Friday, 19 June 2009

People, bananas, dogs, and QSAR

A handful of scientific articles and papers caught my attention in recent weeks.

Population density triggers cultural explosion (here)
The work fits neatly with recent economic studies on localization of technological spillovers and output benefits of employment density (for example, here).

An account of the diseases striking the world's favourite fruit (here)
Bananas are a staple food for many people in Africa, and subject to potentially terminal diseases.

Comparison of dog genes (here)
I asked a while back why dog breeds look dissimilar and cat breeds similar. The paper presents a partial answer, showing gene differences in dog breeds, and raises a dozen further questions.

The quantitative structure-activity relationship (here)
QSAR examines the relationship between a molecule's structure and its chemical properties. I found it interesting in relation to my work on technology, as it helps to show how a company's research can transform into potentially commercialisable property. I wonder if there are similar innovation tools in the other sciences.

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