Ubiquitous Robot Surveillance

Charlie Stross’s recent speech How low (power) can you go? is a fascinating and terrifying glimpse into a future where tiny computerized sensors have become ubiquitous thanks to ever-greater circuit density (Moore’s Law) and energy efficiency (Koomey’s Law). Stross performs back-of-the-envelope calculations for all his projections to ensure they are somewhat realistic, but in the … Continue reading “Ubiquitous Robot Surveillance”

Simulated Life

Computational biology reached a milestone last week. Scientists at Stanford University and the J. Craig Venter Institute presented the first software simulation of an entire living organism, albeit an extremely simple one: the single-cell bacterium Mycoplasma genitalium. The simulation models M. genitalium’s metabolic functions and all of its 525 genes (for comparison, multicellular organisms can … Continue reading “Simulated Life”

Distrust Observational Studies

There is now enough evidence to say what many have long thought: that any claim coming from an observational study is most likely to be wrong – wrong in the sense that it will not replicate if tested rigorously. Thus opens the 2011 paper Deming, data and observational studies by S. Stanley Young and Alan … Continue reading “Distrust Observational Studies”