The Rise and Fall: impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on bioRxiv preprints

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, different countries are experiencing various restrictions including lockdowns. Some of these restrictions alter our ability to do science: by hindering lab access or taking time away from researchers for homeschooling. So, what impact has the pandemic had on scientific output? One way to look at this – for biology – […]

Os Mutantes: an implausible naming system for SARS-CoV-2 mutants

The scientific response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been astounding. Aside from efforts to generate vaccines, the genomic surveillance of the virus has been truly remarkable. For example, the nextstrain project has sequence many SARS-CoV-2 genomes. In fact, the rapid identification of multiple new strains and mutations by diverse groups of scientists has resulted in […]

Represent: geographical breakdown of a virtual seminar series

During the pandemic, many virtual seminar programmes have popped up. One series, “Motors in Quarantine“, has been very successful. It’s organised by my colleagues Anne Straube, Alex Zwetsloot and Huong Vu. Anne wanted to know if attendees of the seminar series were a fair representation of the field. We know the geographical location of the […]

Take Off: preprints on COVID-19

I’m posting this the morning after generating a graph, and it’s already out-of-date. During the worldwide COVID-19 outbreak, preprint servers such as bioRxiv and medRxiv have again shown that they are the most effective way of communicating science rapidly. A collection of all papers on COVID-19 deposited on these two servers is available here, and […]

On Steely Dan and lab management

As a scientist and a music lover, I see parallels in the process of doing science and in making music. They’re both creative endeavours after all. The lab’s latest paper is like an album release. The authors of the paper are like the players in the band. See, the analogy works quite well. So what […]

Tiny Universe: new paper on intracellular nanovesicles

We have a new paper out! You can access it here. The paper in a nutshell We have discovered a new class of trafficking vesicle inside cells. These vesicles are very small (30 nm across) and we’ve called them intracellular nanovesicles, or INVs for short. What is a trafficking vesicle? Humans are built from lots […]