Automatic Estimation of Transmitted/Founder Variants in Early HIV Infection

Little is known about the progression of HIV in the early stages after infection. Knowing the number of Transmitted/Founder variants that entered the body at the time of infection could be useful to scientists, including those who study the accuracy of animal models, the correlation of viral diversity...

The Architecture of Cyberdefense

The need to build an effective cyberdefense system offers any democracy an opportunity to make progress on a fundamental political aspiration — increasing citizen participation in public affairs. This is due to the chief military characteristics of cyberwar, namely that (a) battle incidence is massively...

Integration and Gating of Sensory Information is Achieved by a Single Cortical Circuit with Orthogonal Mixed Representations

Computations in neural circuits are inherently flexible, allowing humans and animals to respond to sensory stimuli with actions that are appropriate in a given context. Fundamental to this flexibility is the ability to integrate only context-relevant sensory information while ignoring irrelevant, distracting...

The Deep History of Human Population Size

Flavor Network and the Principles of Food Pairing

Animals, especially omnivores, feed selectively to fulfill energy needs and nutrient requirements, guided by chemical cues perceived as flavors. Among animals, humans exhibit the most diverse array of culinary practice. The diversity raises the question whether there are any general patterns of ingredient...

Social Influence and Drift in Collective Behavior

Many explanations of human behavior – even among the 'social' sciences – start with people as isolated individuals, maximizing benefits versus costs. Panics or 'herding' events are often seen as anomalous departures from this norm. I would like to suggest that humans, whose very brains have evolved...

The Microbial Search for Iron: How and Why

Microbes must struggle to acquire the essential nutrient iron from their environment, which can range from oceanic waters and soil to a mammalian host. This is further complicated by the fact that iron in the wrong place at the wrong time in a biological system is also toxic. To facilitate iron bioavailability...

Facebook Meets the NLRB: Complications Arising from Employee Terminations Due to Social Media Postings

With the continued growth of social media platforms, it was inevitable that employees would complain about work online. Employers may be inclined to discipline or even fire employees due to online postings critical of the workplace; however, the National Labor Relations Act may prevent employers from...

Exploring a Timeless Landscape: What can physics tell us about the potential scope of physical technology?

An engineering-based methodology can answer a limited but illuminating range of questions about the potential of physical technology. This line of inquiry leads to a more specific question: What can physics tell us about the potential scope of atomically precise fabrication technologies? Today’s knowledge...

Copyright in the Digital Age: Mine, Yours, and Ours?

The intricacies of copyright law — once the province of publishing companies and their lawyers — are now relevant to the everyday lives of everyone with a computer and an Internet connection. Van Houweling will explore the implications of this development. What does it mean for a legal system that has...

Sociology in the Genetic World: What We Can Learn From Microbial Genetic Co-Occurrence

The phenotype of any organism on earth is, in large part, the consequence of interplay between numerous gene products encoded in the genome, and such interplay between gene products may affect the evolutionary fate of the genome itself through the resulting phenotype. In this regard, contemporary genomes...

Violent Trauma and Risk Preferences in Afghanistan

Trauma has complex and strongly enduring mental, physical, and social consequences, especially among populations with direct exposure to extreme violence. Documenting, understanding, and treating these effects lie, appropriately, in the medical and psychiatric fields. Many of the most severe consequences,...

Matter-Wave Quantum Optics on a Chip

At the heart of quantum mechanics lies the duality of particles and waves, and the resulting correspondence of light and matter. Bose-Einstein condensates (BEC) of ultracold atoms provide a versatile source for experiments with matter-waves, mimcking, but also significantly extending schemes of classical...

Ulam Memorial Lectures: Cognitive Ubiquity: The Evolution of Intelligence on Earth Part Three: All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace

Finally, Krakuer will consider the future of biological intelligence in a world of distributed machine intelligence, where there is a prospect of new cultural mechanisms capable of eclipsing the analytical capabilities of our own species.

Ulam Memorial Lectures: Cognitive Ubiquity: The Evolution of Intelligence on Earth Part Two: Invasion of the Inferential Cell

Krakauer will recount the evolution of life on Earth focusing on the advent of increasingly complex forms of behavior and thought, identifying the common principles of intelligent biological systems.

Ulam Memorial Lectures: Cognitive Ubiquity: The Evolution of Intelligence on Earth Part One: The Adversarial Quartet

Starting with our efforts to define and measure order and intelligence, Krakauer will survey key ideas from the history of mathematics, physics, computation, and biology that have extraordinarily converged on very similar explanations for adaptive behavior.

The Past, Present, and Future of Marine Ecosystems: Archaeology, Historical Ecology, and Shifting Baselines

Devastated by overfishing, pollution, climate change, eutrophication, and numerous other processes, marine ecosystems around the world are at a crisis point. From coral reefs to kelp forests, deep oceans, and estuaries, considerable debate rages about how to restore, conserve, and manage ocean ecosystems...

Using Sparse Coding to Find Independent Units of Conflict

Collections of individuals with incompatible objectives leads to conflict, and each individual is motivated to understand the patterns of observed conflict to guide decisions about future involvement. In order to predict future conflict events using limited cognitive machinery, the past must be distilled...

A Power Law of Death

Approximately 1,250 individuals have been executed by judicial authorities in the US since the reinstatement of capital punishment in 1976. The geographical distribution of these executions follows a power-law distribution whether we look at the 50 states or across the ~3,000 counties in the country....

The Ecology of Indoor Environments: Microbial Biodiversity and Sustainable Well Being

The vast majority of earth’s species are microorganisms. Recent advances in measuring and visualizing microbial diversity in nature have prompted a new era of microbial research, one that builds on the foundations of well established plant and animal biodiversity research. SFI External Professor Jessica...