We shouldn’t be using R0 to measure the rate of COVID-19 transmission

There’s a pretty extraordinary clip that I saw on Twitter the other day of Angela Merkel discussing the R0 of COVID-19 in Germany. In it, she explains that R0 is how many people, on average, that an infected person transmits the virus to before they recover. If R0 is greater than 1, the number of […]

Asymptomatic shedding of viruses is the norm

*edited to be more clear about relationship between shedding and contagiousness Recently, there’s been scientific and media attention on how people can spread COVID-19 without showing symptoms. This is obviously a public health threat. However, this is also something that really should not be news. Most infectious viruses can be spread without people showing symptoms. […]

Why do human beings keep getting diseases from bats?

Humans get a surprising number of very infectious diseases from bats. We get SARS (including the recent COVID-19/SARS-CoV2), Ebola, rabies, and possibly mumps. These are all incredibly infectious, deadly diseases. This seems weird because human beings aren’t in particularly close contact with bats. They’re nocturnal, don’t have large city populations (for the most part), and […]

How to study for the MCAT

This post shared by Trevor Klee, Tutor. 1. Your overall MCAT studying process a) Start with a diagnostic test. What are your specific strengths and weaknesses? Use the error log app to discern the patterns. -The error log is like flashcards, but more flexible and better for analytics. b) If you’re missing content, review the Khan Academy videos for […]

Self-organized criticality: the potential and problems of a theory of everything

Note: this essay is outside of my comfort zone, so there might be a few mistakes. I relied a lot on this paper and Wikipedia to help me think about it. Mistakes are my own. The 1987 paper “Self-organized criticality: An explanation of the 1/f noise”, by Bak, Tang, and Wiesenfeld has 8612 citations. That […]