July 20, 2015
Recently I listened to a great podcast on the threat posed by electromagnetic pulses (EMPs). EMPs are short bursts of energy that can fry electronics. Large scale EMPs can be triggered by solar flares or high altitude nuclear detonations. A hefty nuclear EMP could destroy unprotected electronic equipment within a thousand miles radius. The podcast motivated me recount my strange story involving EMPs and slime molds.
Arguing the unforeseen
The year was 2010. I was …
June 29, 2015
On April 22, 2015 my research was formally accepted to PLOS Computational Biology. 68 days later the article has yet to be published. My current project builds on the forthcoming study and would benefit from its publication. Frustrated, I decided to investigate whether such delays are commonplace at PLOS.
Publication and acceptance delays at PLOS
I started by retrieving all PubMed records for the 7 PLOS journals. For each journal, I randomly selected 1000 articles …
June 22, 2015
Below I have posted the written portions of my application to OpenCon 2015, which was called the best conference ever by a 2014 attendee. This open science gathering will be held from November 14–16 in Brussels, Belgium. I have ordered my responses from practical to philosophical and mundane to radical.
For the events you checked, please explain how you plan to participate.
Last year I went to the Bay Area Open Access Week event …
January 15, 2015
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 …
January 13, 2015
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 …
September 15, 2014
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 …
November 19, 2013
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 …