Disclaimers

Before we begin, I would like to make three disclaimers:

  1. COVID vaccines are safe and COVID vaccines are effective. Period. If you came here to find a blog post to use as a tool to argue against vaccination, you came to the wrong place.
  2. I am not an immunologist or a virologist, my field of expertise is statistical and psychiatric genetics, so I’m approaching this topic from a purely biostatistical perspective informed by my limited understanding of immunology/virology.
  3. This is not meant to be a piece considered in vaccination decision-making process. …

Feature image: Brain

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Initial Genetic Hypotheses
  3. Twin Studies
  4. Family Studies
  5. Conclusion
  6. Abbreviations
  7. Bibliography

1. Introduction

Tourette Syndrome (TS) neurodevelopmental disorder affecting primarily children and adolescents, with 0.3–1.0% lifetime prevalence, significantly affecting their quality of life and in some cases causing a life-long disability (Elstner et al., 2001). Neurobiologically, TS causes marked abnormalities in Cortico-Striato-Thalamo-Cortical (CTSC) circuits, which are known to regulate control of motor, behavioral, and cognitive processes (Singer & Minzer, 2003), but the exact biology and pathogenesis of this disorder remains obscure.

TS was first described by Georges Gilles de la Tourette in 1885, in a collection of case histories characterized by the…


Photo by CDC on Unsplash.

On October 25th, 2019, the New York Times a report on the termination of the funding to the PREDICT program. The program, ran by the US Agency for International Development, was a part of the Emerging Pandemic Threats program, focusing on the detection and discovery of zoonotic diseases. During their decade-long operation, the PREDICT program has trained almost 7,000 people over 30 countries and strengthened laboratory systems in over 60 labs around the world to detect zoonotic disease. …


Defining the major misconceptions in any given field of science is often more difficult than it seems, particularly when it comes to getting down to the core of common misconceptions. For the field of biology, any number of misconceptions can be named — however, the major misconception, in my opinion, is the idea of biological rigidity.

You see, in undergraduate biology classes, we often learn the vastness of biological knowledge in a rigid fashion: DNA existing as an implicitly exclusive right-handed double stranded complementary anti-parallel helix, DNA encoding RNA encoding proteins in a forward only fashion, AUG start codon as…


Source: pixabay.com

If you are a scientist and you haven’t paid a visit to RetractionWatch, what have you been doing your life?! It is a blog tracking and cataloging scientific retractions across dozens of fields and scientific journals into a RetractionWatch Database, published not so long ago together with an accompanying analysis in Science.

If you are not a scientist, then welcome to what could be described as academia’s walk of shame. Retraction is an action of withdrawal of a paper, usually on either journal’s or authors’ behalf, due to various reasons, that are occasionally accompanied by other types of repercussions. …


Please bear in mind that these graphs and summaries represent a rather simplistic statistical analysis, and linear regressions with a single independent variable usually do not adequately explain the dependent variable. But, since it’s 3AM and I have consumed too much coffee to be able to fall asleep — let’s have some fun regardless! The data is analyzed on the state level (N_max = 50).

Unless otherwise stated, all examples are fitted to simple linear models with a single independent variable (see directly below). The instances with missing data have been excluded from analysis.

Figure 1.: A mathematical representation of a simple linear model with a single independent variable.

Mortality rate due to malignant neoplasms (per 100,000) vs. people voting for Trump (%):


Don’t get me wrong, as a Ph.D. student in Genetics and Genomics program, my lab life without CRISPR would probably be orders of magnitude more difficult. No matter what kind of project I consider throwing myself into, I automatically have to consider using CRISPR either as a tool to derive experimental models or an experimental tool in a different sense altogether.

CRISPR is an essential tool for most molecular biologists — it offers high precision, it’s easy to use, freakishly cheap, extremely adjustable (you can target any one region in the genome, or multiple regions simultaneously), and amazingly versatile (you…

Franjo Ivankovic

PhD @UFGenetics , studying psychiatric genomics of Tourette Syndrome & OCD. My passion is an intersection of genetics, statistics, psychology, and anthropology

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