June 2010

Mission of Gravity, Part 3:
GOCE updates the shape of the Earth

June 28, 2010

The GOCE satellite flies extraordinarily low and it thrusts constantly to compensate for air drag while making exquisite measurements of the gravitational gradient. The just-released result is a map of the geoid — the gravitational equipotential surface of the Earth — shown below as a delta from an idealized ellipsoid. GOCE can measure the geoid […]

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Data-mining the bioscience literature

June 24, 2010

Genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics now meet paperomics: Automated trawling, not of whole slices of nature, but of whole slices of the scientific literature — the idea is to look for indirect links among papers that may indicate undiscovered links in nature. From the Computable Genomix website: …Powered by patent pending next generation text mining […]

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Molecular Mechano-Electronics

June 21, 2010

Supporting-role arrows in white Adapted from “Mechanical Control of Spin States in Spin-1 Molecules and the Underscreened Kondo Effect” J. J. Parks et al., Science, 328:1370–1373 (2010). Pulling on the ends of a cobalt complex that bridges an electrical junction (as illustrated) changes the geometry of the coordinating ligands, hence the energies of electronic spin […]

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Needless Megadeaths:
A Suggestion for Science in the Public Interest

June 16, 2010

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Inquiry in Engineering, Design in Science:
Completing the Matrix

June 7, 2010

Supporting-role arrows in white Adapted from “The Antiparallel Structures of Science and Engineering” The focus of science is inquiry, and the focus of engineering is design. Just as sensory and motor neurons run antiparallel through the structure of the body, so inquiry and design run antiparallel through the structure of knowledge. Eye and hand, perception […]

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Knowledge and causality in inquiry and design

June 3, 2010

The structure of science and engineering, a big mistake, and a book See also: “The Antiparallel Structures of Science and Engineering” An effect may have one possible cause, or many. The weight of a stone has a single cause, gravity, but the flight of a stone coming over a wall could have one of many […]

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Foldamers: Accomplishments and Goals

June 1, 2010

As regular readers know, I see foldamer engineering as a key to next-generation atomically precise nanosystems. Valuable in themselves, foldamers can also serve as components of composite systems that exploit diverse materials and nanotechnologies of qualitatively different kinds. “Foldamers: Accomplishments and Goals”, by Samuel Gellman, heads a collection of 59 abstracts from a recent international […]

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