Friday Links (2/3/2017)

Capture.PNGHappy Friday! This week’s theme: vintage posters of infectious diseases. A bit short for this Friday (I procrastinated), but hopefully you’ll find something interesting.

Disease-related links

Declining Prevalence of Disease Vectors Under Climate Change: It’s possible that future climate change will lead to a local or complete extinction of vector species. Alternatively, vector species can shift their geographic range into novel habitats. For exploring future distributions, ecological niche modeling can be used. (Escobar et al. 2016)


Pathogen-Mediated Inhibition of Anorexia Promotes Host Survival and Transmission Researchers have found a possible mechanism for how bacteria regulate their host’s appetite. Salmonella in infected mice were found to be less virulent when nutrients were plentiful suggesting a possible trade-off between virulence and transmission. (Rao et al. 2017)


Minimally Symptomatic Infection in an Ebola ‘Hotspot’: A Cross-Sectional Serosurvey: The authors found that a proportion of the clinical manifestations in Ebola to be  minimally symptomatic.This could be useful for implementing more effective containment. (Richardson et al. 2016)

Rstats/Data Science

ggforce (ggplot2): For those using ggplot2, there are so many cool extensions. One of the coolest function I found was the facet_zoom() of the ggforce extension. Zoom in on a specific part of a graph. (Useful for: ggplot users)


A Compendium of Clean Graphs in R: Regardless of what data-viz package you use, you should strive to make beautiful, clean graphs. So behold some really beautiful, clean graphs with the R codes generously provided (Useful for: Anyone who uses R to make graphs/figures, specifically through base plot)

39 studies about human perception in 30 minutes: One woman  summarized 39 studies on human perception of different aspects of data-visualization. She learned that we really, really don’t like 3D shapes in our graphs and figures.

Croxton (6) found over eight decades ago that bars were more effective in communicating comparative values than either circles, squares or cubes. Circles and squares were about as effective as the other. Cubes were undoubtedly the worst. More on 3d later.

Harrison and coauthors (28) ranked the effectiveness of several visualization types for depicting correlation. They found that scatterplots and parallel coordinates were best at this. Among the stacked chart variants, the stacked bar significantly outperformed both the stacked area and stacked line.

Earth – An Interactive Visualization of Weather Conditions: Need to destress? Look at the live weather patterns across the globe, it’s like a Van Gogh painting.


Science arts/communication 

The March for Science is on Earth Day, April 22, 2017.

When science becomes too easy: Science popularization inclines laypeople to underrate their dependence on experts: A somewhat controversial paper out right now on why the relationship between scientists and the public is the way it is now.

Science Wide Open: Children’s Books about Women in Science: A perfect gift for yourself or for any young children interested in the sciences.


A Scientists’ March on Washington Is a Bad Idea: Not a perspective that I share (you can do the things he suggests and the march), but I still think the author makes some valid points.

Scientists marching in opposition to a newly elected Republican president will only cement the divide. The solution here is not mass spectacle, but an increased effort to communicate directly with those who do not understand the degree to which the changing climate is already affecting their lives. We need storytellers, not marchers.

Val WebbLike my rave of Jen Burgess last week, here is my praise of a freelance science illustrator. If you’re interested in this type of nature journal art, she does offer online courses!


The history of disease through public health posters

“Posters have been a powerful force in shaping public opinion because propagandists have long known that visual impressions are extremely strong

-William H. Helfand

The Enemy in Your Pants: The military’s decades-long war against STDs

 Army medical records dating back to the Revolutionary War show significant soldier losses due to venereal diseases. In a two-year period during the Civil War, the Union Army documented 100,000 cases of gonorrhea. During World War I, the Army lost 7 million person-days and discharged more than 10,000 men because they were ailing from sexually transmitted diseases.

Visual Culture and Public Health Posters: Venereal Disease

Emphasizing the relationship between patriotism, morality, health preservation, and disease prevention, images of the infected soldier and disease-carrying prostitute in posters during the First and Second World Wars came to symbolize both moral failure and social decay.

Visual Culture and Public Health Posters: Immunization 

Retro Disease Fighting Posters Make Public Health Cool Again

 A really cool callback to vintage public health posters!


But propaganda can work the other way! Anti-vaccination sentiments were strong in the past as well

Image result for anti vaccination posters vintage

A political cartoon from the 1800’s- artistic unknown

From: Museum of Healthcare

Extra Fun

The Simpson’s take on grad students.

Bart don’t make fun of grad students… They just made a terrible life choice.

About damiepak

PhD student in Bjornstad Lab
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