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Mike's Tech Notes for 1/29/2012. Boltzmann machine. A graphical representation of an example Boltzmann machine.

Boltzmann machine

Each undirected edge represents dependency. Demonstrations of Kilobot collective behaivors on up to 29 robots. Infinispan - Open Source Data Grids. Distributed in-memory key/value data grid and cache Latest news.

Infinispan - Open Source Data Grids

Open Source Ecology. Center for Models of Life - CMOL: Models / Interactive Java Applets. Coverage of mRNA by Ribosomes and mRNA Half Life Bacterial mRNAs are translated by closely spaced ribosomes and degraded from the 5′-end, with half-lives of around 2 min at 37 °C in most cases.

Center for Models of Life - CMOL: Models / Interactive Java Applets

Ribosome-free or “naked” mRNA is known to be readily degraded, but the initial event that inactivates the mRNA functionally has not been fully described. Genome comparison of ants establishes new model species for molecular research. By comparing two species of ants, Shelley Berger, PhD, the Daniel S.

Genome comparison of ants establishes new model species for molecular research

Och University Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, and colleagues Danny Reinberg, PhD, New York University, and Juergen Liebig, PhD, Arizona State University, have established an important new avenue of research for epigenetics -- the study of how the expression or suppression of particular genes affects an organism's characteristics, development, and even behavior. Ants, the new model system used in this study, organize themselves into caste-based societies in which most of the individuals are sterile females, limited to highly specialized roles such as workers and soldiers.

Only one queen and the relatively small contingent of male ants are fertile and able to reproduce. Yet despite such extreme differences in behavior and physical form, all females within the colony appear to be genetically identical. Manipulating microbes in the gut may remedy disease and enhance health. Natural selection alone can explain eusociality, scientists say. Scientists at Harvard University have sketched a new map of the "evolutionary labyrinth" species must traverse to reach eusociality, the rare but spectacularly successful social structure where individuals cooperate to raise offspring.

Natural selection alone can explain eusociality, scientists say

Mathematical biologists Martin A. Nowak and Corina E. Tarnita and evolutionary biologist Edward O. Wilson present their work this week in the journal Nature. Their modeling shows that the straightforward natural selection theory alone can explain the evolution of eusocial behavior, without the need for kin selection theory. "The empirical evidence gathered in our paper demonstrates that eusociality is exceedingly rare because species must navigate a lengthy evolutionary labyrinth to reach this state," says Wilson, the Pellegrino University Professor, Emeritus, at Harvard.

Increased honey bee diversity means fewer pathogens, more helpful bacteria. A novel study of honey bee genetic diversity co-authored by an Indiana University biologist has for the first time found that greater diversity in worker bees leads to colonies with fewer pathogens and more abundant helpful bacteria like probiotic species.

Increased honey bee diversity means fewer pathogens, more helpful bacteria

Led by IU Bloomington assistant professor Irene L.G. Newton and Wellesley College assistant professor Heather Mattila, and co-authors from Wellesley College and the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, the new work describes the communities of active bacteria harbored by honey bee colonies. Biologist discovers 'stop' signal in honey bee communication.

A biologist at UC San Diego has discovered that honey bees warn their nest mates about dangers they encounter while feeding with a special signal that's akin to a "stop" sign for bees.

Biologist discovers 'stop' signal in honey bee communication

The discovery, detailed in a paper in the February 23 issue of the journal Current Biology, which appears online February 11, resulted from a series of experiments on honey bees foraging for food that were attacked by competitors from nearby colonies fighting for food at an experimental feeder. The bees that were attacked then produced a specific signal to stop nest mates who were recruiting others for this dangerous location. Honey bees use a waggle dance to communicate the location of food and other resources. Attacked bees directed "stop" signals at nest mates waggle dancing for the dangerous location.

Social Insects Could Offer Clues About Genetic Conflict. From universities, journals, and other organizations Date: April 15, 2002 Source: Rice University Summary:

Social Insects Could Offer Clues About Genetic Conflict

Darwin Was Right About How Evolution Can Affect Whole Group. Worker ants of the world, unite!

Darwin Was Right About How Evolution Can Affect Whole Group

You have nothing to lose but your fertility. The highly specialized worker castes in ants represent the pinnacle of social organization in the insect world. As in any society, however, ant colonies are filled with internal strife and conflict. So what binds them together? More than 150 years ago, Charles Darwin had an idea and now he's been proven right. Evolutionary biologists at McGill University have discovered molecular signals that can maintain social harmony in ants by putting constraints on their fertility. "We've discovered a really elegant developmental mechanism, which we call 'reproductive constraint,' that challenges the classic paradigm that behaviour, such as policing, is the only way to enforce harmony and squash selfish behaviour in ant societies," said Abouheif, McGill's Canada Research Chair in Evolutionary Developmental Biology.

Colonies of bacteria fight for resources with lethal protein. Rival colonies of bacteria can produce a lethal chemical that keeps competitors at bay, scientists report.

Colonies of bacteria fight for resources with lethal protein

Bugs In The Gut Could Play Key Role In Understanding Human Disease And Drug Toxicity. Understanding how microbes in the gut interact with the body could lead scientists and doctors to new a understanding and novel treatments for diseases say scientists from Imperial College London and Astra Zeneca. In a review published today in Nature Biotechnology, researchers describe how microbes in the gut form the second largest metabolic 'organ' in the body and play a key role in disease processes alongside genetic and environmental factors. Microbes in the gut can weigh up to one kilogram in a normal adult human, and collectively can contain more genes than the host.

The combination of interacting genes from the body and gut microbes can be considered a 'super-organism', capable of co-ordinating many physiological and metabolic responses, say the researchers. Insect colonies operate as 'superorganisms', new research finds. Competition, Loss Of Selfishness Mark Shift To Supersociety. 'Autoantibodies' May Be Created In Response To Bacterial DNA. Autoimmune diseases have long been regarded as illnesses in which the immune system creates autoantibodies to attack the body itself.

But, researchers at the California non-profit Autoimmunity Research Foundation (ARF) explain that the antibodies observed in autoimmune disease actually result from alteration of human genes and gene products by hidden bacteria. Not long ago, scientists believed they had located all bacteria capable of causing human disease, But DNA discoveries in the last decade have led the NIH Human Microbiome Project to now estimate that as many as 90% of cells in the body are bacterial in origin. Many of these bacteria, which have yet to be named and characterized, have been implicated in the progression of autoimmune disease. "When analyzing a genetic pathway, we must study how bacterial and human genes interact, in order to fully understand any process related to the human superorganism," states Marshall.