Deaf People)
- Misbehaving Liquid Sent Into Space, Maggie McKee , 04/09/22, New Scientist,
A water-filled satellite will aid the design of spacecraft fuel tanks by
showing engineers how liquids "slosh" in space
- Human Cells Produce Morphine, Charles Q Choi , 04/09/21, The Scientist,
Results of biosynthesis studies may improve understanding of pain, immunity,
- Future Humans, Christopher Lindquist , 04/09/15, CIO Magazine
- Photo Molecules Flip Current, 04/09/21, Technology Research News
- Safety First, James Dobbins , 04/09/22, NYTimes, The administration's plan to
shift Iraq aid from large construction projects to security, employment and
social reform is welcome.
- The Building Blocks Of Global Competitiveness, C.K. Prahalad , M.S.
, 04/09, Optimize, Innovation and growth in a global market require a focus on
quality and results, not just cost. Outsourcing is just one piece of the
- Are Dolphins Sensing Global Forces?, Emma Marris , 04/09/23,
Dolphins swim in circles as they snooze.
Hemisphere affects direction in which cetaceans circle.
- Personality Predicts Politics, Helen Pearson , 04/09/22, Nature News,
Pollsters may be aided by test of how judgmental voters are
- MRI Machine Tracks Brain's Metabolism, Helen Pilcher , 04/09/2,
MRI images show anatomical structures within the body. But more powerful
magnetic fields could track metabolism too.
Powerful imager scans patients with strongest-ever magnetic field.
- Global Change: Carbon Conundrum On The Tundra, Wendy M. Loya , Paul Grogan ,
04/09/23, Nature 431, 406 - 408, DOI: 10.1038/431406a
- Rice Finds 'On-Off Switch' For Buckyball Toxicity, 04/09/24, EurekAlert, CBEN
pioneers method of mitigating nanoparticle toxicity via surface enhancement
- Researchers Create Nanotubes That Change Colors, Form 'Nanocarpet' And Kill
Bacteria, 04/09/24, EurekAlert, Implications include developing materials that
both detect and kill biological agents
- Taking on Sadr City in a Pickup Truck , Steve Fainaru , 04/09/28, Four
Deaths Illustrate Iraqi Troops' Vulnerability. Washington Post
- Big Gulp? Neck Ribs May Have Given Aquatic Beast Unique Feeding Style,
04/09/25, Science News, The fossilized neck bones of a 230-million-year-old sea
creature have features suggesting that the animal's snakelike throat could
flare open and create suction to pull in prey.
- Sleep On It: Fitful Slumber Tied To Diabetes Risk, 04/09/25, Science News,
Disturbed slumber, or sleep apnea, appears to make people more susceptible to
certain conditions that lead to diabetes.
- Morphinefree Mutant Poppies: Novel Plants Make Pharmaceutical Starter,
04/09/25, Science News, A Tasmanian company has developed a poppy that produces
a commercially useful drug precursor instead of full-fledged morphine, and a
research team now reports how the plant does it.
- Spooky Timing: Quantum-Linked Photons Coordinate Clock Ticks, 04/09/25,
Science News, Physicists have demonstrated a new technique for bringing distant
clocks into closer synchronization by means of entangled photons whose quantum
properties are mysteriously correlated.
- Roma Record: Paths Of The Gypsy Population's Diasporas, 04/09/25, Science
News, Tracking genetic mutations has given researchers a tentative picture of
the migration patterns of the Roma, or Gypsies, over the last millennium.
- Walking Away From Dementia: Moderate Exercise Protects Aging Minds, 04/09/25,
Science News, Two fresh studies strengthen the case that physical activity,
including walking at a moderate pace, protects the aging brain from cognitive
decline and dementia.
- Deep Squeeze: Experiments Point To Methane In Earth's Mantle, 04/09/25,
Science News, Although today's fossil fuel reserves reside in Earth's crust, a
new study suggests that hydrocarbon fuel might also nestle deep in the mantle,
at depths of 100 kilometers or more.
- Hungry for Nano, 04/09/25, Science News, The food industry is turning to
nanotechnology as it searches for innovations that could bring safer,
healthier, and tastier products to consumers.
- Bacteria Send Out Molecular Scrounger For Copper, 04/09/25, Science News,
Scientists have discovered the organic molecule that bacteria use to take up
copper, which the microbes then use to chemically crack methane.
- Marrow Cells Take Up Residence In Wounds, 04/09/25, Science News, Bone
marrow-derived cells linger in skin wounds much longer than previously thought,
aiding in healing.
20.02. Webcast Announcements
The 4th Intl Workshop on Meta-synthesis and Complex System, Beijing, China,
Intl Conf on Complex Networks: Structure, Function and Processes, Kolkata,
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,
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,
Science Education Forum for Chinese Language Culture, Panel Discussion, Taipei,
Biologically Inspired Approaches to Advanced Information Technology, ,
Nonlinear Dynamics And Chaos: Lab Demonstrations, Strogatz, Steven H.,
Internet-First University Press, 1994
World Economic Forum 2004, Davos, Switzerland Riding the Next Democratic
Wave, Al-Thani, Khan, Vike-Freiberga, Wade, Soros, Zakaria, World Economic
The Future of Global Interdependence, Kharrazi, Held, Owens, Shourie, Annan,
Martin, Schwab, World Economic Forum, 04/01/25 Why Victory Against Terrorism
Demands Shared Values
CODIS 2004, International Conference On Communications, Devices And
Intelligent Systems, 2004 Calcutta, India, 04/01/09-10 EVOLVABILITY &
INTERACTION: Evolutionary Substrates of Communication, Signaling, and
Perception in the Dynamics of Social Complexity, London, UK, 03/10/08-10 The
Semantic Web and Language Technology - Its Po tential and Practicalities,
Bucharest, Romania, 03/07/28-08/08 ECAL 2003, 7th European Conference on
Artificial Life, Dortmund, Germany, 03/09/14-17 New Santa Fe Institute
President About His Vision for SFI's Future Role, (Video, Santa Fe, NM,
03/06/04) SPIE's 1st Intl Symp on Fluctuations and Noise, Santa Fe, NM,
2003/06/01-04 NAS Sackler Colloquium on Mapping Knowledge Domains, Video/Audio
Report, 03/05/11 13th Ann Intl Conf, Soc f Chaos Theory in Psych & Life
Sciences, Boston, MA, USA, 2003/08/08-10 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
20.03. Conference & Call for Papers Announcements
Gabriele Leidloff, Ugly Casting 1.4 , Berlin, Germany, 04/08/19-10/08
2nd Annual Emerging Technologies Conference at MIT, Cambridge, MA,
3rd Natll Conf on Systems Science ,
Trento (Italy), 04/10/07-09
TEDMED Conference ,
Charleston SC, 04/10/12-15
Intl Workshop On Bifurcations In Nonsmooth And Hybrid Dynamical Systems ,
Milano (Italy), 04/10/21-22
Technology Conference, Champaign, Illinois,
6th Intl Conf on Electronic Commerce
ICEC'2004: Towards A New Services Landscape, Delft, The Netherlands,
Complexity and Philosophy Workshop - 2-Day Conference , Rio de Janeiro,
ICDM '04: The Fourth IEEE Intl Conf on Data Mining, Brighton, UK, 04/11/01-04
International Congress of Nanotechnology and Nano World Expo,San Francisco, CA,
Denaturing Darwin: International Conference on Evolution and Organization
, Amersfoort, The Netherlands, 04/11/12-14
The 7th Asia-Pacific Complex Systems Conference, Queensland, Australia,
17th Australian Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Queensland,
Cellular Computing Symposium, U Warwick
International Conference On Computational Intelligence (Icci 2004) ,
Istanbul, Turkey, 04/12/15-17
Kondratieff Waves, Warfare And World Security, NATO Advanced Research
, Covilh? Portugal, 05/02/14-17
5th Creativity And Cognition Conference, London.UK, 05/04/12-15
Social Intelligence and Interaction in Animals, Robots and Agents, Hatfield,
Powders & Grains 2005, Stuttgart, Germany, 05/06/18-22
Workshop on Complexity and Policy Analysis, Cork, Ireland, 05/06/22-24
ECAL 2005 - VIIIth European Conference on Artificial Life, Canterbury, Kent,
Complexity, Science and Society Conf 2005, Liverpool, UK, 05/09/11-14
18th International Conference on Noise and Fluctuations (ICNF 2005), Salamanca,
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