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  • August 10, 2012
  • 12:34 PM
  • 739 views

Promoting incompetence

by sedeer in Inspiring Science

From Dilbert’s PHB to The Office, the incompetent manager is such a popular trope that it’s in danger of becoming …Continue reading »... Read more »

Alessandro Pluchino, Andrea Rapisarda, & Cesare Garofalo. (2009) The Peter Principle Revisited: A Computational Study. Physica A 389 (2010) 467-472. arXiv: 0907.0455v3

  • August 9, 2012
  • 04:47 PM
  • 586 views

Building the tallest sandcastle

by Cath in Basal Science (BS) Clarified

The Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) opens in Toronto next Friday (can’t wait!) and they hold an international sand sculpting competition every year. I’m always impressed by the size and detail [...]... Read more »

Pakpour M, Habibi M, Møller P, & Bonn D. (2012) How to construct the perfect sandcastle. Scientific reports, 549. PMID: 22870378  

  • August 9, 2012
  • 11:00 AM
  • 567 views

RULETOOL v2: L-systems and turtle graphics

by Alejandro Mosquera in amsqr

An L-system or Lindenmayer system is a parallel rewriting system, namely a variant of a formal grammar.I have implemented a simple L-system class with HTML5 Canvas or WebGL output. Feel free to explore the predefined models or create your own.... Read more »

Przemyslaw Prusinkiewicz, Aristid Lindenmayer. (1990) The Algorithmic Beauty of Plants. Springer-Verlag. pp. 101–107. DOI: 10.1016/S0168-9452(96)04526-8  

  • August 9, 2012
  • 02:14 AM
  • 803 views

“The beetle shows us how”

by Perikis Livas in Tracing Knowledge

Insects are experts when it comes to adhesion on dry surfaces. However, in nature, plants may be covered by water for quite a long period of time, especially after rain. The bionic expert Professor Stanislav Gorb of Kiel University, Germany, and the material scientist Professor Naoe Hosoda of the National Institute for Material Science in Japan, discovered the remarkable ability of the terrestrial leaf beetle to walk underwater. Picking up the beetle’s locomotion mechanism, they designed a........ Read more »

Kiel University Press, Text: Claudia Eulitz, & Translation: Ann-Christin Wimber. (2012) “The beetle shows us how”. Proceedings of the Royal Society B . info:/

  • August 7, 2012
  • 10:13 AM
  • 430 views

The Adventures of Ned the Neuron!

by Bradley Voytek in Oscillatory Thoughts

I've been itching to announce this for months, but I've been biting my tongue. Now I can finally let the neuron out of the bag.Ladies and gentlemen I'm proud to introduce to you a joint project between my wife Jessica Voytek and our friend Erica Warp: The Adventures of Ned the Neuron! To get the important pitch out of the way first, please go contribute some money to their Kickstarter campaign to help them get started if you want to help. Also, please consider following their company o........ Read more »

Warp E, Agarwal G, Wyart C, Friedmann D, Oldfield CS, Conner A, Del Bene F, Arrenberg AB, Baier H, & Isacoff EY. (2012) Emergence of patterned activity in the developing zebrafish spinal cord. Current biology : CB, 22(2), 93-102. PMID: 22197243  

Marriott G, Mao S, Sakata T, Ran J, Jackson DK, Petchprayoon C, Gomez TJ, Warp E, Tulyathan O, Aaron HL.... (2008) Optical lock-in detection imaging microscopy for contrast-enhanced imaging in living cells. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105(46), 17789-94. PMID: 19004775  

Wyart C, Del Bene F, Warp E, Scott EK, Trauner D, Baier H, & Isacoff EY. (2009) Optogenetic dissection of a behavioural module in the vertebrate spinal cord. Nature, 461(7262), 407-10. PMID: 19759620  

  • August 3, 2012
  • 03:47 AM
  • 549 views

Where did all the BBC programme metadata go? The infax catalogue online

by Duncan Hull in O'Really?

Over at @BBCSport and @BBC2012 there are some Olympian feats of big data wrestling going on behind the scenes for London 2012 [1]. While we all enjoy the Olympics on a range of platforms and devices, a team of twenty engineers is busy making it all happen. It’s great that the BBC, unlike other large organisations, can talk openly about their technology and share hard-won knowledge widely.... Read more »

  • August 1, 2012
  • 01:48 AM
  • 729 views

Holistic Design Factors in Space Colonies

by Jason Carr in Wired Cosmos

Assuming that we never achieve FTL travel, generational colony ships may become a necessary method used to traverse great distances. Inherent in the term generational, individuals will live their entire lives on these massive spaceships as will their descendants. In other words, these space ships will be the only home many generations of inhabitants will [...]... Read more »

Apostolos Papanikolaou. (2010) Holistic ship design optimization . Computer-Aided Design, 42(11), 1028-1044. info:/10.1016/j.cad.2009.07.002

Cooper RA. (2008) Quality-of-life technology. A human-centered and holistic design. IEEE engineering in medicine and biology magazine : the quarterly magazine of the Engineering in Medicine , 27(2), 10-1. PMID: 18472458  

  • July 31, 2012
  • 06:25 PM
  • 384 views

Who should make the first move?

by eHarmony Labs in eHarmony Labs Blog

When it comes to online dating, who should make the first move? You or them? ... Read more »

  • July 27, 2012
  • 03:36 PM
  • 525 views

Capturing carbon dioxide emissions

by Cath in Basal Science (BS) Clarified

You may already be familiar with various technologies that minimize the generation of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions like hybrid-electric vehicles, biodegradable plastics, or even solar panels. But what happens when [...]... Read more »

Yasutaka Kuwahara, Dun-Yen Kang, John R. Copeland, Nicholas A. Brunelli, Stephanie A. Didas, Praveen Bollini, Carsten Sievers, Takashi Kamegawa, Hiromi Yamashita, & Christopher W. Jone. (2012) Dramatic Enhancement of CO2 Uptake by Poly(ethyleneimine) Using Zirconosilicate Supports. J. Am. Chem. Soc. DOI: 10.1021/ja303136e  

  • July 27, 2012
  • 11:58 AM
  • 536 views

Cell Phone Anxiety: Extended Edition

by Mitchell Harden in Mitch's Blog

Yesterday I posted some research about cell phone anxiety. You may have noticed that while I referenced a science journal article I didn't talk much about the results. Indeed, the only results I listed were descriptive (basic counting that describes a behavior) and qualitative (as opposed to quantitative). This is because of some fundamental flaws with the data as described in the article. So for those of you interested in such things here is the extended review enumerating three big problems I ........ Read more »

  • July 26, 2012
  • 01:54 PM
  • 702 views

Cell Phone Anxiety

by Mitchell Harden in Mitch's Blog

Earlier I wrote about cell phone rudeness in the classroom. In that post I mentioned that asking students to go without cell phones is like asking them to go without friends. That statement generated a lot of interest from faculty and students int he comments, on facebook, and in person so I thought I would share a little bit of research that backs up my statement.In a recently published article (see below for reference) Dorothy Skierkowski and Rebecca Wood tracked college-aged youth's anxiety ........ Read more »

  • July 25, 2012
  • 03:30 PM
  • 905 views

Red-Eyed Rump Shaker

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

A photo of a red-eyed treefrog taken by Carey James Balboa at Wikimedia.At night, male red-eyed treefrogs gather on saplings over Central American forest ponds to show off their stuff for the ladies, producing self-advertising “chack” calls. Despite the fact that they gather in groups, they defend their calling territories from flirtatious male competition. Females assess the available males and usually mate with a single male, who mounts her and clings on for dear life in a behavior called........ Read more »

Caldwell MS, Johnston GR, McDaniel JG, & Warkentin KM. (2010) Vibrational signaling in the agonistic interactions of red-eyed treefrogs. Current biology : CB, 20(11), 1012-7. PMID: 20493702  

  • July 24, 2012
  • 06:27 AM
  • 760 views

Buddy-cops! Why evolution favours the odd couple

by John Ankers in Too Many Live Wires

Inside our cells, the battle with viruses has a lot in common with 1980s action-comedy Lethal Weapon. Both feature an unlikely pair of heroes. Each partnership - proteins and LA cops alike - has a reliable, straight-laced, by-the-book one and a loose canon, maverick one.

New research suggests that whether they're crime fighting or fighting an infection, the odd couple always gets the job done.... Read more »

Ratushny AV, Saleem RA, Sitko K, Ramsey SA, & Aitchison JD. (2012) Asymmetric positive feedback loops reliably control biological responses. Molecular systems biology, 577. PMID: 22531117  

  • July 23, 2012
  • 09:30 PM
  • 695 views

Programming playground: A whole-cell computational model

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

Three days ago, Jonathan R. Karr, Jayodita C. Sanghvi and coauthors in Markus W. Covert’s lab published a whole-cell computational model of the life cycle of the human pathogen Mycoplasma genitalium. This is the first model of its kind: they track all biological processes such as DNA replication, RNA transcription and regulation, protein synthesis, metabolism [...]... Read more »

Karr, J.R., Sanghvi, J.C., Macklin, D.N., Gutschow, M.V., Jacobs, J.M., Bolival, B., Assad-Garcia, N., Glass, J.I., & Covert, M.W. (2012) A whole-cell computational model predicts phenotype from genotype. Cell, 389-401. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2012.05.044  

  • July 19, 2012
  • 11:00 AM
  • 596 views

Detecting Unhealthy Regions in Leaf Images Pixel by Pixel

by Alejandro Mosquera in amsqr

A pixel by pixel method has been proved useful to detect unhealthy regions using leaf images. For this reason I have implemented a pixel by pixel algorithm in order to detect damaged leaf sections and to calculate leaf area in pixels.... Read more »

Pérez Rodríguez F., Camino Saco A., Mendes Lopes D.M., Rojo Alboreca A., Gómez García E. (2012) SCANNING LEAVES ALGORITHM BASED IN “RGB PIXEL BY PIXEL” METHOD. Proceedings of V European Congress of Methodology. info:/

  • July 18, 2012
  • 01:00 AM
  • 657 views

Simulated Solutions for Real Problems

by Jason Carr in Wired Cosmos

The way that people look at mathematical statistics is changing. Statistics show up in the news media left and right. People probably view graphs on a daily basis. They’re becoming desensitized to data. However, statistics will be one of the most important aspects of communication in the future. Statistics can actually allow us to predict [...]... Read more »

John W. Tukey. (1967) The Future of Data Analysis. The Annals of Mathematical Statistics, 33(1), 1-67. info:/10.1214/aoms/1177704711

  • July 16, 2012
  • 03:19 PM
  • 893 views

Building a better RoboCop

by Bradley Voytek in Oscillatory Thoughts

This week marks the 25th(!) anniversary of RoboCop, one of the hallmarks of 1980s US cinema and hero of Detroit.Detroit's soon-to-be RoboCop statue!This past weekend was also my 15th (or so) year attending Comic-Con. In a row. Because I didn't get to hear about the new RoboCop remake starring Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson, and Hugh Laurie, I decided to celebrate this nerdistry my own way: by talking way to much and overthinking a plate of beans.This is me priming myself to t........ Read more »

Maguire EA, Gadian DG, Johnsrude IS, Good CD, Ashburner J, Frackowiak RS, & Frith CD. (2000) Navigation-related structural change in the hippocampi of taxi drivers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 97(8), 4398-403. PMID: 10716738  

LaBar, Kevin S, & Cabeza, Roberto. (2006) Cognitive neuroscience of emotional memory. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 54(1), 233-264. DOI: 10.1038/nrn1825  

Berger TW, Hampson RE, Song D, Goonawardena A, Marmarelis VZ, & Deadwyler SA. (2011) A cortical neural prosthesis for restoring and enhancing memory. Journal of neural engineering, 8(4), 46017. PMID: 21677369  

Talwar SK, Xu S, Hawley ES, Weiss SA, Moxon KA, & Chapin JK. (2002) Rat navigation guided by remote control. Nature, 417(6884), 37-8. PMID: 11986657  

  • July 16, 2012
  • 12:59 PM
  • 532 views

More Big Data to Consider: Bioimage Informatics

by Jennifer in OpenHelix

I’m not sure any more when I signed up for complementary copies of Nature Methods, but just like clockwork my copy arrives each month. If you’d like to get it too, you can apply for a subscription here (Firefox seems to work better than IE, btw). This month’s issue particularly interested me because it contains a focus on Bioimage Informatics. [...]... Read more »

Gene Myers. (2012) Why bioimage informatics matters. Nature Methods, 659-660. DOI: 10.1038/nmeth.2024  

Anne E Carpenter, Lee Kamentsky, & Kevin W Eliceiri. (2012) A call for bioimaging software usability. Nature Methods 9, 666-670. DOI: 10.1038/nmeth.2073  

Kevin W Eliceiri, Michael R Berthold, Ilya G Goldberg, Luis Ibáñez, B S Manjunath, Maryann E Martone, Robert F Murphy, Hanchuan Peng, Anne L Plant, Badrinath Roysam.... (2012) Biological imaging software tools. Nature Methods, 697-710. DOI: 10.1038/nmeth.2084  

  • July 15, 2012
  • 11:52 PM
  • 608 views

What Makes the Uncanny Valley so Unsettling?

by Eric Horowitz in peer-reviewed by my neurons

Every day we inch closer to the time when intelligent robots will be a part of everyday life. Among the many challenges we must overcome before then is gaining a better understanding of the "uncanny valley" -- the feeling of discomfort we have around humanlike robots. Thus far, most research has tended to focus on robot appearances. For example, there is evidence that humanlike robots are unnerving because their faces remind us of death, have abnormal features, and fail to align with o........ Read more »

  • July 11, 2012
  • 09:35 AM
  • 562 views

Dark Galaxies of the Early Universe

by Jason Carr in Wired Cosmos

Dark galaxies are small, gas-rich galaxies in the early Universe that are very inefficient at forming stars. They are predicted by theories of galaxy formation and are thought to be the building blocks of today’s bright, star-filled galaxies. Astronomers think that they may have fed large galaxies with much of the gas that later formed [...]... Read more »

Sebastiano Cantalupo, Simon J. Lilly, & Martin G. Haehnelt. (2012) Detection of dark galaxies and circum-galactic filaments fluorescently illuminated by a quasar at z. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. info:/arxiv.org/abs/1204.5753

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