giovedì 31 agosto 2017

# evol: about dino's status symbol

<< The thick body armour on some dinosaurs seems perfectly engineered to foil hungry predators. But the remains of a newly discovered armoured dinosaur hint that its spiky suit had another role: showing off to potential mates and rivals >>

<< Borealopelta lived around 110 million years ago >>

Traci Watson. Dinosaurs' spiky armour may have been status symbol. Soft-tissue patterns on a well-preserved fossil suggest that elaborate spines helped dinosaurs to attract mates and communicate. Nature doi:10.1038/nature.2017.22511 Aug 26, 2017

mercoledì 30 agosto 2017

# brain: to consider neurons driven by a shot noise

<< Individual presynaptic spikes can have a significant effect on a neuron's dynamics. It is thus desirable to explicitly account for the pulse-like nature of neural input, i.e. consider neurons driven by a shot noise >>

Droste F, Lindner B. Exact analytical results for integrate-and-fire neurons driven by excitatory shot noise. J Comput Neurosci. 2017 Aug;43(1):81-91. doi: 10.1007/s10827-017-0649-5. Epub 2017 Jun 6.

martedì 29 agosto 2017

# gst: something that is called "non-stationarity"

<< “We’re looking at historical data when really we have something that is called non-stationarity,” Dr. Knight [Sandra Knight, a senior research engineer at the University of Maryland and a former official at the Federal Emergency Management Agency] said. “The world isn’t stationary anymore and the hydrology isn’t. The landscape isn’t. So why are we still presuming the future will look like the past?”

Nadja Popovich, Claire O'Neill. A ‘500-Year Flood’ Could Happen Again Sooner Than You Think. Here’s Why. Aug. 28, 2017

lunedì 28 agosto 2017

# astro: the binary black hole spin distribution, a sort of cosmic estension of Mr. Jelly Roll

<< The direct detection of gravitational waves from merging binary black holes opens up a window into the environments in which binary black holes form. One signature of such environments is the angular distribution of the black hole spins >>

AA << report that, if the magnitudes of the black hole spins are allowed to extend to high values, the effective spins for these systems indicate a 0.015 odds ratio against an aligned angular distribution compared to an isotropic one [isotropic spin orientation: the spins of the black holes are randomly oriented with respect to the orbit of the binary system]. When considering the effect of ten additional detections, this odds ratio decreases to 2.9 × 10−7 against alignment >>

Will M. Farr, Simon Stevenson, et al. Distinguishing spin-aligned and isotropic black hole populations with gravitational waves. Nature 548, 426–429 Aug 24, 2017 doi: 10.1038/nature23453

<< Amico, qualunque  cosa suonerai . . . suonerai Jelly Roll >>

Jelly Roll Morton (opp. Mouton, alias di Ferdinand La Menthe, opp. La Mothe, New Orleans, 20 ott ~1885 - Los Angeles, 10 luglio 1941, ~56a).  Ref: Alan Lomax. "Mister Jelly Roll". Duell, Sloan & Pearce, New York (1950);  cit. in: Arrigo Polillo, "JAZZ". Oscar Saggi Mondadori. (1977):315,325.

domenica 27 agosto 2017

# cvd: oops! so (maybe) high levels of hdl cho (high-density lipoprotein cholesterol) don't seem so good ...

<< Men and women in the general population with extreme high HDL cholesterol paradoxically have high all-cause mortality. These findings need confirmation in other studies >>

Madsen CM, Varbo A, Nordestgaard BG.  Extreme high high-density lipoprotein cholesterol is paradoxically associated with high mortality in men and women: two prospective cohort studies. Eur Heart J. Apr 12, 2017. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehx163.

Philip J. Barter, Kerry-Anne Rye; HDL cholesterol concentration or HDL function: which matters? European Heart Journal, Volume 38, Issue 32, 21 August 2017, Pages 2487–2489,

High levels of 'good' cholesterol linked to excessive mortality. Aug 23, 2017


("high-density lipoprotein cholesterol"[ALL] OR "HDL-lipoprotein cholesterol"[ALL]) AND "mortality"[ALL]

sabato 26 agosto 2017

# gst: modeling around the edge of a crack

<< It is said that a weak link determines the strength of the entire chain. Likewise, defects or small cracks in a solid material may ultimately determine the strength of that material – how well it will withstand various forces >>

<< What, exactly, happens right around the edge of the crack, in the area in which those large stresses are concentrated? >>

The Breaking Point. What happens at the moving edge of crack? Aug 23, 2017

AA << show that cracks undergo an oscillatory instability controlled by small-scale, near crack-tip, elastic nonlinearity. This instability occurs above an ultrahigh critical velocity and features an intrinsic wavelength proportional to the ratio of the fracture energy to the elastic modulus (..) This ratio emerges as a fundamental scaling length assumed to play no role in the classical theory of cracks, but shown here to strongly influence crack dynamics >>

Chih-Hung Chen, Eran Bouchbinder & Alain Karma. Instability in dynamic fracture and the failure of the classical theory of cracks. Nature Physics doi: 10.1038/nphys4237 Publ. Aug 21, 2017

venerdì 25 agosto 2017

# trade: the national cryptocurrency 'estcoin' by Kaspar, the begin?

<< In a Tuesday blog post, Kaspar Korjus, the managing director of the e-Residency program, said this experience gave Estonia an edge over other countries that are considering the introduction of national cryptocurrencies. Indeed, the estcoin could become bound up with the rest of the e-Residency ecosystem >>

David Meyer. This Country May Launch Its Own Virtual Currency. Aug 23, 2017

Estonia could offer ‘estcoins’ to e-residents. The proposal to issue crypto tokens would make the Republic of Estonia the first country with an Initial Coin Offering (ICO). Aug 22, 2017


# e-ai: an intriguing hypothesis: cheating that system will become near impossible

giovedì 24 agosto 2017

# ecol: reprogrammed by a virus

AA << work demonstrates how a virus can amend host–viral dynamics by modulating acquisition of nutrients from the environment >>

AA << data show that a virus can acquire genes encoding nutrient transporters from a host genome and that expression of the viral gene can alter the nutrient uptake behavior of host cells >>

AA << results have implications for understanding how viruses manipulate the physiology and ecology of phytoplankton, influence marine nutrient cycles, and act as vectors for horizontal gene transfer >>

Adam Moniera, Aurelie Chambouvet, et al. Host-derived viral transporter protein for nitrogen uptake in infected marine phytoplankton. PNAS doi: 10.1073/pnas.1708097114

<< A virus which infects ocean plankton can reprogramme cells and change the way they absorb nutrients - potentially changing how carbon is stored in the ocean >>

Virus reprograms ocean plankton.
Aug 21, 2017

martedì 22 agosto 2017

# gst: concerning turbulences, turbulence researchers & lovers ...

<< Charles Doering, a mathematical physicist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, says he hopes that the approach might ultimately point the way to a model of turbulence that is simpler to use than the Navier–Stokes equations, and works in all situations. That is the “grand dream”, he says >>

Davide Castelvecchi. Mysteries of turbulence unravelled. Simulations follow how swirls in a fluid transfer and dissipate energy. Aug 21, 2017 Corrected: Aug 22, 2017


"a model of turbulence that is simpler to use (..) and works in all situations"; una intelligenza artificiale, anche genericamente  di "media forza" sara' senz'altro in totale accordo con Charles Doering.

lunedì 21 agosto 2017

# gene: 99 loci to drive general cognitive function

AA << combined cognitive and genetic data from the CHARGE and COGENT consortia, and UK Biobank (total N=280,360; age range = 16 to 102) >>

AA << found 9,714 genome-wide significant SNPs  [Single Nucleotide Polymorphism] (P<5 x 10-8) in 99 independent loci >>

<< Among many novel genes associated with general cognitive function were SGCZ, ATXN1, MAPT, AUTS2, and P2RY6 >>

Gail Davies, Max Lam, et al. Ninety-nine independent genetic loci influencing general cognitive function include genes associated with brain health and structure (N = 280,360). biorxiv. doi: 10.1101/176511 Aug18, 2017.


il sistema a 3 palle in fisica (three-body problem) qui genericamente estensibile a 99 ...

three-body problem:

Jon Cartwright. Physicists  Discover a Whopping 13 New  Solutions to Three-Body  Problem. Mar. 8, 2013

Institute  of  Physics  Belgrade. Three-body gallery

sabato 19 agosto 2017

# phyto: feel sounds to spot water

AA << used the model plant Pisum sativum to investigate the mechanism by which roots sense and locate water >>

AA << found that roots were able to locate a water source by sensing the vibrations generated by water moving inside pipes, even in the absence of substrate moisture. When both moisture and acoustic cues were available, roots preferentially used moisture in the soil over acoustic vibrations, suggesting that acoustic gradients enable roots to broadly detect a water source at a distance, while moisture gradients help them to reach their target more accurately >>

AA << results also showed that the presence of noise affected the abilities of roots to perceive and respond correctly to the surrounding soundscape >>

Monica Gagliano, Mavra Grimonprez, et al. Tuned in: plant roots use sound to locate water. Oecologia. Volume 184, Issue 1, pp 151–160. May 2017

venerdì 18 agosto 2017

# websec: everyone is a target (N3v$r M1^d!), by Kevin

<< At the end of the day, Cardwell [Kevin Cardwell] notes that "no product will make you secure." What's important is setting up a process of defenses because he says, "everyone is a target." >>

Leah Becerra. How to protect your data from cyberattacks. The Kansas City Star. May 25, 2017


<< “Much of what I did I now regret,” Burr [Bill Burr], who is now retired, told the Wall Street Journal. “In the end, it was probably too complicated for a lot of folks to understand very well, and the truth is, it was barking up the wrong tree.” >>

James Titcomb. Password guru who told the world to make them complicated admits: I got it completely wrong. 8 Aug 8, 2017

Robert McMillan. The Man Who Wrote Those Password Rules Has a New Tip: N3v$r M1^d! Aug. 7, 2017

giovedì 17 agosto 2017

# s-acad: the nomad razor by Richard

<< Over drinks one evening, a Christian journalist described witnessing an episode of faith healing. Instead of dismissing the story outright, Dawkins pressed for details >>

<< Some people define atheism as a positive conviction that there are no gods and agnosticism as allowing for the possibility, however slight. In this sense I am agnostic, as any scientist would be. But only in the same way I am agnostic about leprechauns and fairies. Other people define agnosticism as the belief that the existence of gods is as probable as their nonexistence.  In this sense I am certainly not agnostic >> Richard Dawkins

John  Horgan.  Richard Dawkins Offers Advice for Donald Trump, and Other Wisdom. Aug 10, 2017.

mercoledì 16 agosto 2017

# s-behav: they behave strangely in the darkness caused by a solar eclipse

<< Many accounts of solar eclipses include tales of animals behaving strangely >>

<< There’s a lot of anecdotal evidence for how animals and even plants respond to totality [of solar eclipses] >>

<< Crickets chirped and frogs croaked [..]  Gnats and mosquitoes swarmed [..] Bees returned to hives and chickens to roost >>

<< small, light-sensitive crustaceans and zooplankton swam upward toward the dark during eclipses, similar to how the tiny animals behave at night >>

<< The sun’s disappearance prompted orb weaver spiders to take down their webs >>

<< captive chimpanzees scaled a climbing structure and faced the blocked sun >>

Lisa Grossman. What do plants and animals do during an eclipse?
A citizen science project aims to gather data to put science behind anecdotal evidence. Aug 12, 2017

<< The behavior of colonial orb-weaving spiders (Metepeira incrassata) in tropical Veracruz, Mexico was studied during the total solar eclipse on July 11, 1991. Spiders behaved in a manner typical of daily activity until totality, when many began taking down webs. After solar reappearance, most spiders that had begun taking down webs rebuilt them >>

Uetz, G.W., Hieber, C.S., et al.     Behavior of Colonial Orb-weaving Spiders during a Solar Eclipse. Ethology, 96: 24–32. Jan 12, 1994. doi:10.1111/j.1439-0310.1994.tb00878.x

<< This year, the California Academy of Sciences is soliciting citizen scientists to record their observations of any animals they see using the academy’s iNaturalist app >>

Solar Eclipse 2017: Life Responds.

domenica 13 agosto 2017

# n-soc: charlottesville, what to do now, by Jeffrey

<< The question is: what to do now? The answer lies in the source of the problem. The huge mess began with bad ideas. The only means available – and it is the most powerful – is to fight bad ideas with good ideas. >>

<< What are those good ideas?  The progress of the last 500 years shows us precisely what the good ideas are: social harmony, human rights, the aspiration of universal dignity, the conviction that we can work together in mutual advantage, the market economy as a means of peace and prosperity, and, above all else, the beauty and magnificence of the idea of liberty itself. >>

Jeffrey A. Tucker. The Violence in Charlottesville. Aug 12, 2017


# n-laws: nashville looks back. Apr 8, 2016.

sabato 12 agosto 2017

# s-evol: nomadic pulses: when dinosaurs ruled the earth, they took to the skies ...

<< New fossil discoveries show that prehistoric “squirrels” glided through forests at least 160 million years ago, long before scientists had thought >>

<< In a study published on Wednesday, a team of paleontologists added some particularly fascinating new creatures to the Mesozoic Menagerie. These mammals did not lurk in the shadows of dinosaurs >>

Carl Zimmer. When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth, Mammals Took to the Skies. August 9, 2017

<< Two new eleutherodonts from the Late Jurassic period have skin membranes and skeletal features that are adapted for gliding >>

Qing-Jin Meng,David M. Grossnickle, et al. New gliding mammaliaforms from the Jurassic. Nature  (2017) doi:10.1038/nature23476 Publ. Aug 09, 2017

giovedì 10 agosto 2017

# s-gst: they take decisions in a way that is not necessarily uniform (jazzy? funky? fuzzy?)

AA << found that fate decision is not a unique programmed event, but the result of a very dynamic process composed of spontaneous fluctuation and selective stabilisation of alternative cellular states >>

<< The whole process is reminiscent of trial-and-error learning in which each cell explores—at its own rhythm and independently of cell division—different molecular possibilities (i.e. different genes turned on or off) before reaching a stable combination of active genes and the corresponding morphology >>

AA << observed that some cells seem to "hesitate" and change morphology many times before reaching a stable state >>

Which type of cell to become: Decision through indecision.
July 27, 2017

<< Individual cells take lineage commitment decisions in a way that is not necessarily uniform >>

AA << identifies a new category of cells with fluctuating phenotypic characteristics, demonstrating the complexity of the fate decision process >>

Alice Moussy, Jérémie Cosette, et al. Integrated time-lapse and single-cell transcription studies highlight the variable and dynamic nature of human hematopoietic cell fate commitment. PLoS Biol 15(7): e2001867 doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.2001867


in pratica un lancio di dadi, ... quasi.

<< Amico, qualunque  cosa suonerai . . . >>

mercoledì 9 agosto 2017

# s-phyto: mRNA instability may facilitate rapid recovery of plants after stressful events

<< Stress recovery may prove to be a promising approach to increase plant performance, and theoretically, mRNA instability may facilitate faster recovery.   Transcriptome (RNA-seq, qPCR, sRNA-seq, PARE) and methylome profiling during repeated excess-light stress and recovery was performed at intervals as short as three minutes >>

AA << demonstrate that 87% of the stress-upregulated mRNAs analysed exhibit very rapid recovery >>

Peter Alexander Crisp, Diep Ganguly, et al.  Rapid recovery gene downregulation during excess-light stress and recovery in Arabidopsis. The Plant Cell Publ. July 2017 doi: 10.1105/tpc.16.00828

martedì 8 agosto 2017

# s-esobio: self-assembled azotosomes by convective activity, a kind of proto-life on Titan.

<< vinyl cyanide (C2H3CN; also known as acrylonitrile or propenenitrile) would be the best candidate species for the formation of (..) cell-like membranes, known as “azotosomes” >>

AA << report the first spectroscopic detection of vinyl cyanide in Titan’s atmosphere, obtained using archival data from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), collected from February to May 2014 >>

AA << detect the three strongest rotational lines of C2H3CN in the frequency range of 230 to 232 GHz, each with >4σ confidence >>

the << production rate of vinyl cyanide and its saturation mole fraction imply the availability of sufficient dissolved material to form ~107 cell membranes/cm3 in Titan’s sea Ligeia Mare (Titan's second largest liquid body) >>

<< Reactions of hydrocarbons with hydrogen, both readily available on Titan, release energy, which could provide support for methanogenic life. The sedimentation time of atmospheric organics depends on the particle size and convective activity in the troposphere. This coupling of Titan’s atmosphere and surface completes the picture regarding the astrobiological importance of (..) detection of vinyl cyanide in Titan’s middle/upper atmosphere >>

Maureen Y. Palmer, Martin A. Cordiner, et al. ALMA detection and astrobiological potential of vinyl cyanide on Titan. Science Advances  28 Jul 2017: Vol. 3, no. 7, e1700022
doi: 10.1126/sciadv.1700022

lunedì 7 agosto 2017

# s-evol: a noise effect inside: new species pulsating by chance instead of ...

<< W. Andrew Barr, a visiting assistant professor of anthropology, published a report that says it's possible the pulse of new species could have occurred by chance and might not be directly related to climate change >>

Researcher's paper challenges the claim that the genus Homo originated in response to environmental changes. Aug 4, 2017

W. Andrew Barr. Signal or noise? A null model method for evaluating the significance of turnover pulses. Paleobiology 2017 doi: 10.1017/pab.2017.21 Publ. online: 31 July 2017


<< "Nell' Arte tutto e', o dovrebbe essere, un esperimento". Gill Evans. >>

2127 - enigmistiche tonalita'. March 23, 2007

sabato 5 agosto 2017

# s-phys: nanoquakes: driving them by phononic crystals

<< the extreme frequency sound waves - also known as surface acoustic waves [SAW] or 'nanoquakes' , as they run across the surface of a solid material in a similar manner to earthquake tremors on land >>

<< Although surface acoustic waves form a key component of a host of technologies, they have proved extremely difficult to control with any degree of accuracy >>

[AA] << have developed a new type of structure, known as a ' phononic crystal,' which when patterned into a device, can be used to steer and guide the nanoquakes >>

Riding the wave: Pioneering research tames nanoquakes. Aug 2, 2017

<< Phononic crystals can control the propagation of SAW, analogous to photonic crystals, enabling components such as waveguides and cavities >>

B. J. Ash, S. R. Worsfold, et al. A highly attenuating and frequency tailorable annular hole phononic crystal for surface acoustic waves.  Nature Communications 8, Article number: 174 (2017)  doi:10.1038/s41467-017-00278-0

giovedì 3 agosto 2017

# s-esobio: seeking a new "planetary protection officer"

<< Nasa is seeking a new "planetary protection officer" tasked with defending the earth from alien life >>

<< It is not a new idea - the original United Nations treaty on space exploration, signed in 1967, called for space-faring nations to take care about contaminants >>

Planetary protection officer wanted, generous salary. BBC. 02 Aug 2017

<< The mission of the Office of Planetary Protection is to promote the responsible exploration of the solar system by implementing and developing efforts that protect the science, explored environments, and Earth >>

About Planetary Protection. Aug 3, 2017

<< Degree: physical science, engineering, or mathematics that included 24 semester hours in physical science and/or related engineering science such as mechanics, dynamics, properties of materials, and electronics >>

FonT: nella lista dei requisiti desiderabili non sono contemplate le lauree in biologia, biochimica ...

"physical science"

mercoledì 2 agosto 2017

# s-gst: the importance of noise (transcriptional noise) in stem cell. dev., by Wolf et al.

<< Random differences between cells early in development could be the key to making different cells in the body, according to new research from a team co-led by Professor Wolf Reik >>

<< when cells start specialising into different cell types their gene activity becomes more 'noisy' - each cell starts to turn different groups of genes on or off >>

Noise helps cells make decisions: Team reveals the importance of genetic noise in development. Aug 1, 2017

AA << study systematically charts transcriptional noise and uncovers molecular processes associated with early lineage decisions >>

Hisham Mohammed, Irene Hernando-Herraez, et al. Single-Cell Landscape of Transcriptional Heterogeneity and Cell Fate Decisions during Mouse Early Gastrulation. Cell Reports , Volume 20 , Issue 5 , 1215 - 1228 doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2017.07.009 Publ. Aug 1, 2017

martedì 1 agosto 2017

# s-astro: cosmic nomads, transfers, impacts

a) cosmic nomads

Lee Billings. Wandering in the Void, Billions of Rogue Planets without a Home. New results suggest free-floating giant planets are less common than previously believed, but hint at vast numbers of smaller castaway worlds. July 24, 2017

b) cosmic transfers

Ashley Yeager. Half of the Milky Way comes from other galaxies
Simulations suggest that galactic winds blew the material in from elsewhere. July 26, 2017

Daniel Angles-Alcazar
Claude-Andre Faucher-Giguere
et al. The cosmic baryon cycle and galaxy mass assembly in the FIRE simulations. Mon Not R Astron Soc (2017) 470 (4): 4698-4719. doi: 10.1093/mnras/stx1517
Publ. June 20, 2017

c) cosmic impacts

Jenny Wells. Evidence of impacts that structured the Milky Way galaxy. July 18, 2017

Deborah Ferguson, Susan Gardner, Brian Yanny. Milky Way Tomography with K and M Dwarf Stars: The Vertical Structure of the Galactic Disk. The American Astronomical Society. The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 843, Number 2 . Publ. July 14, 2017.