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Dino impact 'also destroyed bees'

Dino impact 'also destroyed bees' | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

Scientists say there was a widespread extinction of bees 66 million years ago, at the same time as the event that killed off the dinosaurs.

The demise of the dinosaurs was almost certainly the result of an asteroid or comet hitting Earth. But the extinction event was selective, affecting some groups more than others. Writing in Plos One journal, the team used fossils and DNA analysis to show that one bee group suffered a serious decline at the time of this collision.

ComplexInsight's insight:

Any study explaining why a species went extinct 65 million years ago will at first glance seem disconnected from current events. However bees are critical to  agriculture and ensuring biodiversity. Understanding extinction events that impacted different species of Bees in the past  help us better understand what could happen in the future as Bee's are currently being severely impacted by diesel pollution, modern farming practises (especially insecticides), changing ecosystems and new pests.

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IBM and Libelium Launch Internet of Things Starter Kit - Wall Street Journal

IBM and Libelium Launch Internet of Things Starter Kit - Wall Street Journal | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it
IBM and Libelium Launch Internet of Things Starter Kit Wall Street Journal IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Libelium, a wireless sensor network hardware provider, today released an Internet of Things Starter Kit to enable dozens of sensor applications ranging...
ComplexInsight's insight:

As a big fan of Libelium's wireless sensor network hardware - its good to see them gain a big industry partner in IBM and launch their starter kits to a bigger audience.   

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CancerLinQ Proof-of-Principle Prototype

CancerLinQ Proof-of-Principle Prototype | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

A proof-of-principle prototype for CancerLinQ™ was demonstrated at the 2013 ASCO Annual Meeting. This “learning health system” prototype was first unveiled on March 27 at an ASCO-hosted panel discussion on big data in cancer care at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. At the ASCO Annual Meeting, attendees were able to view a demonstration of the CancerLinQ prototype in the exhibit hall as well as attend an educational session on the product, which ASCO calls the first demonstration of the feasibility of a health information technology-based learning health system. - See more at: http://www.onclive.com/publications/oncology-business-news/2013/September-2013/CancerLinQ-Proof-of-Principle-Prototype#sthash.AoXUoYrD.dpuf

ComplexInsight's insight:

Effective data analysis is going to be key in improving cancer treatment and the outcomes of the CancerLinQ project is a key first step in demonstrating potential solutions in this area.

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Four Steps To Turn Big Data Into Action

Four Steps To Turn Big Data Into Action | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it
(Photo credit: Wikipedia) By Chris Meyer, Tim McGuire, Maher Masri, Abdul Wahab Shaikh Data is meaningless unless it helps make decisions that have measurable impact.
ComplexInsight's insight:

Common sense summary article  which boils down to:

1. Decide what you need to produce

2. Source raw data and know its provenance

3. Focus on quick processing, decisions and execution

4. Deliver insight and act

5. Build data / evidence driven decision making into organization culture.

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Biotech, farmer associations key for climate adaptation - panel - Reuters AlertNet (blog)

Biotech, farmer associations key for climate adaptation - panel - Reuters AlertNet (blog) | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it
Biotech, farmer associations key for climate adaptation - panel Reuters AlertNet (blog) LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - An increasingly extreme climate is presenting new challenges to farmers across the world, and biotechnology and greater...
ComplexInsight's insight:

The potential for genetically modified crops and relation to climate change - which recently helped drive Monsanto to acquire The Climate Corporation  is once again in the headlines. At the recent Iowa discussion, five farmers from Malawi, India, Portugal, Argentina and Kenya said they were strong believers in using biotech crops to survive and thrive in the face of a changing climate, and said that farmers needed to share ideas and help each other improve farming techniques.  Trust.org does a great job in summarizing the ideas discussed at the event. Worth reading.

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How to turn open data into better government - The Guardian

How to turn open data into better government - The Guardian | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it
The Guardian
How to turn open data into better government
The Guardian
The UK open data initiative – through which departments open up data by default for public use - is universally acknowledged as a force for democratic good.
ComplexInsight's insight:

The first year anniversary of the Open Data Institute founded by the Guardian - is generating a lot of good stories on Open Data success stories. We use open data sources in a number of current research projects and hopefully we can add to some of thos success stories over the next year. In this article the Gaurdian is highlighting open day as a force for democratic good - as the old saying goes sunlight is the best medicine. 

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Exoplanet tally soars above 1,000

Exoplanet tally soars above 1,000 | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

The number of observed exoplanets - worlds circling distant stars - has passed 1,000. Of these, 12 could be potentially habitable - orbiting at a distance where it is neither "too hot" nor "too cold" for water to be liquid on the surface. The planets are given away by tiny dips in light as they pass in front of their stars or through gravitational "tugs" on the star from an orbiting world.These new worlds are listed in the Extrasolar Planets Encyclopaedia The tally now stands at 1,010 new exoplanets, bolstered by 11 new finds from the UK's Wide Angle Search for Planets (Wasp). Abel Mendez of the Planetary Habitability Laboratory at the University of Puerto Rico, said that although the number has rapidly increased in recent years, due to a lack of funding this figure is much lower than it could be. In January 2013, astronomers used Kepler's data to estimate that there could be at least 17 billion Earth-sized exoplanets in the Milky Way galaxy. They said that one in six stars could host an Earth-sized planet in close orbit.

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“Sit-able cities” might be even better than walkable ones

“Sit-able cities” might be even better than walkable ones | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

Moyan BrennPutting the “sit” back in “city.” Walkable cities are great. But once you get where you’re walking, you want to relax, right?

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GDELT: Global Database of Events, Language, and Tone

GDELT: Global Database of Events, Language, and Tone | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it
GDELT: Global Database of Events, Language, and Tone
ComplexInsight's insight:

The Global Database of Events, Language, and Tone (GDELT) is an initiative to construct a catalog of human societal-scale behavior and beliefs across all countries of the world over the last two centuries down to the city level globally, to make all of this data freely available for open research, and to provide daily updates to create the first "realtime social sciences earth observatory." Nearly a quarter-billion georeferenced events capture global behavior in more than 300 categories covering 1979 to present with daily updates. Data is available for data scientists to mine and analyze - See more at: http://gdelt.utdallas.edu/#sthash.04oK6DrA.dpuf

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IBM Wants to Predict Heart Disease Through Big Data Analytics - CloudTimes

IBM Wants to Predict Heart Disease Through Big Data Analytics - CloudTimes | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it
IBM Wants to Predict Heart Disease Through Big Data Analytics
CloudTimes
Ultimately, health care industries hope to advance a smarter approach to care for patients with heart failure.
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Study links air pollution and traffic with low birthweight

Study links air pollution and traffic with low birthweight | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it
For every increase of 5 micrograms per cubic metre in exposure during pregnancy, risk of low birthweight rises by 18% Babies born to mothers who live in areas with air pollution and dense traffic are more likely to have a low birthweight and...
ComplexInsight's insight:

And its not just bees being hit by exhaust pollution - evidently babies too.. As data emerges these effects need to be increasingly incorporated into traffic modeling systems so we can better understand the implications of planning decisions on public health.

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Microsoft's virtual ecosystem aims to simulate the entire world - NBC News.com

Microsoft's virtual ecosystem aims to simulate the entire world - NBC News.com | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

Microsoft Research and UN scientists are embarking on a highly ambitious project: A computational model of an entire ecosystem, from the soil to the creatures that live on it and interact with it...

ComplexInsight's insight:

This is a research topic very close to home for the team at complex insight since we work on related developments. Microsoft Research are aiming to accurately simulate an entire ecosystem.  Drew Purves at Microsoft Research in Cambridge thinks the time has come for what the company describes as a General Ecosystem Model (also known as GEM) — capable of simulating just about any ecosystem in the world. Purves wrote an article for the journal Nature announcing the team's intentions, and calling for others to help out — because it's not a small project. Microsoft have developed a prototype called the Madingley Model -see http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/projects/gef/madingley.aspx ; and work is now underway with the Untied Nations Environment Programe to refine the developments.

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Study: Some Americans Will Pay Just $34 Per Year Under Obamacare

Study: Some Americans Will Pay Just $34 Per Year Under Obamacare | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it
Obamacare will dramatically reduce the cost of health care for some of the poorest Americans, a new study finds.
ComplexInsight's insight:

Its not often that we get to model, assess and evaluate the outcome of major insurance system changes. With the advent of affordable care act - the United States is providing such an opportunity. Rand Corporaton released figures based on their cost modeling of the Affordable Care Act that indicate out-of-pocket health care costs will drop from $1,463 to just $34 per year in 2016 for the approximately11.5 million amercans who get insurance via the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid. President Obama's health care reform law will also reduce the likelihood that this group will face catastrophic medical costs -- defined as 10 percent of income -- by 40 percent, according to the study. As the law comes into effect it will be interesting to assess the efficacy of these studies and contrast them with data provided by those who oppose the affordable care act and hopefully in doing so - step closer to better healthcare and economic policy informed by data.

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Networks of Sensors Annual Technology Showcase - International Environmental Technology

Networks of Sensors Annual Technology Showcase - International Environmental Technology | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

This year’s Showcase will feature the practical outcomes of three years of research, discussing the installations, hardware, software, and results of six very different types of Sensor Networks. In addition to the presentations, there will be opportunities for attendees to see the hardware and software, and to meet the teams. - See more at: http://www.envirotech-online.com/news/water-wastewater/9/nerc/networks_of_sensors_annual_technology_showcase/27271/#sthash.WN0G6gvn.dpuf

ComplexInsight's insight:

This year's event is likely to be a tipping point for UK environmental monitoring and will undoubtedly help inform future UK govt  and industry policies. The results of the research and different network configurations  showcase will be of interest to anyone using environment sensing data be it in simulations (like us) or for direct data analysis. 

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Big Data: Sweat the Little Stuff - Automation World

Big Data: Sweat the Little Stuff - Automation World | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it
Fast Company Big Data: Sweat the Little Stuff Automation World Although Big Data continues to be a hot topic, with lots of manufacturers excited about the opportunities all that data presents for even just predictive maintenance alone…we continue...
ComplexInsight's insight:

In 2004/2005 our old Creator product was used  to build a concept 3D fault guided maintenance application for jet engines. The concept was  sensors in the jet engine would detect state and inform the ground grew  over a wireless connection maintenance need - and a 3d guided mainteance app would use the sensor data to drive the interactive electronic manual.  As sensor costs plummet, big data becomes established and mobile and wifi has driven advanced networked computing platforms into everyone's pocket - that concept now becomes very prescient. For manufacturers (and interface developers) sensor driven maintenance and performance measurement platforms are going to be a key new business growth area in the coming years.  Sensors and networks connect data. Software augments hardware. Insight drives opportunity. Interesting times.

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Software through the lens of evolutionary biology | Theory, Evolution ...

Software through the lens of evolutionary biology | Theory, Evolution ... | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it
My preferred job title is 'theorist', but that is often too ambiguous in casual and non-academic conversation, so I often settle for 'computer scientist'. Unfortunately, it seems that the overwhelming majority of people equate ...
ComplexInsight's insight:

 Artem Kaznatcheev, a researcher in theoretical computer science - i.e. the ideas that underpin computing - has a wonderful write up of Stephanie Forrest's Stannislaw Ulam lecture at the SFI on using inspiration from Biology to address challenges in Software industry. The Ulam lecture is available in video - but its a few hours long - through seriously worth watching and covers modern developments in genetic programming and other approaches. If you need an abbrieviated write up of the key ideas underpinning the Professor Forrest's lecture - then Artem's write up is an awesomely succinct. Worth reading (and the lectures  linked in his article - are worth watching!) 

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OptionsCity Launches Freeway Analytics Trading-Simulation Platform - www.waterstechnology.com

OptionsCity Launches Freeway Analytics Trading-Simulation Platform - www.waterstechnology.com | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it
OptionsCity Launches Freeway Analytics Trading-Simulation Platform www.waterstechnology.com Electronic options trading technology vendor OptionsCity Software has launched Freeway Analytics, a visualization engine and an exchange simulator based on...
ComplexInsight's insight:

As more financial simulation trading platforms ermerge it will be interesting to see how economics researchers incorporate, contrast, benchmark them to validate trading platforms and validate economic modeling of trading versus other modeling approaches.

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Nation puts geospatial data system on the map - Space Daily

Nation puts geospatial data system on the map - Space Daily | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it
Nation puts geospatial data system on the map
Space Daily
China has established a national emergency geospatial data system to provide first-responders with detailed maps within two hours after a disaster, a senior official said.
ComplexInsight's insight:

Accurate maps and geospatial data is critical to success of first responders in disaster  zones. Good to see China establishing a national system to support first responders.

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New Louisville Open Data Policy Insists Open By Default is the Future - Sunlight Foundation Reporting Group (blog)

New Louisville Open Data Policy Insists Open By Default is the Future - Sunlight Foundation Reporting Group (blog) | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it
Sunlight Foundation Reporting Group (blog) New Louisville Open Data Policy Insists Open By Default is the Future Sunlight Foundation Reporting Group (blog) On Tuesday, October 15, 2013, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced the signing of an open...
ComplexInsight's insight:

Interesting to see cities beginning to adopt open data policies as default. Recent open data competitions in places like New York are helping create awareness of the possibilities of using openly available data, mobile etc for innovative apps and improved city planning and governance. Looking forward to see what Louisville's decision generates.

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Information technology: Slouching towards utopia

Information technology: Slouching towards utopia | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

Some 3.5 billion people — half of humanity — now live in cities. Cities magnify human endeavours: they account for much more than half of humanity's pollution, energy consumption, crime and disease spread, while also incubating the lion's share of innovations, technology, art and entertainment. A sustainable, equitable future on our crowded planet will require fundamental changes in how cities operate. In Smart Cities, Anthony Townsend examines how information technology is shaping the development of 'smart' cities.

 

Information technology: Slouching towards utopia
Melanie E. Moses
Nature 502, 299–300 (17 October 2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/502299a

 

Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia
Anthony M. Townsend W. W. Norton: 2013.
ISBN: 9780393082876

http://tinyurl.com/mzyxmjz


Via Complexity Digest
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The marriage of poverty and climate change – implications for disaster risk management | In Verba - Updates about the Royal Society's work on providing scientific advice to policymakers.

The marriage of poverty and climate change – implications for disaster risk management | In Verba - Updates about the Royal Society's work on providing scientific advice to policymakers. | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

The severity of climate-related disasters is often measured by the number of lives lost, the financial losses for the economy or the costs of recovery. But how do disasters affect the poor? A new report from the Overseas Development Institute explores the relationship between disasters and poverty. The report highlights the potential for natural hazards to spiral into human catastrophes if they entrench poverty that already exists, by pulling vulnerable people down into the poverty trap as their assets and livelihoods vanish.


Via Eugene Ch'ng
ComplexInsight's insight:

Must read...

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Cancer costing Europe 'billions'

Cancer costing Europe 'billions' | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

Cancer costs countries in the European Union 126bn euro (£107bn) a year, according to the first EU-wide analysis of the economic impact of the disease.

ComplexInsight's insight:

Researchers from the University of Oxford and King's College London analysed data from each of the 27 nations in the EU in 2009. The showed the total cost was 126bn euro and of that 51bn (£43bn) euro was down to healthcare costs including doctors' time and drug costs. Lost productivity, because of work missed through sickness or dying young, cost 52bn (£44bn) euro while the cost to families of providing care was put at 23bn (£19.5bn) euro. While the figures will probably attract the headlnes and hopefulyl motivate new research and solution creation, for those impacted by cancer's on individual and family life  the costs are often seemingly immeasurable. 

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What's an Economist to Do Without Government Data? - Wall Street Journal (blog)

What's an Economist to Do Without Government Data? - Wall Street Journal (blog) | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it
Wall Street Journal (blog)
What's an Economist to Do Without Government Data?
Wall Street Journal (blog)
What's the economist's equivalent of filling up a bathtub before a storm? Downloading data ahead of a shutdown.
ComplexInsight's insight:

An interesting side effect of the US government shutdown is to highlight the role of Government data feeds in a variety of settings. Interesting blog post and amusing comment from wall street journal.

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Bees Can't Find Flowers Thanks to Diesel Exhaust

Bees Can't Find Flowers Thanks to Diesel Exhaust | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it
Diesel exhaust is pretty nasty stuff. Pass an overloaded 18-wheeler clouding up the highway, and that acrid plume of hydrocarbons will overpower even your best little tree air freshener.
ComplexInsight's insight:

New findings show that diesel exhaust impedes bees. Article on Gizmodo.

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Ocean acidification due to carbon emissions is at highest for 300m years

Ocean acidification due to carbon emissions is at highest for 300m years | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it
Overfishing and pollution are part of the problem, scientists say, warning that mass extinction of species may be inevitable
ComplexInsight's insight:

Increasing acidification has been predicted by climate modellers and oceanographers for many many years. Hopefully we have not also passed the tipping point that they also described...

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