domenica 31 gennaio 2016

# s-gene: Yoshizumi Ishino, Francisco Mojica (et al) wave: SRSR - CRISPR interference

<< We were stunned, it was like the sun rose in the west rather than the east.>>  Ethan Bier

<< We’re  not about to do anything foolish. >>  Anthony James

Shelly Fanon. Gene Drives Could Wipe Out Insect-Borne DiseaseBut What’s the Price? Nov 29, 2015.

Yoshizumi Ishino and Francisco Mojica, in: CRISPR, Clustered regularly-interspaced short palindromic repeats.

Eric S. Lander. The Heroes of CRISPR.
Cell. 14 January 2016, Vol.164(1):18–28, doi:10.1016/j.cell.2015.12.041

sabato 30 gennaio 2016

# p-trade: job cuts vs long-term firm implications

<< Barclays, Pearson and Virgin Media have all announced significant job cuts as part of a growing pressure to cut costs, adding up to more than 6,000 job cuts in total. Firms are increasingly turning to cost-reduction strategies as a coping mechanism for competitive and difficult economic conditions. But while these strategies help to reduce costs in the short-term, these cuts can have much bigger, and fundamentally important implications for the identity of the firm and their long-term competitiveness >>

Shelley Harrington. Job cuts save money but can hurt business in the long-run. January 22, 2016 4.55pm GMT

<< In today’s business environment, employee downsizing is a widespread strategy aimed at improving firm performance and competitiveness. The literature, however, highlights unequivocal findings that many downsizing initiatives fail to retain critical skills, capabilities, experience and knowledge. Employee downsizing may therefore lead to deteriorating quality, productivity and effectiveness >>

Achim Schmitt, Stefano Borzillo, Gilbert Probst. Don’t let knowledge walk away: Knowledge retention during employee downsizing. Management Learning, February 2012 vol. 43 no. 1 53-74 doi: 10.1177/1350507611411630

venerdì 29 gennaio 2016

# rmx-s-astro: evolving from (serial?) massive crashes

<< A giant impact formed the Moon, and lunar rocks provide insight into that process >>

Alessandro Morbidelli et al., Oxygen isotopic evidence for vigorous mixing during the Moon-forming giant impact. Science  29 Jan 2016: Vol. 351, Issue 6272, pp. 493-496
DOI: 10.1126/science.aad0525

# s-astro: The Smith Cloud return

<< The old adage "what goes up must come down" even applies to an immense cloud of hydrogen gas outside our Milky Way galaxy >>

<<  The Smith Cloud is following a ballistic trajectory and will plow back into the Milky Way's disk in about 30 million years. When it does, astronomers believe it will ignite a spectacular burst of star formation, perhaps providing enough gas to make 2 million suns >>

Andrew J. Fox, Nicolas Lehner, et al. On the metallicity and origin of the smith high-velocity cloud. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, Volume 816, Number 1.

# s-ai: ancient "Go" inside

<<  A major breakthrough for artificial intelligence, a computing system developed by Google researchers in Great Britain has beaten a top human player at the game of Go, the ancient Eastern contest of strategy and intuition that has bedeviled AI experts for decades >>

<< The DeepMind system, dubbed AlphaGo, matched its artificial wits against Fan Hui, Europe’s reigning Go champion, and the AI system went undefeated in five games witnessed by an editor from the journal Nature and an arbiter representing the British Go Federation >>

<< It happened faster than I thought >>

Cade Metz. In a huge breakthrough, google’s AI beats a top player at the game of go. Jan 27, 2016.

mercoledì 27 gennaio 2016

# n-behav: and just hope they don’t trip over

<< the models won’t be smiling. In spite of some hasty claims that happy faces are now de rigeur, a blank expression is a perennial trait of model behaviour >>

<< To be emotionally controlled also suggests elevation above earthly concerns, access to higher knowledge and – in the modern world – an ability to be “unshakeable”. This is even more impressive in what theorist Erving Goffman called “fateful situations”situations in which you or your dignity and composure are at greater than average risk  >>

<<  and just hope they don’t trip over >>

Vanessa Brown.  Why fashion models don’t smile. January 26, 2016 3.46pm GMT

martedì 26 gennaio 2016

# s-gst-chem: weak long-range van der Waals interactions in self-assembly

<< The researchers found that weak long-range van der Waals (attractive or repulsive forces between molecules or atomic groups that do not arise from interactions due to a covalent bond or electrostatic force) yielded the largest contribution to the molecule-surface interaction >>

A self-assembling molecular nanoswitch
A possible future molecular memory device. January 18, 2016

<< We find that on both substrates, the adsorbate-substrate interaction is dominated by attractive van der Waals forces >>

Moritz Müller, Katharina Diller, et al. Interfacial charge rearrangement and intermolecular interactions: Density-functional theory study of free-base porphine adsorbed on Ag(111) and Cu(111). The Journal of Chemical Physics, 2016; 144 (2): 024701 DOI: 10.1063/1.4938259 (open access)

lunedì 25 gennaio 2016

# s-brain-behav: audiovisual cues vs increased risky choice in rats during gambling

<<  We used a rodent analog of the Iowa Gambling Task to determine whether the addition of audiovisual cues would affect choice preferences. Adding reward-concurrent cues significantly increased risky choice. This is the first clear demonstration that reward-paired cues can bias cost/ benefit decision making against a subject's best interests in a manner concordant with elevated addiction susceptibility >>

Barrus MM, Winstanley CA. Dopamine D3 Receptors Modulate the Ability of Win-Paired Cues to Increase Risky Choice in a Rat Gambling Task. J Neurosci. 2016 Jan 20;36(3):785-94. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2225-15.2016.

# s-acad: The One Repo: suppose you’re a dinosaur lover & researcher ...

<< There are many, many repositories out there for scientists to store their research, and although this is great, searching for one thing across them all is not possible. Mike Taylor introduces a new project aiming to overcome this issue, The One Repo >>

# e-app: the begin: wake up, stay up

<< Mimicker Alarm. A Microsoft Garage Project. Wake up, Stay up. Set your alarm.Act when you hear it.Play a game to dismiss >>

<< Mimicker Alarm is a morning alarm clock app that helps you get up and stay up by playing a simple game, called a "Mimic". To dismiss your alarm, we might ask you to snap a selfie, speak a phrase, or even get out of bed! The Mimics require you to be alert, smart, and use yourself and your surroundings. Watch out - if you don't finish the game in time, we'll assume you've fallen back asleep and your alarm will start ringing again >>

Microsoft, Jan 25, 2016 09:23:51 UTC

<<  I tre giochi compresi nella sveglia sono Express Yourself, Color Capture e Tongue Twister >>

<< Un’idea all’apparenza divertente (..) >>

domenica 24 gennaio 2016

# s-acad: more 'soft' sci res, more stat positive (true H1 alternative hypothesis) results

<< This study analysed 2434 papers published in all disciplines and that declared to have tested a hypothesis. It was determined how many papers reported a “positive” (full or partial) or “negative” support for the tested hypothesis. If the hierarchy hypothesis is correct, then researchers in softer” sciences should have fewer constraints to their conscious and unconscious biases, and therefore report more positive outcomes. Results confirmed the predictions at all levels considered: discipline, domain and methodology broadly defined >>

Daniele Fanelli. “Positive” Results Increase Down the Hierarchy of the Sciences.  PLoS ONE 2016; 5(4): e10068. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0010068

# rmx-s-chem-tech: If you've ever blown up a balloon or pulled at a pair of pantyhose ...

<< If you've ever blown up a balloon or pulled at a pair of pantyhose, you may have noticed that the more the material stretches, the more transparent it becomes. It's a simple enough observation: the thinner a material, the more light shines through >>

<< For buildings and windows that automatically react to light, you don't have to spend as much on heating and air conditioning (..) The problem is, these materials are too expensive to produce for every window in a building. Our idea was to look for a simpler and cheaper way to let through more or less light, by stretching a very simple material: a transparent polymer that is readily available >>

Francisco López Jiménez, Shanmugam Kumar and Pedro Miguel Reis. Soft Color Composites with Tunable Optical Transmittance. 21 Jan 2016. DOI: 10.1002/adom.201500617

# s-astro: a giant new planet, probably but not necessarily discovered

<< Scientists Have Probably But Not Necessarily Discovered a New Planet the Size of Neptune >>

<< Planet Nine, if it exists, is likely in the hardest place to find >>

Tanya Hill and Jonti Horneron. Somewhere Out There Could Be a Giant New Planet in Our Solar System: So Where Is It? Jan 22, 2016.

sabato 23 gennaio 2016

# s-gst: periodic stripes: spacing and orientation

<< Patterning of periodic stripes during development requires mechanisms to control both stripe spacing and orientation. A number of models can explain how stripe spacing is controlled, including molecular mechanisms, such as Turing’s reaction-diffusion model, as well as cell-based and mechanical mechanisms >>

The Hiscock and Megason's  master model << predicts three main perturbations that can affect how stripes orient: one is a change in "production gradient," which would be a substance that amplifies stripe pattern density; second is a change in "parameter gradient," a substance that changes one of the parameters involved in forming the stripe; and the last is a physical change in the direction of the molecular, cellular, or mechanical origin of the stripe >>

Tom W. Hiscock, Sean G. Megason. Orientation of Turing-like Patterns by Morphogen Gradients and Tissue Anisotropies. Cell Systems, 2015; 1 (6): 408 DOI: 10.1016/j.cels.2015.12.001

# s-ecol: zebra (and okapi?) fashion

<< The most longstanding hypothesis for zebra striping is crypsis, or camouflaging, but until now the question has always been framed through human eyes >>

Melin AD, Kline DW, et al. Zebra Stripes through the Eyes of Their Predators, Zebras, and Humans. PLoS ONE 11(1): e0145679. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0145679

# s-epidem: diurnal mosquitoes with Zika virus inside

<< Experts are concerned that the illness, which is increasingly linked to a disorder that causes paralysis, may become a problem in the U.S. >>

Dina Fine Maron. Zika Disease: Another Reason to Hate Mosquitoes.  October 8, 2015

A new global map highlights places #Zika could spread

Meghan Rosen. Rapid spread of Zika virus in the Americas raises alarm. Mosquito-borne disease linked to birth defect is pushing northward from Brazil. 3:08PM, January 22, 2016

venerdì 22 gennaio 2016

# n-trade: the gross national product does not allow for

<< Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play.  It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officialsIt measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country, it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhileAnd it can tell us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans. >>

Robert F. Kennedy. Kansas University,  March 18, 1968

# n-trade: how basic income can solve ...

<< We are being afflicted with a new disease of which some readers may not yet have heard the name, but of which they will hear a great deal in the years to come – namely, technological unemployment >>

Andrew White. How basic income can solve one of the digital economy’s biggest problems. January 22, 2016 10.55am GMT

# e-sec: Sun Tzu style: unpredictable (chaotic) environment to defending cpu from cyber-attacks

<< We want our computers to perform the way we expect. But what if the key to defeating malware is introducing a bit of chaos? >>

<< Programs you know and trust could be approved to run in a standard environment where they'll function normally, while detected malware are sequestered in a third environment, called deceptive. Instead of squashing them immediately, Chameleon would let the malicious processes continue to work in a façade environment while collecting information that can be used to understand and defeat them >>

<< Predictable computer systems make life too easy for attackers >>

Alisson Clark, January 21, 2016

l'approccio "Sun Tzu  style" benche' antico sembrerebbe funzionale anche nell'ambito della sicurezza informatica ... quando le grandi idee ciclicamente riemergono dirompenti ...

giovedì 21 gennaio 2016

# rmx-s-esobio: smarter ways to find them (!)

<< smarter ways to find them >>

<< The latest round starts this month, courtesy of a 10-year, $100 million project called Breakthrough Listen. Funded by tech entrepreneur Yuri Milner, it will set two of the world’s largest radio telescopes surveying the million closest stars across a broader swathe of the radio spectrum, and will cover 10 times as much sky as all previous searches combined >>

<< $100 million project called Breakthrough Listen >>

# s-acad: don’t fool yourself

<< Collectively, the message is: show your work, and don’t fool yourself with unreliable reagents or shoehorned data >>

Editorial. Repetitive flaws. Strict guidelines to improve the reproducibility of experiments are a welcome move. 20 January 2016.  Nature 529, 256 (21 Jan 2016) doi:10.1038/529256a

mercoledì 20 gennaio 2016

# s-phys: knotted solitary waves: the begin

<< a team of physicists (..) has found a way to create knotted solitary waves, or knot solitons, in a quantum-mechanical field >>

<< Knots are defined mathematically as closed curves in 3D space. A knot soliton consists of an infinite number of rings, each linked with all of the others to generate a toroidal structure >>

<< This is the beginning of the story of quantum knots >>

D. S. Hall, M. W. Ray, et al. Tying quantum knots. Nature Physics (2016) doi:10.1038/nphys3624

# s-age: epidemiology of veteran and non-veteran women

<< 13 new articles by Veterans Affairs researchers and colleagues are looking at differences in aging and mortality between veteran and non-veteran women >>

# rmx-s-chem: a precise dance with 1 nm bubbles

<< ‘Bubble pen’ can precisely write patterns with nanoparticles as small as 1 nanometer >>

<< With this we might see the dawn of the nano machines >> (comment by  OranjeeGeneral, january 18, 2016)

L. Lin, X. Peng, et al.  Bubble-Pen Lithography. Nano Letters. Vol. 16: Issue. 1: Pages. 701-708. Publication Date (Web): December 17, 2015 DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.5b04524

martedì 19 gennaio 2016

# rmx-p-trade: sei personaggi in cerca ...  d'afrore

<< c’è il presunto capo di una loggia massonica, c’è il faccendiere ex leghista che fece da tramite e aspira alla politica, c’è il manager che dice di essere stato contattato ma rifiutò la poltrona, c’è l’altro manager che fu consigliato per la poltrona ma alla fine non fu scelto, c’è poi l’imprenditore che doveva contattare un fondo arabo ma si tirò indietro, e c’è infine il vice presidente che attira su di sé tutta l’eco mediatica (..) e però non parla, non fornisce la sua versione dei fatti >>

L'Huffington Post, Redazione 19/01/2016 10:18 CET Aggiornato 2016-01-19 11:00

ci sono contesti, situazioni, dove la poetica viene fuori da se', non serve eccessivo impegno creativo; basta aprire una (relativa) finestra di osservazione (eh, l'universalita' del metodo scientifico ...), all'interno di questa annotare biografie e fatti, riordinare le info, sprimacciare la rete di relazioni tra le entita' coinvolte e, come per incanto,  ottenere del materiale per un testo ricco, leggero, fantasmatico, poetico ...; qui neanche sembra si stia parlando di banche (etc ...);

# p-trade: sfuggenti, sofferenti deterioramenti

<< l’insieme dei crediti deteriorati in Italia è attorno al 20% dei prestiti complessivi >>

<< Abi: le sofferenze delle banche italiane sfondano i 200 miliardi >>

Rapporto mensile ABI - novembre 2015

<< Noi siamo, e mi scuso per questo soprannome inutilmente drammatico, squali del prestito. Le persone ci odiano e ci temono, proprio come imparerai a fare tu. Sappiamo che ti piacciono i soldi e non sara' facile per te vederli sfuggire di mano. perche' saranno i tuoi soldi che daremo in prestito >>

Guy Ritchie. Revolver. Movie, GB 2005

lunedì 18 gennaio 2016

# rmx-p-trade: l'inquietanti parallelismi di Nouriel

<< Non si possono non rilevare inquietanti parallelismi che ci danno una fortissima preoccupazione. Bisogna capire se quello di questi giorni è solo un rovescio dei mercati o l’inizio di un nuovo crollo sistemico. Allora il detonatore furono i mutui subprime, ora potrebbe essere la catena di fallimenti delle società dello shale oil, messe in larga parte fuori mercato dai prezzi del greggio e dalla sovrapproduzione dell’Opec >>

<< Nouriel Roubini (..) nel 2008 (..) preannunciò una crisi devastante per i mercati e le economie internazionali >>

# rmx-p-trade: estreme asimmetrie

<< 62 super-ricchi possiedono la stessa ricchezza di metà della popolazione più povera >>

# s-gst: Shakespeare and Wordsworth' sound patterns of texts

<< Alexander Clark and Thao Tran evaluated sound patterns of texts, with the goal of comparing the sonnets of Shakespeare and Wordsworth. Clark and Tran used the soundex algorithm, a method of converting words into 5 digit "codes." >>

<< however close you look, the complexity stays >>

Dilip D'Souza.  Fri, Jan 15 2016. 12 40 AM IST

domenica 17 gennaio 2016

# s-behav: no multitasking, please

<< Ants are hard workers, but they’re not multitaskers: They have to stop to think >>

<< While exploring, a Temnothorax albipennis worker ant (..) alternates between moving and pausing. An ant processes incoming chemical information only while stalled >>

Edmund R. Hunt, Roland J. Baddeley, et al. Ants determine their next move at rest: motor planning and causality in complex systems. Royal Society Open Science. Published online January 13, 2016.  doi: 10.1098/rsos.15034.

# s-brain: stress, differences between the sexes

<< Men and women react differently to stress. Animal studies suggest the root of the difference is messaging within the brain >>

<< But until recently, studies of people’s responses to such stress have focused primarily on men >>

Susan Gaidos. Scientists puzzle over why men and women react differently to pressure. 2:30PM, JANUARY 11, 2016

sabato 16 gennaio 2016

# s-behav: sophisticated communication

<< Flirting is a full-scale production for torrent frogs >>

Fábio P. de Sá, Juliana Zina, Célio F. B. Haddad. Sophisticated Communication in the Brazilian Torrent Frog Hylodes japi. PLoS ONE 11(1): e0145444. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0145444

# s-chem: fuel from air

<< A highly efficient homogeneous catalyst system for the production of CH3OH from CO2 using pentaethylenehexamine and Ru-Macho-BH (1) at 125–165 °C in an ethereal solvent has been developed (initial turnover frequency = 70 h–1 at 145 °C) >>

<< Various sources of CO2 can be used for this reaction including air, despite its low CO2 concentration (400 ppm) >>

Jotheeswari Kothandaraman, Alain Goeppert, et al. Conversion of CO2 from Air into Methanol Using a Polyamine and a Homogeneous Ruthenium Catalyst. Journal of the American Chemical Society. December 29, 2015. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.5b12354

Andy Extance. Carbon dioxide-to-methanol catalyst ignites ‘fuel from air’ debate. 14 January 2016

venerdì 15 gennaio 2016

# s-brain: distinct cortical pathways for music and speech

<< for the first time, MIT neuroscientists have identified a neural population in the human auditory cortex that responds selectively to sounds that people typically categorize as music, but not to speech or other environmental sounds >>

Sam Norman-Haignere, Nancy G. Kanwisher, Josh H. McDermott. Distinct Cortical Pathways for Music and Speech Revealed by Hypothesis-Free Voxel Decomposition. DOI: |

# s-acad: a tribute to lab research mice, Novosibirsk, Russia

<< The statue stands six feet tall and sits near the Institute of Cytology and Genetics in Novosibirsk, Russia >>

Artist Andrew Kharevich

giovedì 14 gennaio 2016

# rmx-s-gst: inside noisiness

<< we simply cannot live a life without encountering noise >>

Chen-Pang Yeang, Joan Lisa Bromberg. Understanding noise in twentieth-century physics and engineering. Perspective on Science, 2016, 24(1): 1-6


May RM. Simple mathematical models with very complicated dynamics. Nature. 1976 Jun 10;261(5560):459-67.

# s-pharma: about inflammation: aspirin vs reduced lethal prostate cancer

<< Among undiagnosed men who took regular aspirin, the risk of developing a lethal form of prostate cancer was reduced by 24 percent, and among those already diagnosed with the disease, regular aspirin use lowered their risk of dying from it by 39 percent >>

2016 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium, American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). San Francisco from January 7-9, 2016


# rmx-s-gst: inner dances: to get a sense ...

<< To get a sense for supercoiled DNA,  imagine twisting a piece of string. Let the string go, and it unwinds. Twist it enough, and it folds back on itself. The degree of twist puts stress on the string, which governs the shape it takes >>

Rossitza N. Irobalieva, Jonathan M. Fogg, et al. Structural diversity of supercoiled DNA. Nature Communications 6, Article number: 8440 doi:10.1038/ncomms9440

mercoledì 13 gennaio 2016

# rmx-s-behav: a bizarre paddle game (about safety waves ...)

<< Males of a newly discovered species of jumping spider [Jotus remus] spend hours waving special paddle-shaped legs at prospective mates, in an effort to copulate without being attacked – or even eaten.

Mating can potentially cost you your life if you are a male spider. To avoid becoming lunch, Jotus remus plays a game first to tire out hungry females >>

Jürgen  C.  Otto, David  E.  Hill. Males  of  a  new  species  of  Jotus  from  Australia  wave  a  paddle-shaped lure  to  solicit  nearby  females  (AraneaeSalticidaeEuophryini). PECKHAMIA 133.1, 7 January 2016,  1―39    (registered  6  JAN  2016) 1 ISSN  2161―8526 (print) ISSN  1944―8120 (online)

lunedì 11 gennaio 2016

# e-sec: "soft" vulnerabilities (2015)

<< CVSS Score Distribution For Top 50 Vendors By Total Number Of "Distinct" Vulnerabilities >>

CVSS - Common Vulnerability Scoring System -  National Vulnerability Database (NVD)

domenica 10 gennaio 2016

# n-ger: instabile Henriette, sull'onda che risuona d'echi lontani ...

<< Tra i consigli che andranno a formare il "codice di condotta" c'è anche quello di tenersi lontane dagli sconosciuti "a una distanza equivalente a un braccio" >>

Laura Eduati. Il consiglio anti-stupro della sindaca di Colonia è roba da Medioevo. 7 gennaio 2016.

<< La verità di cui dobbiamo discutere è proprio questa: il rapporto dell'Islam con le donne è un tema devastante, intriso di violenza e di politica, e non è tale solo nelle forme più estreme, nelle terre più bruciate del Medio Oriente, nelle esperienze più allucinate e militanti delle guerre dell'Isis o del terrorismo >>

Lucia Annunziata. Cirinnà sì, Colonia no? Quante madamine in Parlamento. 9 gennaio 2015