Citizen science not just about space, but soon in space?
‘Vocal Fry’ Creeping Into U.S. Speech
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.
GeoPense, June 2011
Over 60 years ago, Isaac Asimov wrote about the mathematics of destiny. This imaginary science is explored in the context of computation and modern technology.
Colin Blakemore FRS
Cognition and Computation
The Royal Society
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.
Synthetic “Life,” Ethics, National
Security, and Public Discourse
SCIENCE Vol 329 2 July 2010
Review of implications of synthetic life. Interesting take on how biology is no longer the realm of only biologists in this “rapidly changing landscape”.
“The chaos theory of evolution”
New Scientist 2782
Oct 18 2010
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.
“Researchers Discover Bacterial Charity Work”
Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)
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
Selfless defense of an E. coli colony. Given that evolution is gene based, altruism makes sense. W.D. Hamilton rides again.
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
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).
Thomas D. Seeley and
P. Kirk Visscher
“Quorum sensing during nest-site selection by honeybee swarms”
Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 2004 56:594–601
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.