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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Human Global Crisis versus Natural Efficiency


Dear Scientist
Dear Academic
Dear Man of the Road
Dear Woman of the Road

Dear Friend,

I'm back after so long....although I've thought of you quite often over the last months, due to intense work phase, my thoughts could not be translated into written words to be communicated to you: I had no time.

A tremendous sequence of events has marked the past weeks. Just to mention a few: a persistent drought is taking a heavy toll in East Africa while Pakistan's fish stocks are depleting fast, Syrian people' demand for democracy is still facing the cruel regime's crackdown while the conflict is raging in Libya with rebels and government troops  locked in devastating battle. While the poor are getting more in the US,  from Athens to London, from Madrid to Rome, debt crisis and recession are triggering unrest which simply signal one thing:  the present economical system based on the myth of growth has failed as the Planet's resources are finite. Simply put, the blanket is short.

Given the dire framework, it is clear that we need more knowledge, more culture and more efficiency  to get out of this mess. In particular, I believe, interdisciplinary research should be promoted  in order to broaden academics perspectives and foster new solutions to complex challenges in real life. Cross-fertilization is then a Must.

We have to watch the natural world and learn how Nature self-organizes according to efficiency principles. All the more so, considered that human societies are extremely inefficient.

In this regard I wish to draw your attention on a special molecule which is fundamental to you: DNA. Although the double helix has been a focus of exciting research for over sixty years, a lot still remains to be understood.  While localized fluctuational openings along the double helix are essential to processes as DNA transcription, the molecule precisely knows how (and for how long) to open such fluctuational bubbles. All that is staggering and sophisticated theoretical models are required to understand how all that happens.

At this link you have a contribution which sheds light on the equilibrium properties of a DNA sequence in various ambient conditions, namely temperature and solvent. As you are my friend, you can download the pdf file for free: you don't have to pay, you are just invited to study it carefully while getting tanned on the beach.
This is my mid-summer gift for you.

Once you are back home, please begin to apply efficiency principles to your domestic environment: you will help both the Planet and your wallet.

Enjoy the sun, give up meat-based meals, grow your vegetables and ride bike.
Best wishes and see you soon