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Complex World
Cutting Edge Research about Complex Systems
Curated by Claudia Mihai
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Virality Prediction and Community Structure in Social Networks

Virality Prediction and Community Structure in Social Networks | Complex World | Scoop.it
How does network structure affect diffusion? Recent studies suggest that the answer depends on the type of contagion. Complex contagions, unlike infectious diseases (simple contagions), are affected by social reinforcement and homophily.
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Electrical networks at risk of cascading failure

Electrical networks at risk of cascading failure | Complex World | Scoop.it

A team of physicists from Israel and the U.S. has discovered that mathematical modeling suggests modern electrical networks may be more vulnerable to cascading collapse than has been previously thought.

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The Universality of Maternal Microbial Transmission

The Universality of Maternal Microbial Transmission | Complex World | Scoop.it

The sterile womb paradigm is an enduring premise in biology that human infants are born sterile. Recent studies suggest that infants incorporate an initial microbiome before birth and receive copious supplementation of maternal microbes through birth and breastfeeding. Moreover, evidence for microbial maternal transmission is increasingly widespread across animals. This collective knowledge compels a paradigm shift—one in which maternal transmission of microbes advances from a taxonomically specialized phenomenon to a universal one in animals. It also engenders fresh views on the assembly of the microbiome, its role in animal evolution, and applications to human health and disease.

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Emergence of structural and dynamical properties of ecological mutualistic networks

Cooperation among species tends to result in mutualistic networks with a nested structure, which is thought to increase biodiversity and persistence but may be less stable than unstructured networks: here nested networks are shown to result from a mechanism that maximizes species abundances in mutualistic communities, and the abundance of nested species is found to be directly linked to the resilience of the community.

 

Emergence of structural and dynamical properties of ecological mutualistic networks
Samir Suweis, Filippo Simini, Jayanth R. Banavar & Amos Maritan

Nature 500, 449–452 (22 August 2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature12438


Via Complexity Digest
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Transition from foraging to farming a gradual co-evolution

Transition from foraging to farming a gradual co-evolution | Complex World | Scoop.it

"The archaeological evidence that has accumulated so far suggests that the introduction of farming wasn’t a straightforward technological revolution driven by key inventions like the introduction of steam engines or airplanes" 

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Facial Scanning Is Making Gains in Surveillance

The federal government is making progress on developing a surveillance system that would scan crowds and automatically identify people by their faces, raising concerns among some privacy advocates.
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Multiscale materials modelling at the mesoscale

Multiscale materials modelling at the mesoscale | Complex World | Scoop.it

The challenge to link understanding and manipulation at the microscale to functional behaviour at the macroscale defines the frontiers of mesoscale science.

Nature Materials 12, 774–777 (2013) doi:10.1038/nmat3746

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Nonlinear Growth Kinetics of Breast Cancer Stem Cells

Nonlinear Growth Kinetics of Breast Cancer Stem Cells | Complex World | Scoop.it
Cancer stem cells (CSCs) have been identified in primary breast cancer tissues and cell lines. The CSC population varies widely among cancerous tissues and cell lines, and is often associated with aggressive breast cancers.
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The Happiest and Saddest Places in New York

The Happiest and Saddest Places in New York | Complex World | Scoop.it
Complex systems theorists analyzed hundreds of thousands of tweets to map the happiness of New York.
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Facebook Is Making You Sad

Facebook Is Making You Sad | Complex World | Scoop.it

Did you spend some time on Facebook today? If so, it probably made you just a little bit sadder. That’s the troubling conclusion of a study of Facebook use and well-being, published today in PLOS ONE. The result is counterintuitive, because abundant psychological research finds that contact with friends and family is crucial for well-being. So it would seem that Facebook should be an ever-flowing fountain of happiness. If you’re stuck at a desk job all day or even completely isolated, as long as you have Facebook, you have “friends.” Why else would half of the world’s 1 billion Facebook users log in every day? But are those cold, glowing pixels a good substitute for real-world contact? Surveys of Facebook users find mixed results

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The Power of Amateur Cartographers

The Power of Amateur Cartographers | Complex World | Scoop.it

“A map of the world can cut two ways — of course it’s an object of great wonder and amazement and can show the diversity and beauty and the extraordinary extent of the world and it makes people very engaged in the idea of humanity. At the same time that image can immediately be co-opted for authoritarian ends.”

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10 Years After The Blackout, How Has The Power Grid Changed?

10 Years After The Blackout, How Has The Power Grid Changed? | Complex World | Scoop.it
Sagging power lines and computer glitches led to a power outage that left 50 million people across the Northeast U.S. and part of Canada in darkness on Aug. 14, 2003.
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Watch a Jaw-Dropping Visualization of Every Protest Since 1979

Watch a Jaw-Dropping Visualization of Every Protest Since 1979 | Complex World | Scoop.it
Penn State doctoral candidate John Beieler has created a time-lapse visualization of every protest on the planet since 1979. And it is jaw-dropping.
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The Role of Gender in Scholarly Authorship

The Role of Gender in Scholarly Authorship | Complex World | Scoop.it

Gender disparities appear to be decreasing in academia according to a number of metrics, such as grant funding, hiring, acceptance at scholarly journals, and productivity, and it might be tempting to think that gender inequity will soon be a problem of the past. However, a large-scale analysis based on over eight million papers across the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities reveals a number of understated and persistent ways in which gender inequities remain. For instance, even where raw publication counts seem to be equal between genders, close inspection reveals that, in certain fields, men predominate in the prestigious first and last author positions. Moreover, women are significantly underrepresented as authors of single-authored papers. Academics should be aware of the subtle ways that gender disparities can occur in scholarly authorship.

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How does complex behavior spontaneously emerge in the brain?

How does complex behavior spontaneously emerge in the brain? | Complex World | Scoop.it

The idea of emergence, in which complex behavior spontaneously emerges out of simple interactions, exists in a wide variety of areas, such as economics, the Internet, and urban development.

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Mapping Our Digital DNA

Mapping Our Digital DNA | Complex World | Scoop.it
Cesar Hidalgo and a team of researchers at MIT have created a platform for individuals to access their metadata.
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How to Learn a Language Quickly

How to Learn a Language Quickly | Complex World | Scoop.it
Simulations show that you can learn the meaning of words rapidly if you assume that every object has only one word associated with it.
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Life in the City Is Essentially One Giant Math Problem

Life in the City Is Essentially One Giant Math Problem | Complex World | Scoop.it
Experts in the emerging field of quantitative urbanism believe that many aspects of modern cities can be reduced to mathematical formulas
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Rich-Get-Richer Effect in BitCoin Network

Rich-Get-Richer Effect in BitCoin Network | Complex World | Scoop.it
Econophysicists studying the way people accumulate a new form of digital currency say they have observed the famous rich-get-richer effect for the first time
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Spreading of cooperative behaviour across interdependent groups

Spreading of cooperative behaviour across interdependent groups | Complex World | Scoop.it
Recent empirical research has shown that links between groups reinforce individuals within groups to adopt cooperative behaviour.
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Climate change affecting apples' taste - Telegraph

Climate change affecting apples' taste - Telegraph | Complex World | Scoop.it
Climate change may be affecting the taste and texture of apples by altering temperatures and rainfall levels, according to a new study.
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Can Swarming Robots and Cloud Umbrellas Help Save Coral Reefs?

Can Swarming Robots and Cloud Umbrellas Help Save Coral Reefs? | Complex World | Scoop.it
As reefs continue dying off, scientists have started to think more boldly about how to protect them.
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How to break the negativity loop: A true story of prison and redemption

How to break the negativity loop: A true story of prison and redemption | Complex World | Scoop.it

Released after serving 19 years, Shaka has changed again. He’s seen it all, and openly shares those details in his memoir, “Writing My Wrongs.” He can’t reclaim the hopeful boy he was before he sold his first rock of crack-cocaine at age 14, but he has undergone a self-induced redemption that seems the stuff of fairy tales. But neither luck nor magic had anything to do with the six books he’s written. Or his appointment as a fellow at MIT Media Lab. Or his TED Talk. Or his upcoming teaching engagement at the University of Michigan.

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