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Complexity Digest's Blog

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Urban lead

November 25, 2011 Comments (0)

Humanity has evolved into an urban species. Already, more than half the planet's population lives in cities and this fraction is expected to rise to 70% by 2070. The speed and scale of urban growth poses significant social, economic and environmental challenges, such as ensuring that the 10 million or so inhabitants of megacities have access to adequate supplies of food and clean water each day....
Nature Geoscience

Living in Living Cities

November 25, 2011 Comments (0)

This paper presents and overview of current and potential applications of living technology to urban problems. Living technology can be described as technology that exhibits the core features of living systems. These features can be useful to solve dynamic problems. In particular, urban problems concerning mobility, logistics, telecommunications, governance, safety, sustainability, and society...
arXiv

Robin Ince: Science versus wonder?

November 25, 2011 Comments (0)

Does science ruin the magic of life? In this grumpy but charming monologue, Robin Ince makes the argument against. The more we learn about the astonishing behavior of the universe -- the more we stand in...
TED.com

Cynthia Kenyon: Experiments that hint of longer lives

November 25, 2011 Comments (0)

What controls aging? Biochemist Cynthia Kenyon has found a simple genetic mutation that can double the lifespan of a simple worm, C. elegans. The lessons from that discovery, and others, are pointing to how we might one day significantly extend youthful human...
TED.com

Discovering Network Structure Beyond Communities

November 25, 2011 Comments (0)

To understand the formation, evolution, and function of complex systems, it is crucial to understand the internal organization of their interaction networks. Partly due to the impossibility of visualizing large complex networks, resolving network structure remains a challenging problem. Here we overcome this difficulty by combining the visual pattern recognition ability of humans with the high...
Scientific Reports

Modelling Epidemics on Networks

November 25, 2011 Comments (0)

Infectious disease remains, despite centuries of work to control and mitigate its effects, a major problem facing humanity. This paper reviews the mathematical modelling of infectious disease epidemics on networks, starting from the simplest Erdos-Renyi random graphs, and building up structure in the form of correlations, heterogeneity and preference, paying particular attention to the links...
arXiv

The role of sex separation in neutral speciation

November 25, 2011 Comments (0)

Neutral speciation mechanisms based on isolation by distance and sexual selection, termed topopatric, have recently been shown to describe the observed patterns of abundance distributions and species-area relationships. Previous works have considered this type of process only in the context of hermaphrodic populations. In this work we extend a hermaphroditic model of topopatric speciation to...
arXiv

Electricity Now and When

November 25, 2011 Comments (0)

Whether it started with falling water or with the burning or radioactive decomposition of fuels, creating and delivering electrical power used to be a straightforward process of trying to balance generation, distribution, and demand at a reasonable cost to end users. Peak power requirements have grown, as has the size of the fluctuations between daily maximum and minimum requirements. Very little...
Science

Electrical Energy Storage for the Grid: A Battery of Choices

November 25, 2011 Comments (0)

The increasing interest in energy storage for the grid can be attributed to multiple factors, including the capital costs of managing peak demands, the investments needed for grid reliability, and the integration of renewable energy sources. Although existing energy storage is dominated by pumped hydroelectric, there is the recognition that battery systems can offer a number of high-value...
Science

Smart Swarms of Bacteria Inspire Robotics: Adaptable Decision-Making Found in Bacteria Communities

November 25, 2011 Comments (0)

researchers at Tel Aviv University have developed a computational model that better explains how bacteria move in a swarm -- and this model can be applied to human-made technologies, including computers, artificial intelligence, and robotics. (…) Studying the principles of bacteria navigation will allow researchers to design a new generation of smart robots that can form intelligent swarms, aid...
ScienceDaily