Abstract:
Declining energy return on investment (EROI) of a society’s available energy sources can lead to both crisis and opportunity for positive social change. The implications of declining EROI for human wellbeing are complex and open to interpretation. There are many reasons why frugal living and an energy diet could be beneficial. A measure of wellbeing or welfare gained per unit of energy expended (WROEI) is proposed. A threshold is hypothesized for the relation between energy consumption and wellbeing. The paper offers a biophysical-based social science explanation for both the negative and positive possible implications of declining EROI. Two sets of future scenarios based on environmental and economic trends are described. Six types of social change activism are considered essential if the positives of declining EROI are to balance or exceed the negatives.

Abstract:
The importance of understanding the mechanism of protein aggregation into insoluble amyloid fibrils relies not only on its medical consequences, but also on its more basic properties of self--organization. The discovery that a large number of uncorrelated proteins can form, under proper conditions, structurally similar fibrils has suggested that the underlying mechanism is a general feature of polypeptide chains. In the present work, we address the early events preceeding amyloid fibril formation in solutions of zinc--free human insulin incubated at low pH and high temperature. Aside from being a easy--to--handle model for protein fibrillation, subcutaneous aggregation of insulin after injection is a nuisance which affects patients with diabetes. Here, we show by time--lapse atomic force microscopy (AFM) that a steady-state distribution of protein oligomers with an exponential tail is reached within few minutes after heating. This metastable phase lasts for few hours until aggregation into fibrils suddenly occurs. A theoretical explanation of the oligomer pre--fibrillar distribution is given in terms of a simple coagulation--evaporation kinetic model, in which concentration plays the role of a critical parameter. Due to high resolution and sensitivity of AFM technique, the observation of a long-lasting latency time should be considered an actual feature of the aggregation process, and not simply ascribed to instrumental inefficency. These experimental facts, along with the kinetic model used, claim for a critical role of thermal concentration fluctuations in the process of fibril nucleation.

Abstract:
We introduce the equation of n-dimensional totally geodesic submanifolds of a manifold E as a submanifold of the second order jet space of n-dimensional submanifolds of E. Next we study the geometry of n-Grassmannian equivalent connections, that is linear connections without torsion admitting the same equation of n-dimensional totally geodesic submanifolds. We define the n-Grassmannian structure as the equivalence class of such connections, recovering for n=1 the case of theory of projectively equivalent connections. By introducing the equation of parametrized n-dimensional totally geodesic submanifolds as a submanifold of the second order jet space of the trivial bundle on the space of parameters, we discover a relation of covering between the `parametrized' equation and the `unparametrized' one. After having studied symmetries of these equations, we discuss the case in which the space of parameters is equal to R^n.

In this paper a new modeling framework for the dependability analysis of complex systems is presented and related to dynamic fault trees (DFTs). The methodology is based on a modular approach: two separate models are used to handle, the fault logic and the stochastic dependencies of the system. Thus, the fault schema, free of any dependency logic, can be easily evaluated, while the dependency schema allows the modeler to design new kind of non-trivial dependencies not easily caught by the traditional holistic methodologies. Moreover, the use of a dependency schema allows building a pure behavioral model that can be used for various kinds of dependability studies. In the paper is shown how to build and integrate the two modular models and convert them in a Stochastic Activity Network. Furthermore, based on the construction of the schema that embeds the stochastic dependencies, the procedure to convert DFTs into static fault trees is shown, allowing the resolution of DFTs in a very efficient way.

Abstract:
We present briefly the Nondeterministic Waiting Time algorithm. Our technique for the simulation of biochemical reaction networks has the ability to mimic the Gillespie Algorithm for some networks and solutions to ordinary differential equations for other networks, depending on the rules of the system, the kinetic rates and numbers of molecules. We provide a full description of the algorithm as well as specifics on its implementation. Some results for two well-known models are reported. We have used the algorithm to explore Fas-mediated apoptosis models in cancerous and HIV-1 infected T cells.

Abstract:
This paper describes a recent mathematical method called conflation for consolidating data from independent experiments that are designed to measure the same quantity, such as Planck's constant or the mass of the top quark. Conflation is easy to calculate and visualize, and minimizes the maximum loss in Shannon information in consolidating several independent distributions into a single distribution. In order to benefit the experimentalist with a much more transparent presentation than the previous mathematical treatise, the main basic properties of conflation are derived in the special case of normal (Gaussian) data. Included are examples of applications to real data from measurements of the fundamental physical constants and from measurements in high energy physics, and the conflation operation is generalized to weighted conflation for situations when the underlying experiments are not uniformly reliable.

Abstract:
This article describes an optimal method (conflation) to consolidate data from different experiments, and illustrates the advantages of conflation by graphical examples involving gaussian input distributions, and by a concrete numerical example involving the values of lattice spacing of silicon crystals used in determination of the current values of Planck's constant and the Avogadro constant.

Abstract:
We study the geometry of jets of submanifolds with special interest in the relationship with the calculus of variations. We give a new proof of the fact that higher order jets of submanifolds are affine bundles; as a by-product we obtain a new expression for the associated vector bundles. We use Green-Vinogradov formula to provide coordinate expressions for all variational forms, i.e., objects in the finite-order variational sequence on jets of submanifolds. Finally, we formulate the variational problem in the framework of jets of submanifolds by an intrinsic geometric language, and connect it with the variational sequence. Detailed comparison with literature is provided throughout the paper.

Abstract:
The geometry of jets of submanifolds is studied, with special interest in the relationship with the calculus of variations. A new intrinsic geometric formulation of the variational problem on jets of submanifolds is given. Working examples are provided.