According to Toshiyuki Nakagaki, a professor at Future University Hakodate the lowly slime mold that most of us associate with gym showers and broke college students may be what helps us make the next major breakthrough in Biotechnology and computer algorithms.
Basically, Physarum polycephalum, or grape-cluster slime which looks like mayonnaise when looked at without a microscope has the ability to organize its cells to create the most direct root through a maze to a source of food. During experiments the research team successfully managed to get the molds to form the pattern of a railway system quite similar to the railroad networks of the Kanto region centering Tokyo. If this can be harnessed then we can use the networks in future designs of transport systems. The best part is that the networks created are resistant to unexpected stimulus so if used in real world applications that would make them resilient and fault tolerant.
He says slime molds can create much more effective networks than even the most advanced technology that currently exists.
“Computers are not so good at analysing the best routes that connect many base points because the volume of calculations becomes too large for them,” Tero explained.
“But slime molds, without calculating all the possible options, can flow over areas in an impromptu manner and gradually find the best routes.
“Slime molds that have survived for hundreds of millions of years can flexibly adjust themselves to a change of the environment,” he said. “They can even create networks that are resistant to unexpected stimulus.”
Research has shown slime molds become inactive when subjected to stress such as temperature or humidity changes. They even appear to “remember” the stresses and protectively become inactive when they might expect to experience them.
Sources: Yahoo News & Engadget
Following in the footsteps of The Royal Society, Cambridge University has digitized and made available online; the notebooks in which Sir Isaac Newton worked out his theories that are the basis of most of the classical science.
Included in the collection are Newton’s own copy of his 1687 masterwork, Philosophiæ naturalis principia mathematica, in which he described with mathematical rigor his laws of motion and gravitation. The digitized version also includes Newton’s own edits and marginalia, plus many pages of handwritten notes.
Philosophiæ naturalis principia mathematica handwritten notes
Also included are some early papers; a notebook Newton inherited from his stepfather known as the Waste Book, in which he wrote down some of his work on developing calculus; a pair of college notebooks; and a raft of papers on Hydrostatics, Optics, Sound and Heat.
Looks like people are finally realizing that sharing information is good. Looking forward to seeing more such items being shared. Way to go Cambridge!
You can browse the archive at the Cambridge Digital Library.
Source: BBC News
George Takei, best known for his role as Hikaru Sulu in Star Trek has issued a video statement on YouTube to broker a “star peace” between the two famous franchises so that they can focus on a common threat: Twilight. I don’t usually share videos on my blog but I had to share this one as I am a fan of both Star Wars and Star Trek, plus I really don’t like Twilight.
According to Takei, the sparkly vampire franchise is “really, really bad,” and lacks heroism and epic battle. He also claims that the only lesson to be learned from Twilight is “does my boyfriend like me?”
Watch the video on YouTube and then go spread the word
Source: The Daily What?
I have been using 1and1.com as my hosting provider for a while now (since 2005) and have been happy with the service for the most par, however after their recent pricing change the service is getting to be a bit more expensive than I am comfortable with so I am thinking about changing webhosting providers. What hosting providers do you use and would recommend? I need the following feature sets in the service:
- MySQL DB: Fairly large no of databases with large storage allocations
- Full SSH Shell Access
- Unlimited Bandwidth (Have gotten bit by this a few times)
- Email Accounts: A fairly high no with large quota’s (I never delete mails)
- Perl Support
- Multiple Domains allowed
- High availability/uptime
Thanks in advance.