Infographic: Meet R, the Shaky Metric Guiding Pandemic Forecasts
Infographic: Meet R, the Shaky Metric Guiding Pandemic Forecasts
The basic reproductive R0, along with the more malleable effective reproduction number Re, are centerpieces of most epidemiological models that are informing government responses to COVID-19.
Infographic: Meet R, the Shaky Metric Guiding Pandemic Forecasts
Infographic: Meet R, the Shaky Metric Guiding Pandemic Forecasts

The basic reproductive R0, along with the more malleable effective reproduction number Re, are centerpieces of most epidemiological models that are informing government responses to COVID-19.

The basic reproductive R0, along with the more malleable effective reproduction number Re, are centerpieces of most epidemiological models that are informing government responses to COVID-19.

statistics
Why R0 Is Problematic for Predicting COVID-19 Spread
Why R0 Is Problematic for Predicting COVID-19 Spread
Katarina Zimmer | Jul 13, 2020
The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has revealed the limitations of R0 as no other disease outbreak has before, at a time when policymakers need accurate forecasts.
Estimates Vary Widely for Number of Wuhan COVID-19 Cases in January
Estimates Vary Widely for Number of Wuhan COVID-19 Cases in January
Chris Baraniuk | Jun 17, 2020
Lacking many diagnostic test results from the first major outbreak, researchers have been left to scour other sources for clues about what happened in the early days of the pandemic.
It’s So Hard to Know Who’s Dying of COVID-19—and When
It’s So Hard to Know Who’s Dying of COVID-19—and When
David Adam | May 18, 2020
It can take days for each death to be recorded in official statistics. “Nowcasting” estimates the actual occurrence of deaths, and the true peak of the pandemic.
China Catches Up with the US in Science and Tech
China Catches Up with the US in Science and Tech
Catherine Offord | Jan 17, 2020
A new report from the National Science Board identifies changes in the US’s global R&D investment and output, as well as in the country’s science and engineering workforce in recent years.
Study of Microbiome’s Importance in Autism Triggers Swift Backlash
Study of Microbiome’s Importance in Autism Triggers Swift Backlash
Nicholette Zeliadt | Jun 27, 2019
Independent scientists say the original analysis is flawed; the authors stand by their work and are seeking outside statisticians to reanalyze the data.
Drop Statistical Significance, Scientists Say
Drop Statistical Significance, Scientists Say
Carolyn Wilke | Mar 21, 2019
In service of an arbitrary threshold, p-values often lead researchers to make poorly supported claims and ignore interesting but insignificant results, scientists argue.
Medical Statistician Doug Altman Dies
Medical Statistician Doug Altman Dies
Kerry Grens | Jun 5, 2018
The cofounder of the EQUATOR Network devoted his career to boosting transparency and improving the quality of clinical research.
Emails Reveal Questionable Practices by Cornell Food Scientist and His Coauthors
Emails Reveal Questionable Practices by Cornell Food Scientist and His Coauthors
Shawna Williams | Feb 26, 2018
The correspondence points to routine data-massaging at a high-profile lab.
ACS Statistics Reveal Continuing Declines in Cancer Mortality
ACS Statistics Reveal Continuing Declines in Cancer Mortality
Catherine Offord | Apr 1, 2017
Despite an overall decrease in the number of US cancer deaths, some cancer types are on the rise, and disparities remain between genders and ethnicities.
Jason Castro Tackles Olfactory Mysteries
Jason Castro Tackles Olfactory Mysteries
Ben Andrew Henry | Nov 1, 2016
Assistant Professor, Bates College. Age: 37
2016 Salary Survey: By the Numbers
2016 Salary Survey: By the Numbers
The Scientist Staff | Oct 31, 2016
This year's life sciences salary survey turned up some interesting trends in the U.S. and around the world.
ESP on Trial
ESP on Trial
Catherine Offord | Sep 1, 2016
In the 1930s, parapsychologist Joseph Banks Rhine aimed to use scientific methods to confirm the existence of extrasensory perception, but faced criticisms of dubious analyses and irreproducible results.
Faulty Statistics Muddy fMRI Results
Faulty Statistics Muddy fMRI Results
Tanya Lewis | Jul 6, 2016
An analysis of the widely used technique calls into question the validity of 40,000 studies.
Composite Endpoints in Clinical Trials
Composite Endpoints in Clinical Trials
Sarah C.P. Williams | Jul 1, 2016
There’s a right way and a wrong way to boost the statistical sensitivity of this type of clinical studies.
How to Use P-Values Correctly
How to Use P-Values Correctly
Kerry Grens | Mar 9, 2016
The American Statistical Association offers guidance on best practices for the oft-misused tool.
Methylation’s Role in Eusocial Insect Behavior Questioned
Methylation’s Role in Eusocial Insect Behavior Questioned
Catherine Offord | Jan 21, 2016
Researchers re-examine the evidence for DNA methylation as the cause of behavioral differences among social insects.
Can We Smell A Trillion Odors?
Can We Smell A Trillion Odors?
Kerry Grens | Jul 8, 2015
A reanalysis calls into question a year-old claim that humans can decipher at least 1 trillion different scents.
WHO: TB’s Toll Worse Than Thought
WHO: TB’s Toll Worse Than Thought
Bob Grant | Oct 22, 2014
A new report from the World Health Organization finds that tuberculosis has infected hundreds of thousands more people around the world than was estimated a year ago.
Week in Review: October 13–17
Week in Review: October 13–17
Jef Akst | Oct 17, 2014
Snail not extinct after all; results too good to be true?; mice need myelin production for motor learning; keeping the brain young; the evolution of archaea