10 Interesting links (20/12/21)
This is the first in the ongoing series of posts with interesting links. I will try to make these as regular as possible but I probably won’t be able to compete with Tyler Cowen, yet.
- Evidence that the Omicron variant is relatively mild is growing stronger by the day. Here is one piece. And here’s another.
- Probably the most important single research piece written on the Covid-19 pandemic. Philippe Lemoine explains that only assuming that during each wave the virus spreads in a subset of society that is poorly connected to others can explain the disease dynamics we have observed. Yours truly has expressed similar ideas in April 2020 here but of course, Lemoine has put them on a much more impressive foundation.
- A preprint suggesting the mRNA vaccines probably do not cause much heart inflammation. Especially compared to Covid-19 itself.
- Nicolas Kachanovsky et al. showing on the Equador example that dollarization is a force for good.
- Stunning micro-biomedical advances for tissue repair. Here and here. We still live at wonderful times!
- Robert Downey Jr. launches a new platform for (biomedical) science funding via fast grants. It kinda represents the opposite extreme compared to the current bureaucratized grant-reliant model, an extreme focused on basically supporting pure curiosity. While this sounds refreshing, perhaps, for-profit private sector funding of most science could be a better approach for most fields.
- The temporary closure of secondary schools in Sweden may have improved the mental health of students. Does not mean that it was a good policy overall, in the absence of alternatives to schooling in the short run. But this does suggest that the modern schooling model is terrible and needs to be axed.
- It may become possible to get normal epithelial cells to better eliminate pre-cancerous cells. And type 3 collagen could in the future be harnessed to prevent metatstatic cancer colonies from erupting.
- Natasha Che’s paper on the Uruguayan economic miracle (at least to almost everything else in Latin America).
- An awesome piece on how combinatorial innovation works.
That turns out to have a startling implication: combinatorial processes grow slowly until they explode.