PPaul

Doctoral candidate working on electrochemical energy storage.

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The Best Textbooks on Every Subject

I did not read McQuarrie and Simon but instead fell in love with "Physical Chemistry from a Different Angle" by Georg Job and Regina Rüffler. It is >> Atkins, Wedler It finally made me understand thermodynamics quite intuitively (!) and is very friendly towards people relatively uncomfortable with calculus. In general, it makes great efforts to teach, instead of just going through the material.

Topic I'd recommend it for: Physical chemistry (including thermodynamics, transport phenomena, electrochemistry, chemical kinetics)

The only caveat: They use somewhat different notation and formulations of much of physical chemistry mathematics. I think that theirs is much better and undoes a lot of the idiosyncrasies of the past 150 years, while explicitly explaining why those happened. This alone helped me understand much of classical thermodynamics better. In the last chapter, they explain how the usual formulations are related to theirs.

Covid 12/31: Meet the New Year

A follow up thought: What do we know or what can we guess about the effect of 1-dose on reducing transmissibility? If we vaccinate twice as many, but they are still very much infectious (compared to 2-dose), could that be a problem?

Covid 12/31: Meet the New Year

Does that assume that the amount of mutations (and therefore the risk of an immune escape) is only dependent on the size of the viriome? But isn't it possible that the risk of an immune escape mutation in the 1-dose vaccinated population is much higher than in the rest of the population? I think if that was much higher, it could swamp the benefit of reduced overall chance for dangerous mutations occurring due to the reduced infections from vaccinating more people (as compared to 2 doses). Not sure of any of this, just trying to think through your intuition.

Covid 12/31: Meet the New Year

I read people claiming that the first doses first strategy could cause evolution of the virus to escape the vaccine. Is there any truth to that? Does that factor into the cost-benefit analysis?

(From this retweet from a Prof at Geneva Centre for Emerging Viral Diseases)

Covid 12/31: Meet the New Year

I might be missing something, but where in this link do you see the dominance? If it is the large proportion of sequencing showing B.1.1.7 (18/33 for Italy and 4/13 for Israel), isn't that due to increased surveillance, like testing positive people coming from the UK?

Caveat: Most locations outside the original focus have not reported sustained transmission and many cases have known travel links to the focal location. Increasing numbers of international cases is currently likely due to increased surveillance and vigilance.

Covid 12/24: We’re F***ed, It’s Over

More thoughts from Trevor Bedford. He is more convinced that it is more transmissible.

What evidence will tell us about the new strain? How are you updating?

The updated PHE report found:

228,361 (9.9% attack rate) of all contacts notified by cases in this period became cases:

  • 15.1% among those whose index case was confirmed to have the VOC [variant of concern] 202012/01
  • 9.8% among those whose index case was sequenced and confirmed with other variants
What evidence will tell us about the new strain? How are you updating?

Here is a preprint of a simulation study fitting observed data to various models. (dated 23-12-2020) Best fit is increased transmission. I lack the qualification to judge its quality, but update towards higher transmission.

"We estimate that VOC 202012/01 is 56% more transmissible (95% credible interval across three regions 50-74%) than preexisting variants of SARS-CoV-2."

Tools for keeping focused

I have LeechBlock for both Chrome and Firefox and don't experience any desire to use Edge instead

Coronavirus: Justified Practical Advice Thread

I've been trying to reduce my face touching for more than 6 months now as part of a project to get less colds and only managed to really get there in the last 2 months. I also work in a lab with gloves where I have to take care what I touch a lot, which is daily training. Still I have found it frustratingly hard not to do it, so I don't know if many people can quickly train themselves.

Things that help me:

  • have paper tissues around and use only them to rub nose/eyes
  • scratch face with inside of clothes (less obtrusive than it sounds)
  • wear gloves in public (I guess that works because my hands feel different, like in the lab)
  • watch out for other people in public doing it wrong (keeps it on my mind)
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