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Complex Insight  - Understanding our world
Latest news on complex systems in life sciences, engineering, education and government
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Florida abuzz over mosquito plan - Nature (2012)

Florida abuzz over mosquito plan - Nature (2012) | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

Biotech firm’s bid to control dengue fever using genetically modified insects faces growing public opposition. It took a decade for the biotechnology firm Oxitec to develop genetically modified mosquitoes whose progeny die before they can spread dengue fever. But it took only three months for Mila de Mier to gather 100,000 names from people opposed to the release of the mosquitoes in Key West, Florida, where the potentially lethal disease is making a comeback... the company says that the virus already evolves in humans to optimize its fitness. It also notes that male mosquitoes do not bite, and that although a few engineered females might be released, any DNA they might transmit is not toxic or allergenic. Entomologists say that no animals in Florida feast solely on this species of mosquito. Florida’s negative reaction contrasts with that in Bahia state, Brazil, where residents in Juazeiro cheered the opening of an Oxitec mosquito-production facility on 7 July. Some Brazilians initially voiced concerns similar to those of de Mier and others, says Margareth Capurro, a biologist at the University of São Paulo, who led the Juazeiro trial. But she and her team engaged the community through meetings, radio and local television before seeking approval for their trial from Brazil’s agency for biotechnological safety, CTNBio. Capurro continues to spread the message that GE mosquitoes are not a threat and that they fight a disease that residents know and fear. “We release the mosquitoes around 8 a.m., and the kids like to follow us,” she says. “Sometimes you see them running back to older people in the village to explain what we’re doing.” Dengue fever is a smaller problem in the United States than in Brazil, but health officials were alarmed when it reappeared in Florida three years ago after an absence of more than 70 years. Since 2009, 94 cases have been reported in Key West, and dengue prevention has become a top priority. Tourists often visit the area after stopping in dengue-infested countries, and a population of A. aegypti is there ready to spread the disease once it arrives, says entomologist Michael Doyle, director of the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District (FKMCD) in Stock Island, a taxpayer-funded operation that spends more than US$1 million a year to control A. aegypti in Key West with insecticides.


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City of Things | Home | Urban economy

City of Things | Home | Urban economy | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it
The City Of Things is a research project run by Swirrl and partners as part of the Technology Strategy Board’s Internet of Things Convergence programme.
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R3 Map Reduce framework by heynemann

R3 Map Reduce framework by heynemann | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

r⊃3; is a map reduce engine written in python using a redis backend. It's purpose is to be simple and easy to set up. r⊃3; has only three concepts to grasp: input streams, mappers and reducers.

 

On first glance  - looks useful. Click on image or headline to learn more...

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Why Bill Gates Needs To Listen To More Gamelan Music

Why Bill Gates Needs To Listen To More Gamelan Music | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

Despite the new agey title - interesting article at the design observer on mapping development timescales to those of the underpinning ecological systems that are required to support it, using balinese rice production as an example.  Worth a read. Click on image or title to learn more.

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Open access plan is no academic spring

Open access plan is no academic spring | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

Letters from leading academics respond to UK government plans on open access to public funded research. The UK goverment recently commisioned a report on journal publications and sided with the view that continued commercial payment for journals was the sustainable method to be used. Letters to the Guardian news service from leading academics express why this is not the case, highlight the flaws in the report (based on data from 2000 and the 1970's) and explain how peer review actually works. The debate will no doubt continue for some time.

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Complexity Science And Public Policy: Whither The Policy Maker? - Analysis Eurasia Review

Policy makers the world over are drawing increasingly on complexity science to help them make sense of a whole range of economic, social, political and security issues. However, complexity science has far-reaching implications for how policy makers understand the world. IN a good article by  Adrian W. J. Kuah on Eurasia review -- Kuah explores the dichotomy and its implications. Worth reading. Click on the title to learn more...

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Collective Animal Behavior (by David J. T. Sumpter)

Collective Animal Behavior

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Awesome summary from Complexity Digest and CxBooks - happily rescooped here. Fish travel in schools, birds migrate in flocks, honeybees swarm, and ants build trails. How and why do these collective behaviors occur? Exploring how coordinated group patterns emerge from individual interactions, Collective Animal Behavior reveals why animals produce group behaviors and examines their evolution across a range of species. Providing a synthesis of mathematical modeling, theoretical biology, and experimental work, David Sumpter investigates how animals move and arrive together, how they transfer information, how they make decisions and synchronize their activities, and how they build collective structures. Sumpter constructs a unified appreciation of how different group-living species coordinate their behaviors and why natural selection has produced these groups. For the first time, the book combines traditional approaches to behavioral ecology with ideas about self-organization and complex systems from physics and mathematics. Sumpter offers a guide for working with key models in this area along with case studies of their application, and he shows how ideas about animal behavior can be applied to understanding human social behavior.

 

Containing a wealth of accessible examples as well as qualitative and quantitative features, Collective Animal Behavior will interest behavioral ecologists and all scientists studying complex systems.


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'Governments that embrace open data will also switch to open source' | Joinup

Definitely a trend occuring in Europe, be interesting to see how it takes root elsewhere. Public administrations that grasp the benefits of making publicly available their data will also increase their use of free and open source, experts on open data agree. Open data and open source face comparable threats: initial lack of support and a fear for the impact on the organisation. Click on title to learn more.

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Reviewing the anti-cancer efficacy of curcumin « Integrative Biology Blog

Reviewing the anti-cancer efficacy of curcumin « Integrative Biology Blog | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

Tumeric is long held in to have healing effects in ayurvedic medicine. Curcumin, a bioactive ingredient in the fragrant orange spice tumeric, is thought to be effective in suppressing tumor growth and promoting chemoprevention of certain cancers.

In this review article Bassel El-Rayes et al. summarise the recent studies which describe preventive and therapeutic effects of curcumin and its analogues. In particular they concentrate on the breast cancer model, as curcumin has shown responses in reversing the human breast cancer cell resistance against paclitaxel and may be responsible for the lower incidence of breast cancer in Asian countries. Click on image or title to learn more.

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13 July 2012 - Roadmap marks milestone for UK synthetic biology - News - BBSRC

13 July 2012 - Roadmap marks milestone for UK synthetic biology - News - BBSRC | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it
BBSRC has welcomed the publication of the Synthetic Biology Roadmap. The roadmap provides the vision and direction for supporting a world-leading synthetic biology community in the UK. The roadmap, produced by an independent panel of experts...
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Einstein's theory is proved - if you want to live longer, buy a bungalow

Einstein's theory is proved - if you want to live longer, buy a bungalow | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

Awesome artile in the Independent describing how experiments with he world's most accurate clock has neatly shown how right Albert Einstein was 100 years ago, when he proposed that time is a relative concept. James Chin-Wen Chou and his colleagues from the US National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colorado, found that when they monitored two such clocks positioned just a foot apart in height above sea level, they found that time really does run more quickly the higher you are – just as Einstein predicted. Click on the image or title to learn more...

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Why we need a standard for the Internet of Things

Why we need a standard for the Internet of Things | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

The Internet of Things is supposed to connect every aspect of our lives from our homes and cars to the objects we wear and the goods we consume. It’s even connecting ice machines. But one thing the Internet of Things lacks is a unifying standard. Artile from GigaOM describing moves by a bunch of telecom operators to defin an M2M sensoer network communications standard. This is a meme that is getting more energy behind it but it will be interesting to see if it is simpy a set of companies trying to force a bigger telecom company standard through or wether it gets widescale industry and developer support. Click on image or title to learn more...

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Switzerland : System Dynamics Conference July 2012

The Systems Dynamics Society is having its 30th annual Conference in St.Gallen Switzerland on 21st and 22nd July. - The conference program is awesome and this is likely a must visit if you do systems modeling or use tools like VenSim, PowerSim, iThink or Strata for systems modeling and simulation. Certainly worth following. Click on headline to learn more.

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ECCS'12 Conference on Complex Systems

European Conference on Complex Systems: 3-7 September 2012 at Université Libre de Bruxelles

 

Satellite Conferences: 5-6 September 2012

Main Tracks

Foundations of Complex Systems
Complexity, Information and Computation
Prediction, Policy and Planning, Environment
Biological Complexity
Interacting Populations, Collective Behavior
Social Systems, Economics and Finance

 

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Standards and data flows - OBASHI Think

Standards and data flows - OBASHI Think | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

I have a lot of time for the OBASHI team blogs- usualyl because the often state that rare commodity - common sense. This post from Paul Wallis - is typical and if you are involved in systems mapping worth reading. One of the best places to look for data flow mapping is within the process industries, where successful product flow is critical to business success. Every system and asset change is viewed and analysed, with flow at the heart of the decision making process.

Taking a process industry concept of how to document, model and analyse flow, and applying it to IT, might just be the answer to creating a standard for data flows.After all, in the process world, a loss of product flow is seen as critical.As modern businesses come to rely more and more on flows of data, a loss of data flow will become just as critical. Lot of good sense packaged here. Click on image or title to learn more...

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Visual.ly Launches Social Network for Data Visualization

With 32,000 designers signed up on Visual.ly and a couple million people returning each month to explore and share infographics, the site has rapidly become the (RT @thomaspower: Liked "RT @hnshah: Visual.ly Launches Social Network for Data Visualization...
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Utilities and Other Industries Not Ready for Big Data, Say New Oracle Reports

Utilities and Other Industries Not Ready for Big Data, Say New Oracle Reports | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

New evidence is emerging that organizations across many industries are simply not ready for the challenges of big data. Oracle has released two new reports that add hard numbers to mounting concerns about the problems big companies face when dealing with data. This week’s report from Oracle polled 333 North American executives to find out how their companies and organizations are handling the onslaught of big data, both in terms of setting up big data infrastructure and then properly analyzing the data once they have it gathered. The number one problem? Translating information into actionable intelligence, was repoted by 48% of respondents. I think this is inkeeping wit the earlier post on Geoffrey Moore's presentation on Big Data and where it wss in the technology adoption curve.

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Workshop on Aesthetic Data Visualization @NordiCHI2012

Workshop on Aesthetic Data Visualization @NordiCHI2012 | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

Call for Papers Workshop on Aesthetic Data Visualization: Tools & Challenges for Interaction Designers at NordiCHI 2012 October 14th, 2012, Copenhagen, Denmark http://datavis.hkjung.com/ ;

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The Future of Medical Visualisation - Technology Review

The Future of Medical Visualisation - Technology Review | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

Medicine has been revolutionised by 3D imaging techniques. In the last five years, commercial CT scanners that can create 3D videos of a beating heart or new diffusion imaging techniques that enable imaging of  nerve bundles and muscle fibres have started to become available. A great tech piece in Technology Review covers where medical imaging is going next. Certainly worth reading. Click on the image or the title to learn more...

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A view from Norway on the Internet of Things

A view from Norway on the Internet of Things | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

Nordic - a Norwegian fabless semiconductor company has become one of the first with its nRF51 family to create SoCs that combine ARM cores and 2.4 GHz RF transceivers, optimized for Internet of Things (IoT) markets. Whether Nordic can hold on for what could be a wild ride ahead will be one of the interesting stories to tell in the evolution of the next big thing in the tech industry. Certainly their initial offering has a lot for sensor networks designers to think about. Click on image or title to learn more.

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Indiana's Sewers: An Outpost on the Internet of Things

Indiana's Sewers: An Outpost on the Internet of Things | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

A great article on practical implications of Internet of things. An unlikely place to look for the latest trend for the Internet of Things is inside the sewers of the City of South Bend, Indiana. For the past six years, South Bend's city managers have been working with a group of consultants from IBM, nearby Notre Dame University and others to instrument the city's sewers as a means of delivering better service and saving hundreds of millions of dollars in capital improvements. Click on image or title to learn more...

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Computer Simulation Cracks Chicken-Egg Puzzle : Discovery News

Computer Simulation Cracks Chicken-Egg Puzzle : Discovery News | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

New computer technology cracks the age-old riddle, demonstrating how a protein kickstarts eggshell formation. Researchers at the Universities of Sheffield and Warwick, in northern and central England, demonstrate how vocledidin-17 (OC-17), plays a part in eggshell formation. In a computer simulation, the OC-17 protein acted as a catalyst to kickstart the formation of crystals that make up an eggshell by clamping itself on to calcium carbonate particles. In otherwords the chicken came first. Click on image or title to learn more...

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Lemurs sliding towards extinction

Lemurs sliding towards extinction | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

A new assessment of Madagascar's lemurs shows they are far more threatened than previously thought. A group of specialists is in Madagascar - the only place where lemurs are found in the wild - to systematically assess the animals and decide where they sit on the Red List of Threatened Species. More than 90% of the 103 species should be on the Red List, they say. Since a coup in 2009, conservation groups have repeatedly found evidence of illegal logging, and hunting of lemurs has emerged as a new threat. Click on image or title to learn more...

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Researcher will push emerging field of biodiversity informatics in Africa

Researcher will push emerging field of biodiversity informatics in Africa | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

Biodiversity informatics is about how to develop, integrate and use information about life on Earth,” said Town Peterson, University Distinguished Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and curator in the Biodiversity Institute. “We have a lot of raw data about biodiversity, which is to say we know places where particular species have been seen. But turning those raw data into usable information is a much bigger challenge.” In Africa, as in much of the world, there is scant availability of training in this important discipline. This is about to change. With funding from the JRS Biodiversity Foundation, Peterson will lead multiple training sessions in four African nations: Ghana, South Africa, Kenya and Egypt. CLick on image or title to learn more.

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Spatial Patterns and Spread of Potato Zebra Chip Disease in the Texas Panhandle

Spatial Patterns and Spread of Potato Zebra Chip Disease in the Texas Panhandle | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

Zebra chip (ZC, also known as papa manchada and papa rayada) is a disease that is affecting potato production in the southwestern United States and in other countries, and which has been linked to potato psyllids (Bactericera cockerelli, which infests both potatoes and tomatoes) that harbor the bacterial plant pathogen ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’.

 

Until recently, the epidemiology of ZC was unknown, motivating research to elucidate the spatial and temporal patterns of ZC infections in potato fields. Studies were performed in multiple commercial potato fields located in the Texas Panhandle, wherein locations of ZC-affected potato plants were georeferenced or counted within large plots and along belt transects consisting of contiguous 10-by-10-m quadrats. The frequency of ZC infections within belt transect quadrats was well described by negative binomial and zero-inflated negative binomial distributions, in agreement with observed clustering of infections and distance-based spatial statistical results.

 

Plant Disease, Volume 96, Issue 7, Page 948-956, July 2012.

By D. C. Henne, F. Workneh and C. M. Rush, Texas AgriLife Research

http://dx.doi.org/10.1094/PDIS-09-11-0805-RE


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