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Gleanings from today's Complexity Digest, always an interesting list for
those who think Network
Barry Wellman Professor of Sociology NetLab Director
wellman at chass.utoronto.ca http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~wellman
Centre for Urban & Community Studies University of Toronto
455 Spadina Avenue Toronto Canada M5S 2G8 fax:+1-416-978-7162
Life and the Art of Networks , Science
Excerpts: Biologists are striving to move beyond a "parts list" to more
fully understand the ways in which network components interact with one
another to influence complex processes. Thus attention has turned to the
analysis of networks that operate at many levels. At the scale of networks
of interacting proteins that govern cellular function, the flagellated
bacterium Caulobacter crescentus has been a model system for cell cycle
regulation (?. The design principles for efficient coordination of cells
that work together in organ systems are also under scrutiny.
*  Life and the Art of Networks, Barbara R. Jasny, L. Bryan Ray
, Science Sep 26 2003: 1863
01.01. Biological Networks: The Tinkerer as an Engineer , Science
Excerpt: François Jacob pictured evolution as a tinkerer, not an engineer
(1). Engineers and tinkerers arrive at their solutions by very different
routes. Rather than planning structures in advance and drawing up
blueprints (as an engineer would), evolution as a tinkerer works with odds
and ends, assembling interactions until they are good enough to work. It
is therefore wondrous that the solutions found by evolution have much in
common with good engineering design (2). This Viewpoint comments on recent
advances in understanding biological networks using concepts from
*  Biological Networks: The Tinkerer as an Engineer, U. Alon
, Science Sep 26 2003: 1866-1867.
01.02. Social Insect Networks , Science
Excerpts: Social insect colonies have many of the properties of adaptive
networks. The simple rules governing how local interactions among
individuals translate into group behaviors are found across social groups,
giving social insects the potential to have a profound impact on our
understanding of the interplay between network dynamics and social
evolution. (?, social insects such as wasps, ants, and honeybees provide a
powerful system for examining how network dynamics contribute to the
evolution of complex biological systems. (? have key network attributes
that appear consistently in complex biological systems, (?.
*  Social Insect Networks, Jennifer H. Fewell
, Science Sep 26 2003: 1867-1870.
01.03. Communication in Neuronal Networks , Science
Excerpts: Brains perform with remarkable efficiency, are capable of
prodigious computation, and are marvels of communication. We are beginning
to understand some of the geometric, biophysical, and energy constraints
that have governed the evolution of cortical networks. (?, nature has
optimized the structure and function of cortical networks with design
principles similar to those used in electronic networks. The brain also
exploits the adaptability of biological systems to reconfigure in response
to changing needs. (? The global connectivity in the cortex is very
sparse, (? reduces the volume occupied by long-range connections.
*  Communication in Neuronal Networks, Simon B. Laughlin, Terrence J.
Sejnowski, Science Sep 26 2003: 1870-1874
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