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Archive of the category 'Science'

Hoping Two Drugs Carry a Side Effect: Longer Life, by Nicholas Wade

Image and text source: NYTimes

Published: July 22, 2008

BOSTON, Mass. — One day last month, clad in white plastic garments from head to toe, Dr. David Sinclair showed a visitor around his germ-free mouse room here at Harvard Medical School.

The mice, subjects in studies of health and longevity, are kept in wire baskets under intensive nursing care. A mouse gym holds a miniature exercise machine that tests the rodents’ ability to balance on a rotating bar. In a nearby water maze, mice must recall visual cues to swim to safety on a hidden platform, a test of their powers of memory. Those that forget their lessons are rescued as they start to submerge and humanely dried out under a heat lamp, Dr. Sinclair assured his visitor.

Dr. Sinclair is a co-founder of Sirtris, a company that itself has been swimming in uncharted waters as it works to develop drugs that may extend the human life span. But it seemed to have found a safe platform last month when it was bought last month by the pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline for $720 million.

Sirtris has two drugs in clinical trials. One is being tested against Type 2 diabetes, one of the many diseases of aging that the company’s scientists hope the drugs will avert. With success against just one such disease, the impact on health “could be possibly transformational,” said Dr. Patrick Vallance, head of drug discovery at GlaxoSmithKline.

Read the entire article at NYTimes

“Exposure” A Video Installation, by Marie Sester, Text by Eduardo Navas

Text: “Exposure” Pre-9/11

Text source: gallery@calit2.net

This text was written for the exhibition “Exposure” A Video installation About Surveillance Pre-9/11 by Marie Sester. Sester’s work exposes how elements of appropriation vital to Remix are at play in surveillance, an area of culture which since 2001 has played a pivotal role in redefining privacy for the average person.

The awareness of a work of art’s historical context is closely linked to aesthetics. While viewers could, first and foremost, approach a work with the sole aim of exploring its formal qualities, at some point they must acknowledge when, how and why the work was produced, which means that the work’s history becomes an inherent part of its meaning. “Exposure,” a three-channel video installation by Marie Sester, on view at gallery@calit2 from April 10 to June 6, 2008, is a prime example of this development.

The work consists of images of x-rayed vehicles juxtaposed with architecture. Sester’s investment in exploring the aesthetics of x-ray surveillance became an obsession that initially led her to embark on the pursuit of detailed images of airport luggage, which she considered extensions of the human body. Her research eventually resulted in the x-ray images of trucks taken at Orly Airport in Paris, juxtaposed with a house located in the East Bay Hills of Northern California, now part of “Exposure.”

The installation was first exhibited as part of the exhibition “Blind Vision: Video and Limits of Perception” at the San Jose Museum of Art from August 4 through November 14, 2001. Coincidentally, the tragic events of 9/11 took place while the exhibition was on view, and the meaning of “Exposure” changed at that moment, when the concept of surveillance became directly linked to terrorist preemption. Surveillance in the past did not have such specific overtones.


Editing my doctoral thesis on stem cells in a blog: Why not? by attilachordash

Note: The following text actually exposes some of the anxieties in academia about blogs, and their effectiveness as valid research tools.

Image and text source: Pimm

June 4th, 2007

OK folks, after reading the official rules about how to get and manage a doctoral thesis, and after speaking with my supervisor asking for his permission, I’ve decided to edit my ongoing doctoral thesis in Pimm. Or at least the introduction of it, which is intended to be no other than a review-like summary of some current results in the stem cell biology of different tissues, organs. What will remain hidden in the first round (but can follow later): the data-heavy yet unpublished results and the discussion, conclusion session. Objectives, Materials & Methods: we shall see it. Sounds like there are complete parts of the thesis, but that’s dead wrong, at this time my doctoral thesis is in an embryonic form. Also no idea on how challenging, meaningful this project, a sub-series in Pimm, will be.


ReMIX Project: A Reconfigurable Memory for Indexing Mass of Data

Image and text source: ReMIX Project


  • The ReMIX project aims to design an original memory architecture for both storing very large indexed data structures, and allowing fast information retrieval.


  • The ReMIX project combines two technologies:
    1. FLASH memories: to provide a large data capacity together with a fast access
    2. FPGA devices: to tailor indexing search to the memory


  • Applications focus on content-based search, especially in the field of genomics, images ant text processing.

Status (mai 2006)

  • A ReMIX system of 512 Gbytes of FLASH memory is currently tested. 8 RMEM boards of 64 Gbytes each are plugged into a 5 node cluster.


Project : symbiose

Text source: Inria

Section: New Results

Parallelism and optimization

Participants : Rumen Andonov, Dominique Lavenier, Mathieu Giraud, Hugues Leroy, Stéphane Rubini, Pierre PeterLongo, Gilles Georges, Nicolas Yanev, Guillaume Collet, Mai Fei.

The parallelism axis mainly focuses on two activities:

  • the design of specialized parallel machines for scanning genomic banks in relation with axis 6.1;
  • the modelling and parallelization of optimization problems.

Specialized architectures for scanning and processing genomic banks

Participants : Mathieu Giraud, Dominique Lavenier, Stéphane Rubini, Philippe Veber, Gilles Georges.

Blast [41], [42] has steadily become the reference software for exploring genomic banks. Large databases can be quickly and easily screened to detect similarity with a query sequence. This type of algorithm, and many other algorithms such as patternhunter [95] or chaos [54], proceed in two steps: first they seek for anchors, then they extend them into alignments. The load balancing between this two tasks depends on the quality of the anchors. Since the alignment extension can be time consuming, the goal is to limit the number of hits by providing anchors of good quality.


A Critical Reflection on Four a minima:: Texts for the Exhibition NOW 2006, by Eduardo Navas

Image source: a minima PDF, feature on Marta Menezes’s DNA altered Butterflies. Available at newmediaFIX

This text was written to be part of a curatorial participation by a minima:: magazine in the exhibition NOW 2006, which took place at the CCCB.

Read Spanish Version

For a minima’s participation in Now, I have chosen four texts invested in the crossover of art, science and technology. The texts are “Nature?” by Marta de Menezes, “Observation, Interference and Evolutionary Relationships. (An overview of the Phumox project) – Phumox? What’s that?” by Andy Gracie, “Convergent Realities: art, technology consciousness from the planetary perspective” by Roy Ascott, “Artport” and “Not Just Art—from Media Art to Artware” by Christiane Paul. The first two texts, written by artists/researchers, could be read as honest attempts to cross over art, science and technology; the last two texts, written by theorists, can be read as reflections on such practices. The four texts are sensitive to contextualization and critical commentary, which are expected of art practice today, as well as the urge to do research for the sake of understanding the world and develop technology to do it, which is expected of science and technology.


Una reflexión critica sobre cuatro textos de la revista a minima:: para la exhibición NOW 2006, por Eduardo Navas

Image source: a minima PDF, feature on Marta Menezes’s DNA altered Butterflies. Available at newmediaFIX

Este texto fue escrito para la participación curatorial de la revista a minima:: en la exhibición NOW 2006, la cual se llevó a cabo en el CCCB durante Noviembre del 2006,.
Lea la versión en inglés

Para la participación de a minima en Now, he escogido cuatro textos que se enfocan en el cruce cultural entre arte, ciencia y tecnología. Los textos son “Nature?” por Marta de Menezes, “Observation, Interference and Evolutionary Relationships. (An overview of the Phumox project) – Phumox? What’s that?” por Andy Gracie, “Convergent Realities: art, technology consciousness from the planetary perspective” por Roy Ascott, “Artport” y “Not Just Art—from Media Art to Artware” por Christiane Paul. Los primeros dos textos, escritos por artistas/investigadores activos en el arte, podrian ser considerados atentos en cruzar entre el arte, ciencia y tecnología; mientras que los dos últimos, escritos por teóricos, podrian ser reflecciones sobre tales practicas. Los cuatro textos son sensitivos a la contextualización y comentario crítico, los cuales son esperados de la practica del arte hoy, junto con el impulso de desarrollar investigaciones por la necesidad de comprender el mundo y desarrollar la tecnología para hacerlo, lo cual es esperado de la ciencia y la tecnología.


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