Category: biology

What Viral Evolution Can Teach Us About the Coronavirus Pandemic:


In the Ebola and Zika outbreaks of the past several years, evolutionary trees revealed the virus’s patterns of spread around the world, but sometimes not until months or years after the outbreaks began. The new coronavirus has spread far faster—but the pace of science has sped up as well. Between January and early April, more than twenty-five hundred covid-19 genomes were published, making it possible to track how the virus has spread and evolved in almost real time.These advances raise the tantalizing possibility that knowledge of viral evolution can alter the course of this pandemic.

How is it going people? 

Relax, stay at home if you can, and wear mask according with your local authorities guidance.

Be safe!

Cartoon via My Clean Sick Sense of Humor FB page

Why It’s So Freaking Hard To Make A Good COVID-19 Model

From FiveThirtyEight

Great article, please read it. Be wary of data without context. Always.

Numbers aren’t facts. They’re the result of a lot of subjective choices that have to be documented transparently and in detail before you can even begin to consider treating the output as fact.

Pathogen Resistance


Alt/title text:

We’re not not trapped in here with the coronavirus. The coronavirus is trapped in here with us.

Explain xkcd

How Soon Will COVID-19 Peak?

Difficult to tell, but the sooner social distancing is applied the better. Stay at home.

8kb graphical visualization of the RNA sequence of SARS-CoV-2. [Source of the complete genome]

Via Data is Beautiful subReddit

We humans know how to fight epidemics, and today we can fight them better than ever.

Wikipedia list of epidemics

Take care guys! [And follow official recommendations]

Image via Hersenspinsels FB page

Each square represents an individual:


uninfected but susceptible to infection


infected in the latent period and not yet infectious


infected and infectious


deceased or recovered


isolated by community screening policies

Daniel Cooney, Vincent Wong, and Yaneer Bar-Yam, Beyond contact tracing: Community-based early detection for Ebola response, PLoS Currents Outbreaks (May 19, 2016). [PDF, arXiv]


New England Complex Systems Institute

Wash your hands, it’s always good advice.

A new research tool (Bellymount) allowed biologists to watch in real time the cell renewal process that keeps gut tissue healthy, as well as the interactions between bacterial species that make up the microbiome.

Image caption

Bellymount allows researchers to peer into the live tissue of the fruit fly gut and other visceral organs in real time. It provides researchers with massive amounts of time-series imaging data, which is revolutionary in the biological sciences. Image is courtesy of Leslie Koyama and Lucy O’Brien.

Via Carnegie Science: 

Eavesdropping On “Conversations” Between Gut Stem Cells And Gut Bacteria


Bellymount enables longitudinal, intravital imaging of abdominal organs and the gut microbiota in adult Drosophila (PLOS Biology,