Monday, July 27, 2015

platypuses in translation

I'm very pleased to report that my book "The birds, the bees and the platypuses" is now available in Arabic translation thanks to the Hindawi Foundation (set up by Ahmed Hindawi), a non-profit publishing operation aiming to make the world's knowledge accessible in that language.

The steadily growing list of titles they've translated is here (in English). Details of my book are here (in Arabic). I understand the print edition costs $10, and electronic versions are also available.

This is a screenshot, as in my attempt to save the cover image from the site I lost the writing on the cover. No idea how that can happen. Also, I'm afraid the cover features an inverted helix, but I'll let this pass for once.

Monday, July 20, 2015

animals on the move

Thanks to the ongoing revolution in communication technology which now tracks our every move, it is also much easier to track wild animals, even small ones. What's more by tracking many and diverse animals, we can learn more about the biosphere than was possible previously, as animals can become reporters in the service of science, and may help their own survival in the process.

I've discussed these things and the recent book "Das Internet der Tiere " (The internet of animals), shown below, in my latest feature in Current Biology which came out today:

Animal moves reveal bigger picture
Current Biology Volume 25, Issue 14, pR585–R588, 20 July 2015
Open access

Das Internet der Tiere: Der neue Dialog zwischen Mensch und Natur, by Alexander Pschera, October 2014.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

beyond silicon

Moore's law, the famous (partially self-fulfilling) prophecy that has defined the current technology revolution, turned 50 this spring, and, give or take a few tweaks, it's still holding up ok. However, we are now in sight of some serious physical limits to the further improvements possible with silicon technology. Thus, experts are asking what comes beyond silicon, and in my latest feature in Chemistry & Industry I have rounded up some of the answers, both speculative and real-world ones.

Beyond Silicon

Chemistry & Industry No. 7, pp 42-45

limited access to full text and PDF download.

This all reminds me of the 1990s, when we were also worrying about limits to chip technology, only then it was the wavelength of visible light that limited the optical techniques. Overcoming these limits enabled the boom in nanotechnology and all of today's communication tech. Exotic alternatives such as molecular computation, which I discussed in a chapter in this book:

were already explored back then, but remain in the realm of the less likely paths today.

In the same issue, there's also my review of the book

Low cost emergency water purification technologies by Ray and Jain.