Potential storm surge flooding map

NOAA provides a map of potential flooding due to Hurricane Ian headed towards Florida. Red indicates greater than 9 feet of flooding above ground.

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Rewley House Lecture: Role of data science in the pandemic

This year I was invited to give the Rewley House Lecture, a multidisciplinary research talk open to all, at the Department for Continuing Education, where I am Director of Studies in Data Science.

I talked about how data science has been used during the COVID-19 pandemic, spanning vaccine design, clinical trials, surveillance and policy advice, and highlighting the identification of risk factors for disease.

If you like this talk, you might be interested in the following courses available this academic year:


Trajectories of celebratory gunfire

When someone fires a gun into the air, the bullet travels thousands of feet in elevation. Gravity pulls the bullet back down, and it accelerates fast enough to penetrate a human skull by the time it reaches ground-level. Acceleration and trajectory vary by type of gun and the shot angle. 1Point21 Interactive shows the variation and dangers with a visual explainer.

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Stephen Sherry, PhD, is the new NCBI Director and NLM Associate Director for Scientific Data Resources

We are excited that our own Stephen Sherry, PhD, is now the new NCBI Director at the National Library of Medicine (NLM), and the NLM Associate Director for Scientific Data Resources. In these roles, Dr. Sherry will oversee the development and deployment of advanced computational solutions to meet life and health science information needs and … Continue reading Stephen Sherry, PhD, is the new NCBI Director and NLM Associate Director for Scientific Data Resources

Coming soon! Changes to NCBI Datasets command-line tool in version 14 (CLIv14.0.0)

In October 2022, NCBI Datasets will release version 14 of our datasets and dataformat command-line tools. This release will contain breaking changes to the command syntax, content of the data packages and data reports. Thank you for your feedback that inspired these new features. We hope they will improve your experience! We will continue to … Continue reading Coming soon! Changes to NCBI Datasets command-line tool in version 14 (CLIv14.0.0)

Design principles for data analysis

To teach, learn, and measure the process of analysis more concretely, Lucy D’Agostino McGowan, Roger D. Peng, and Stephanie C. Hicks explain their work in the Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics:

The design principles for data analysis are qualities or characteristics that are relevant to the analysis and can be observed or measured. Driven by statistical thinking and design thinking, a data analyst can use these principles to guide the choice of which data analytic elements to use, such as code, code comments, data visualization, non-data visualization, narrative text, summary statistics, tables, and statistical models or computational algorithms (Breiman 2001), to build a data analysis. Briefly, the elements of an analysis are the individual basic components of the analysis that, when assembled together by the analyst, make up the entire analysis.

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Conserved Domain Database version 3.20 is available!

A new version of the Conserved Domain Database (CDD) is now available. Version 3.20 contains 1,614 new or updated NCBI/CDD-curated domains and now mirrors Pfam version 34 as well as new models from the NCBIfam collection. Fine-grained classifications of the [(+)ssRNA] virus RNA-dependent RNA polymerase catalytic domain, RING-finger/U-box, dimerization/docking domains of the cAMP-dependent protein kinase … Continue reading Conserved Domain Database version 3.20 is available!

Historical data

Randall Munroe provides another fine observation through xkcd.

I often wonder what our data and charts will look like a century or two from now. Will the conventions and aesthetics look silly and amateur or classic and vintage? Will what seems like a lot of detailed data now seem spotty and useless, or will we look back in disbelief that companies were allowed to track our activities? Will AI have taken over human cognition and make these questions obsolete, because we’re in a suspended dream state, our bodies used as energy to power super computers, unsure of what is real and what is simulated? Important questions.

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Dental school dean up to five retractions for cancer research papers

A dental school dean with a history of publishing cancer research papers is up to five retractions.  Russell Taichman, the dean of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s school of dentistry, lost two papers in Cancer Research earlier this month, after losing three others since 2020. Most of the retractions came after PubPeer comments about … Continue reading Dental school dean up to five retractions for cancer research papers

Maps of wildfire smoke pollution

Wildfire obviously damages the areas it comes in direct contact with, but wildfire smoke can stretch much farther. Based on research by Childs et al., Mira Rojanasakul, for The New York Times, shows how pollution from smoke spread between 2006 and 2020.

My kids’ rooms still have air filters from a few years ago, when a fire many miles away made the sky orange and our indoor environment smokey.

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