The Connected States of America illustrates the emerging communities based on the social interactions through the use of anonymized mobile phone data. From the projet’s website:
Investigating the interaction network of people reveals interesting facets on how people utilize space. Cities attract their citizens from all walks of life, from nearby and from distant areas across the country. This constant flux of people commuting, migrating, and travelling across the country establishes connections which are dominated by large cities. The social connections woven across the United States can be used to define communities, where the glue that holds a community together is a stronger relationship with other members of the same community compared to members of other communities. Naturally, one can ask whether the communities defined purely by social interactions coincide with the administrative boundaries, for example state boundaries? Remarkably, this is not always the case!
The above graphic represents cell phone calls (AT&T) across the country. By connecting the calls, Xiaoji Chen was able to show emerging cellphone communities defined by human networks. Hubs and ties are color coded, to show where the calls are coming from and ending.
All the cool kids are doing social network analysis now.
Time dynamics of the twitter conversation about the general strike of March 29 in Spain. Each node is a twitter account and each link is a RT between accounts. The discussion is polarized into two groups obtained using community finding algorithms on the twitter RT graph. Those groups correspond to the two major opinions: in favor and against the strike.
I get really excited about nerdy things like this amazing visual representation of data. All the cool kids are learning R to take advantage of features like this.
If you are interested, I also saw this video showing you how to represent temporal networks using graph and R.
Embryonic Bat Skeleton
1st Image: Rodrigo G. Arzate-Mejia, Marina Venero Galanternik, William Munoz and Jennifer McKey
2nd image: Scott Weatherbee, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
A new computer-based technique is exploring uncharted territory in the fruit fly brain with cell-by-cell detail that can be built into networks for a detailed look at how neurons work together.
Mapping the estimated 100,000 neurons in a fly brain, and seeing how they interact to control behavior, will be a powerful tool for figuring out how the billions of neurons in the human brain work.
Researchers at Japan’s National Institute of Genetics believe they’ve captured a world first video — images of a thought making it’s way through the brain of a zebrafish.
Researchers were able to image visual perception in the fish using a new tool designed just for the purpose — a super-sensitive fluorescent probe that detects neuron activity, causing neurons to light up when they’re activated. In this case, the images are of the activity in neurons as a zebrafish watches a paramecium flit around it, registering the movement of its prey.
Thought might be a bit of a stretch, and this should definitely be taked with a grain of salt, but this still can be a little exciting.
Alex Seifalian’s lab at University College London is helping humans who lose body parts to repair their bodies the way a newt would if it lost its tail – by growing another.
The researchers in his lab, which Seifalian calls “the human body parts store,” create the body parts with synthetic materials and a patient’s stem cells.
The lab builds a scaffold of the needed body part with a porous nanocomposite material, developed and patented by the team, and then puts it in a bioreactor with some of the patient’s bone marrow. The patient’s cells cover the scaffold and fill its many holes so that it essentially becomes the patient’s own.
After it is inserted into the patient, it’s absorbed by the body and replaced by new cells over time.
1. A nose mold made of nanocomposite material seeded with cells in a cell solution.
2. A nose mold.
3. An ear mold made of nanocomposite material.
4. A lab-grown trachea, or windpipe, inside a bioreactor.
5. An artery is tested using a simulated heard and blood flow.
6. Nose and ear molds made of nanocomposite material seeded with cells in a cell solution.
Credit: Seamus Murphy/VII
Photograph by Jean Claude Revy-ISM/Phototake USA
A researcher handles a skin tissue culture. Surgeons once grafted pigskin onto burn wounds as a temporary bandage. These days they use human skin tissue taken from another part of the body or skin substitutes engineered from synthetics or other materials such as cow collagen or shark cartilage.
Researchers in California may have designed a synthetic version—a flexible, electrically conductive, self-healing polymer.
The result is part of a decadelong miniboom in “epidermal electronics”—the production of circuits thin and flexible enough to be attached to skin (for use as wearable heart rate monitors, for example) or to provide skinlike touch sensitivity to prosthetic limbs. The problem is that silicon, the base material of the electronics industry, is brittle. So various research groups have investigated different ways to produce flexible electronic sensors.
Chemists, meanwhile, have become increasingly interested in “self-healing” polymers. This sounds like science fiction, but several research groups have produced plastics that can join their cut edges together when scientists heat them, shine a light on them, or even just hold the cut edges together.
To demonstrate that both the mechanical and the electrical properties of the material could be repeatedly restored to their original values after the material had been damaged and healed, the researchers cut the polymer completely through with a scalpel. After pressing the cut edges together gently for 15 seconds, the researchers found the sample went on to regain 98% of its original conductivity. And crucially, just like the ESPCI group’s rubber compound, the Stanford team’s polymer could be cut and healed over and over again.
“I think it’s kind of a breakthrough,” says John J. Boland, a chemist at the CRANN nanoscience institute at Trinity College Dublin. “It’s the first time that we’ve seen this combination of both mechanical and electrical self-healing.”
Definitely worth the short read.
At the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, rat hearts and lungs are washed of living cells to reveal the extracellular structure.
I’ll highlight a quote I thought was particularly fantastic:
“The human body is so beautiful, I’m convinced we must use it in the most proper way.” - surgeon Dr. Macchiarini
Credit: Stefan Zimmerman
The e-reader haters and the people that disparage e-readers drive me nuts. Sure, this is only one study and has its limitations, but children are reading more than their parents. Attribute a lot of that to the recent surge in adolescent literature, like Harry Potter and similar titles, but also attribute some of that variance to the increased availability of reading devices (including e-readers and a recent surge in the Library Sciences to get children back into the library).
Children never waited in line for hours to get a book when I was growing up.
“We found that about 8 in 10 Americans under the age of 30 have read a book in the past year. And that’s compared to about 7 in 10 adults in general, American adults. So, they’re reading — they’re more likely to read, and they’re also a little more likely to be using their library.”
“We heard from e-book readers in general [that] they don’t want e-books to replace print books. They see them as part of the same general ecosystem; e-books supplement their general reading habits. And we heard from a lot of younger e-book readers about how e-books just fit into their lives — how they can read when they’re waiting in line for class, or waiting in line for lunch. One reader in particular told us that when he has a book that he loves, he wants to be able to access it in any format. So with the Harry Potter series and the [Song of Ice and Fire] series, he’s actually bought all of those books as print books and as e-books, just because they matter that much to him …
“We haven’t seen for younger readers that e-books are massively replacing print books. That might happen in the future, but right now we’re just seeing them sort of as a more convenient supplement.”
Also, don’t be pretentious and quit hating e-readers.
Photo by ryancatalani
A human sperm encounters an egg, seen via electron microscope.
Image by David Phillips, Visuals Unlimited
Sherrie Walters had an aggressive form of basal cell cancer, which required her to have a part of her ear, skull, and ear canal removed. Doctors at John Hopkins were able to use rib cartilage to build an entire new ear. She had to grow her new ear under the skin of her arm for a few months.
Check out the link for more pictures! I left some of the more gruesome ones out, to protect the squeamish. While it may seem gross at first, this is pretty amazing stuff.
Did you get a chance to see my post about Stelarc’s Third Ear?
Here’s looking at you, kid.
Kernspintomographie image by Marem from Fotolia.com
Elizabeth Jameson was diagnosed with MS in 1991. After viewing all of the stark MRI images of her brain, she decided to use these images in her art. She uses medical technology and neuroscience is her artwork, which displays the beauty of the brain in ways we have not seen before.
Check out more of her work here.