Category Archives: Articles

“Sputnik on a chip”


Bruce Dorminey
First Kickstarter Funded Satellites To Launch In 2013
Forbes
November 2012

found at
http://www.forbes.com/sites/brucedorminey/2012/11/28/chipsats-trump-sputnik-first-kickstarter-funded-satellites-to-launch-in-2013/

Description
Citizen science not just about space, but soon in space?

‘Vocal Fry’ in Young Women

Marissa Fessenden
‘Vocal Fry’ Creeping Into U.S. Speech
ScienceNOW
December 2011

found at
http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2011/12/vocal-fry-creeping-into-us-speec.html?ref=em&elq=11cd90bdd00946689a18da8a973d1987

Description
A study of young American women shows increasing use of a low pitch, chopped wave vocal pattern known as ‘vocal fry’. This article has a link to a sound file with an example. This pattern is the lowest of the speech registers, the other two being modal (normal) and falsetto.

Cognition and Computation

Colin Blakemore FRS
Cognition and Computation
The Royal Society
December 2010

found at
royalsociety.org/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=4294974018

Description
An overview of the current state of neurology, looking at the wealth of new information being gathered via genomics and brain imaging. Anthropology, zoology, and functional genetics are added to the mix. Notes the important yet perplexing inclusion of subjectivity, as suggested by Francis Crick near the end of his life.

Ethics of Synthetic Life

Mildred K. Cho and David A. Relman

Synthetic “Life,” Ethics, National
Security, and Public Discourse

SCIENCE Vol 329 2 July 2010

found at
cirge.stanford.edu/documents/ChoRelman2010.pdf

Description
Review of implications of synthetic life. Interesting take on how biology is no longer the realm of only biologists in this “rapidly changing landscape”.

Chaotic Evolution

Keith Bennett
“The chaos theory of evolution”
New Scientist 2782
Oct 18 2010

Found at
www.newscientist.com/
article/mg20827821.000-
the-chaos-theory-of-evolution.html

Description
An attempt to separate the concepts of microevolution (more Darwinian) and macroevolution (more chaotic). The weak dependence of speciation on environmental change and the eerily fractal nature of the tree of life are examined.

Article & Publication – Altruistic Bacteria

“Researchers Discover Bacterial Charity Work”
Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)

Found at
Article:
www.hhmi.org/news/collins20100901.html
Full publication:
Henry H. Lee, Michael N. Molla, Charles R. Cantor & James J. Collins
“Bacterial charity work leads to population-wide resistance”
Nature 467, pp. 82-85 (02 September 2010) doi:10.1038/nature09354

Description
Selfless defense of an E. coli colony. Given that evolution is gene based, altruism makes sense. W.D. Hamilton rides again.

Bacteria for Complex Problem Solving

Facultad de Informática de la Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
“New system using bacterial
communities to solve complex problems”
(Spanish) June 16, 2010
(English précis) ScienceDaily
August 20, 2010

Found at
www.sciencedaily.com  /releases/2010/06/100601072638.htm

Description
Development of methodologies for use in both bacterial computing and synthetic biology. Algorithms are designed around bacterial conjugation (genetic information transfer) and quorum sensing (gene expression based on population density).

Quorum Sensing in Honeybee Swarms

Thomas D. Seeley and
P. Kirk Visscher
“Quorum sensing during nest-site selection by honeybee swarms”
Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 2004 56:594–601

Found at
www.culturaapicola.com.ar/apuntes/conducta/70_quorum.pdf

Description
An early test of the quorum sensing hypothesis. Bees have a complex and well-studied messaging system, based on body movement, which enables collective behavior.

Genome Sequence Storage

Correspondence: Lincoln D Stein
Source: Ontario Institute for Cancer Research
Genome Biology 2010
11:207 doi:10.1186/gb-2010-11-5-207

Found at
genomebiology.com/2010/11/5/207

Description
Argument for cloud computing as new storage paradigm now that DNA sequencing has become inexpensive and pervasive.