The Info Mesa: Science, Business, and New Age Alchemy on the Santa Fe Plateau

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The explosive rise and shining future of Santa Fe's informatics industry, where scientists are converting abstract theory into real profit.

How did a small southwest town transform itself into a hotbed of research science, advanced technology, and money? Tracking key figures in Santa Fe's emerging industries, Ed Regis explains how entrepreneurial scientists are using complexity theory and powerful, experimental computer programs to create practical—and profitable—applications. Their efforts to convert vast, diverse data, whether chemical or biological or computational, into useful information is leading to new drugs and medical therapies, ultimately revolutionizing our understanding of effective business strategies. With cutting-edge technology, companies are able to test chemicals, drugs, and interactions virtually before committing huge laboratory investments.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Regis (Who Got Einstein's Office?) here explores the desert community of scientist-cum-entrepreneurs besotted with "intellectual excitement and chaos and seriousness and joy." Unlike Silicon Valley, Santa Fe's Info Mesa consists largely of academics channeling pure scientific ideas to business ends. Computer simulations and ever-increasing amounts of processing power help them tackle questions on an unprecedented scale. Take, for example, Stu Kauffman's BiosGroup, which used "fitness landscapes" to contemplate thousands of potential variations on an airline baggage-handling system in just a few days. The book's core is the immensely important transfer from "wet" (i.e. laboratory) chemistry to "virtual" (i.e. computerized) chemistry, which would yield enormous benefits to the pharmaceutical industry. Regis traces a few seemingly unrelated stories that eventually knit together, and seems to not be able to make up his mind on whether the book is primarily about the ideas or the personalities. But this is not a huge drawback, since his brisk account of important recent movements in science and business is highly entertaining and informative. (May) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393021233
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/19/2003
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Ed Regis is the author of books on science and emerging technology, including Who Got Einstein's Office, and writes for publications including Omni, Discover, Science Digest, and Air and Space Smithsonian. He lives in Sabillasville, Maryland.

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Table of Contents

Cast of Characters 9
Prologue 13
Pt. 1 Theory
1 The Los Alamos Problem 23
2 The Deep 39
3 The Extinguished Professor 57
5 Grasp 92
Pt. 2 Data
6 The Data Dump 113
7 Mr. Startup 131
8 The Purple Barge 149
9 The Doctor Is In 165
Pt. 3 Results
10 Eye Candy 181
11 Winning through Feng Shui 198
12 The New Silicon Valley 213
13 The Eclipse of Nature 230
Epilogue 240
Selected Sources 253
Acknowledgments 259
Index 261
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