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 […]

Target: monitoring a running goal in R

Many running races and events have been cancelled or disrupted due to the pandemic. To fill the void, I’ve been taking on Garmin’s “Challenges”. In Garmin Connect, you can accept a challenge set by Garmin (I think users can challenge each other too). Completion of these challenges gives the user points, which I’ve become somewhat […]

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 […]

Say It Ain’t So: using Weezer album cover colours in R

I’m a long-term fan of Weezer. Such was the brilliance of their first two albums that I have stuck with them through thick and thin. And dear me, there has been some very thin music. Nonetheless I own every album – thirteen of them. Among them are six albums entitled “Weezer”. These records are colloquially […]