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Monday, February 16, 2004

From EurekAlert http://www.eurekalert.org/pubnews.php
Public Release: 16-Feb-2004
2004 AAAS Annual Meeting
Athletics, genetic enhancement and ethics
Combining genetic manipulation and weight training in rats yields leg muscles that are bigger and stronger than the muscles of rats exposed to just one of these two muscle-building techniques, according to a new study. These findings will frame a discussion at the 2004 AAAS (Triple-A-S) Annual Meeting on potential uses of genetic enhancement in competitive sports, from the perspective of athletic organizations, athletes, scientists, and ethicists.

Public Release: 15-Feb-2004
Journal of Neuroscience
Optically recording millisecond brain nerve impulses
Combining the bright laser light used in multiphoton microscopy with specially developed dyes and a phenomenon called second-harmonic generation, biophysicists at Cornell University and Université de Rennes, France, have made the highest-resolution images ever of millisecond-by-millisecond signaling through nerve cells.
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, National Institutes of Health, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

From Crooked Timber http://crookedtimber.org:
The latest issue of the American Journal of Sociology [subscription required] has a number of interesting articles, but given the, ahem, cosmopolitan nature of the crew here at CT, a paper by Alderson and Beckfield on Power and Position in the City World System [also pdf] caught my eye. They examine power relations between three and a half thousand cities in a network analysis, operationalizing ties with a measure of HQ and branch locations of the world’s 500 largest corporations. The authors develop a blockmodel to identify clusters of regularly equivalent cities
[http://faculty.ucr.edu/~hanneman/SOC157/TEXT/C9StructuralEquivalence.html#block]. Roughly, members of regular equivalence sets have similar relations to members of other equivalent sets, so equivalent cities stand in the same relations to other groups of cities.

As you might expect, the core of the city world system is the block made up of London, New York, Paris and Tokyo, and these four cities are much more powerful than any of the others. But outside this core group, the analysis suggests some patterns that aren’t visible in from less formal approaches. Outside the “L-N-P-T” block, there are six other “Primary” blocks:1 Amsterdam, Basel, Atlanta, Caracas, Cologne and … Bristol. Chris will be delighted.

1 These are “cliques whose members are involved in high levels of relations with outsiders. More specifically, they are blocks with greater than expected ingroup preference (their cliquishness), but also greater than expected outdegree and indegree.”

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