Satoshi Village the blog of Daniel Himmelstein

The Cancer Research UK Reassessment of our Lung Cancer versus Elevation Study

We would like to thank Cancer Research UK for their cancer related advocacy and their coverage of our recent publication. However, we find several aspects of their interpretation troubling.

First, we find it unwise to discount our study because it analyzed counties rather than individuals. As Professor Pearce explains, much of our current understanding of cancer risk arose initially from ecological studies:

Historically, the key area in which epidemiologists have been able to “add value …

read more

Elevation, Oxygen, and Cancer of the Lung

For the past two years, Kamen Simeonov and I have been working on a project codenamed The Lung. Today is PeerJ Publication Day and the results of our research are now online:

Simeonov KP, Himmelstein DS (2015) Lung cancer incidence decreases with elevation: evidence for oxygen as an inhaled carcinogen. PeerJ 2:e705 DOI: 10.7717/peerj.705


In this study, we investigated whether cancer rates varied with altitude. Our primary focus was lung …

read more

My Friendship Network

One network, with which many of my readers are familiar, is Facebook. At its core, Facebook is a network (graph) of users (nodes) connected by friendships (edges). Each user exists and experiences content within the confines of their Facebook subgraph, the portion of the network consisting of their friends. When analyzed properly, an individual’s friendship network paints a historical picture of his or her social engagement.

Here I’ve created my Facebook friendship network …

read more

Innovation in Medical Education Forum

During the first week of October in 2013, I traveled to Guatemala. The Universidad Francisco Marroquín (UFM) hosted a forum of 30 innovators and medical professionals to envision the future of healthcare and medical education. The forum produced suggestions for a new medical degree, based on embracing disruptions, which would initially coexist with the current medical program.

UFM is well positioned to innovate education. Founded under free market ideals, the school is characterized by an …

read more