Complexity Science

By Jacob F Davis | Observing Complex and emergent phenomena in science, society, and art. A companion to "Complexity Economics" on Flipboard. A project of Economplex.org.

An Exploration of the Human Brain: Charlie Rose

Tonight, we continue on our exploration of the human brain with the look at the relationship between childhood adversity and the developing brain. …

The Brain

Harnessing electricity-generating bacteria to clean up drinking water

The bacteria <i>Shewanella oneidensis</i> is a heavy metal fan. Its taste for iron, lead and mercury make it useful for cleaning water of these contaminants, …

NASA releases first results from 'Year In Space' twin study

Scott and Mark Kelly were part of a bold experiment to see how the human body fared after a year in space Photo: NASA<p>The first results from NASA’s …

Scientists Create A New Kind Of Matter: Time Crystals

The crystals' patterns repeat not in space, but in time.<p>Crystals are structures in which a pattern of atoms or molecules repeats in space. Now, two teams of researchers have figured out that crystals' repeating patterns can also exist through time. These "time crystals," detailed in a new paper in …

Quantum Mechanics

The Strange Beauty Of Bioluminescent Fish

The new book Fire in the Sea brings one eccentric marine biologist's paintings out of obscurity.<p>David McKee, a retired biology professor from Texas A&M University, never got the chance to talk to Henry Compton about his art. Compton, an eccentric marine biologist and local fishing pier manager, …

The large-bodied earthworm. (Photo: hoppy4840) https://t.co/ECryaVba5X

The weird mating habits of daddy longlegs

COLUMBIA, Mo. — If you find a daddy longlegs in your house, don’t be scared. “Daddy longlegs are actually pretty docile animals when it comes to …

Zoology

How a robot wrote for Engadget

John McCarthy, the late computer scientist who first coined the term "artificial intelligence," famously said: "As soon as it works, no one calls it AI any more." What was once cutting-edge AI is now considered standard behavior for computers. As I write this, my computer is continuously performing …

The Audacious Plan to Save This Man’s Life by Transplanting His Head

What would happen if it actually works?<p>Like a little white Lazarus with red eyes, the paralyzed mouse was walking again.<p>A few days earlier, the mouse had been sprawled on an operating table while two Chinese graduate students peered through a microscope and operated on its spine. With a tiny pair …

Biotechnology

IBM's Watson AI saved a woman from leukemia

It discovered a rare illness that doctors had missed.<p>IBM's Watson has done everything from winning at <i>Jeopardy</i> to cooking exotic meals, but it appears to have accomplished its greatest feat yet: saving a life. University of Tokyo doctors report that the artificial intelligence diagnosed a …

Why do we wake up stiff in the mornings? Scientists discover the answer

Scientists have discovered why we wake up stiff in the morning - because our body's natural ibuprofen has not kicked in yet.<p>Researchers revealed the reason our limbs can feel rigid and achy when we rise is because the body's biological clock suppresses anti-inflammatory proteins during sleep.<p>When …

Eight-spotted crab spiders hide in flowers, killing & eating bees when they come to get pollen. (Photo: Nicky Bay) https://t.co/QPfQVq8nLb

Queen J.K. Rowling had the best response to scientists questioning female orgasm

We all know that J.K. Rowling is an actual queen. The <i></i>51-year-old is not only responsible for one of the biggest book series and movie franchises of …

Scientists shed light on an evolutionary mystery: The origins of the female orgasm

Female orgasm seems to be a happy afterthought of our evolutionary past when it helped stimulate ovulation, a new study of mammals shows.<p>The role of …

Biology

DNA Double Helix Ladies' Fit and Flare Dress

How You Like 'Dem Base Pairs?<p>A person's good looks are often a matter of their DNA, but their fashion sense is 100% learned. Show off your big brains …

Io's Entire Atmosphere Freezes And Collapses

On a semi-regular basis<p>Imagine what would happen if our atmosphere froze solid, contracting and collapsing on the ground. It would likely be enough of a catastrophe to end life on this planet. On Jupiter's moon Io, it's just your average Tuesday night.<p>In a paper published today in the <i>Journal of</i> …

Learning nature's lessons: How animals, insects and plants inspire scientists to solve everyday human problems

The way busy worker ants defend their nests is being studied by scientists – to help busy human workers defend their emails.<p>In our hectic world of …

Gut Busting: How Gaseous Substances in the Body Affect Psyche and Behavior

A new study reports on the role gasotransmitters play in behavior and psychology.

Neuroscience

After a baby hippo lost his family in a flood, a 103 year-old tortoise become his best friend & cared for him. https://t.co/iuwhjtZgEv

Scientists Just Announced the Discovery of a Second Gravitational Wave Signal

Scientists have detected a second gravitational wave signal, leaving no doubt that Albert Einstein's 100-year-old prediction was right.<p>Back in …

Research shows that people with blue eyes have a single, common ancestor.

A team at the University of Copenhagen have tracked down a genetic mutation which took place 6-10,000 years ago and is the cause of the eye colour of …

A man famous in China for his superhuman memory beat an AI in a facial recognition contest

At a competition in China to see who is better at recognizing faces, man or machine, Wang Yuheng, representing the humans, emerged victorious.<p>Wang is famous in China for his photographic memory. He successfully identified a specific glass of water out of 520 seemingly identical ones in a Chinese …

China

Why Do Humpback Whales Protect Other Species from Killer Whales?

It sounds like something out of a children’s animated film: the whale and the seal, at first put off by their differences, team up and become best …

The amazing disguise of the moss mantis, found in Malaysia. (Photo: Hock Ping) https://t.co/Ua6tefaKU8

The U.S. navy is developing a new weapon: tattooed, backpack-wearing, bomb-sniffing, cyborg locusts

Locusts, with their exceptional sense of smell, are ideal bomb detectors. But how do you get them to do what you want? That’s where it gets …

Cyborgs

Replicating Life in Code

A few years ago, Michael Levin faced a conundrum. He and his colleagues at the Tufts Center for Regenerative and Developmental Biology just outside …

Biology

Scientist Wants to Engineer Locusts Into Remote-Controlled Bomb Detectors

Locusts contain multitudes. Though traditionally associated with Biblical plagues that destroy crops, it turns out they could have a second career as …