Monthly Archives: May 2010

André-Marie Ampère 1775-1836

Born near Lyon, France in 1775, Ampère is generally acknowledged as one of the leading discoverers of electromagnetism, especially adept at giving this new branch of physics mathematical rigor. This is remarkable considering that he had no formal education. His father was, however, a wealthy businessman who amassed a considerable personal library of French and Latin literature. His father went to great lengths to educate and encourage his son until being executed by the forces of the French Revolution in 1793 (publicly, by guillotine).

Ampère is said to have had a truly photographic memory. Combined with his voracious curiosity and intrepid, though sometimes unwieldy, skills at experimental science, this enabled him to become a polymath in the full sense. His knowledge and original work spanned chemistry, physics, mathematics, poetry, astronomy, history, philosophy, and the natural sciences.

He graciously insisted that full credit for the discovery of electromagnetic induction should go to Michael Faraday, a kindred spirit. He was an early advocate of the wave theory of light. A lesser known interest of Ampère’s was the study of state governments, later to be known as a branch of cybernetics (strangely, he himself used that word which was not officially coined until over a century later).

A simultaneously simple yet brilliant man.

cAMP and Collective Behaviour

Kitta MacPherson
“Scientists discover the molecular heart of collective behavior”
News at Princeton, May 20, 2010

Found at

Précis of upcoming paper by Thomas Gregor et al. about the biomolecular mechanisms of collective behaviour in animals
(eg flocks, schools, swarms).

Artificial Life

Johannes F. Knabe,
Maria J. Schilstra and Chrystopher Nehaniv
Centre for Computer Science & Informatics
University of Hertfordshire
Evolution and Morphogenesis of Differentiated Multicellular Organisms
Artificial Life XI 2008, pp. 321-328

Found at

An ‘artificial’ form. Incorporates evolutionary and embryological processes, intercellular communication via morphogens.

Synthetic Life

Daniel G. Gibson et al.
The J. Craig Venter Institute
Creation of a Bacterial Cell Controlled by a Chemically Synthesized Genome
Science DOI: 10.1126/science.1190719 May 2010

Found at

A ‘synthetic’ form.


Edward B. Daeschler, Academy of Natural Sciences,
Neil H. Shubin, University of Chicago,
Farish A. Jenkins Jr, Harvard University
A Devonian tetrapod-like fish and the evolution of the tetrapod body plan
Nature 440, 757-763 (6 April 2006)

Found at

A ‘transitional’ form.

How To Join the AQUA@home Team

The team name is geopense.AAH and the team id is: 787

  • Download the BOINC client software package for your specific OS
  • Install the software package on your computer
  • Launch the BOINC Manager

    • Select Tools…Attach to Project
    • Select AQUA@home from list
    • Enter email & password in User information
      (this creates a new account in this project)
    • Should see Attached to project notification
    • Select Finish and enter a user name and optionally some geographic information
    • In the Find a Team dialog, enter geopense.AAH in keywords box and click Search
    • Select geopense.AAH in Team search results
    • In the Team info page, click on “Join this team”
    • Your account preferences for geopense.AAH are displayed

      Welcome to our team !

    • Please note that you may not show up on the team list until you have finished crunching at least one unit as a team member

  • You can obtain team certificates from the link on the account preferences page, or the geopense website