Additional Paper News

Forgot to mention -- the paper I mentioned in "Conditional" below was "Accepted" by the Annals of Biomedical Engineering, just a couple of days ago.  They still want some minor revisions -- but, hey, an acceptance is an acceptance!

Now if only I got 5 cents a word for it.  Instead, we'll no doubt have to pay them a couple thousand dollars of "page charges," as they call it in the science biz.  Especially if we want to have color figures.  This is typical for an old fashioned paper journal (who will then turn around and charge up to $85 a pop for a copy of the article).  Thank goodness for PDF files.

There is a free online biomedical engineering journal, but I'm not sure how much of an impact it has compared to Ann Biomed Engr.  The science publishing biz is changing VERY slowly.  Paper journals, like Cell and Nature and New England Journal of Medicine are THE places to get published, in medical research anyway (I've never appeared in any of 'em); yet every article I read nowadays comes to me as a PDF file.  So why all the ex-trees?

Tradition, I guess.


Hitting the Bottle

Gad it's been a while. Been busy here. Mostly working on novel #2 in my Critical Mass series, as it could conceivably be called.

Is it cricket to just repeat the same first line as last time?

Well, it's all true. But the good news is that that paper I mentioned below was recently published in J. Med. Dev. Here's a link to it.  If you want a copy (for your personal use), I'd be happy to send you one.


Hey, that's what we do at the Division of Solid and Fluid Mechanics at the FDA.
  • Current Mood
    relieved relieved

Ying and Yang

Gad it's been a while.  Been busy here.  Mostly working on novel #2 in my Critical Mass series, as it could conceivably be called.

In other news, as I mentioned in a reply to one of my posts below, I received notification from an editor that a paper I reviewed harshly has been rejected.  The other reviewers also found it, uh, less than satisfactory.

On the other hand, a paper that some of my colleagues at the FDA and I submitted was just accepted at the Journal of Medical Devices -- and not only accepted, but accepted without any changes needed.  In science this is almost unheard of -- at least for me.  The last time that happened was my very first paper, 28 years and 30 papers ago.  How weird is that?

  • Current Mood
    pleased pleased


Here's an article about copyrights and the Recording Industry Association of America (S.A.T.A.N.)  (I know, I have the acronym wrong, it's really C.H.E.N.E.Y.).  This blogger suggests punishing the RIAA for unethically suing 1000's of people by cutting the copyright length from 125 years to 5 years.

Something has to happen.  These corporations are acting as if they own the country (which in some ways they do) and need to be hammered.  For one thing, no actual working musician or composer is being helped by these lawsuits, IMO.

Interesting idea.  Never happen, though.  I doubt it will ever get cut back to anything more reasonable (like 25 years?) in my lifetime.



I just got a paper "conditionally accepted" at the Annals of Biomedical Engineering, long-windedly entitled "Effects of Thrombosed Vena Cava Filters on Blood Flow: Flow Visualization and Numerical Modeling." Not quite as exciting as, say, a 5-book deal with Tor (don't I wish) but heck. Have I gotten jaded?

The paper deals with devices like the one shown on the right. These are sometimes put into the large vein going back to the heart (the vena cava) in patients with a clot in a leg vein (a so-called deep vein thrombosis). Any blood clot that happens to break off from the one in the leg can travel up the vena cava, through the right side of the heart, and reach the lungs. It could block a major lung vein and block the patient's ability to breathe. Such pulmonary embolisms are Not Good. So the filter is designed to capture any embolized clots and prevent them from reaching the lungs.

I did some computer simulations of blood flow in these devices and compared them to the experiments done by others. The second figure shows the results from a simulation of a filter with a cone shaped clot caught in the middle.  Areas of low shear stress and flow stagnation are shown in blue. Stagnant blood flow lets the cells stick together, and may lead to more clotting. This also is Not Good -- the vena cava might get blocked, leading to edema in the legs and other bad things.  Then there are areas where the blood has to speed up to go around the simulated clot -- areas that are more red.  High speed flows can lead to turbulence, which can lead to damage to the blood cells.  Also NG.  And different brands of filters have different characteristics -- at least that's what the simulations say.

"Conditionally accepted" of course means that I have to go back and make some changes required by the reviewers.  So I'm not out of the woods yet.  But at least I can see the edge of the forest through the trees.



I'm working on a query letter to send to an agent. I find it difficult to wedge an entire novel into two paragraphs -- gad, it's hard enough wedging it into a four page synopsis.  It gives me this uncomfortable feeling of putting on a pair of underwear that's too small.
I've struggled with abstracts for research articles, too -- especially when there's a 250 word limit, or, worse, a 100 word limit. But it's great practice for Strunk & White's rule to "omit needless words."
I took a look at the query letter samples posted on agent Kristin Nelson's blog for help.  At least mainstream writers can telegraph their backgrounds by something like "set in New Orleans during WWII."  How do I do describe a complex sf background in one or two sentences, without using 67 words?  Now there's a recipe for failure.

On the other hand, I suppose all my writing should be that succinct.  Omit needless words!!!

Naked Puppets

 . . . is one of my favorite pieces by Amy X. Neuburg, an avant garde singer and musician from San Francisco.   She was classically-trained at Oberlin Conservatory, then got an MFA at the Mills College of Electronic Music.  Now she does shows where she sings into something called an Echoplex, which allows her to sing along with what she just sang two seconds ago, processed or unprocessed.  She also performs electronic keyboards and percussion while she's at it.  Naked Puppets is about peer pressure, I suppose. Go here and listen to it!  Or else your friends will think less of you.

View From The Other Side

Yesterday I did a peer review of an article submitted to a biomedical engineering journal, one of the things that makes research interesting.  It was a tough job, because it was a complex computer simulation that took me a while to get through.  The results and discussion were full of convoluted arguments and justifications, not to mention hard to understand comparisons to patient data.  It took me a long time to figure out that the authors had, in essence, proved that A=A.  At least, as far as I could tell from the non-standard English.  I had to recommend rejection.

I hate doing that.  I've had I think two articles rejected outright at the first journal I sent it to, and it wasn't fun.  I've had many more sent back for major revisions (also not fun, especially the one that required four more months of work), and only one (my first, of all things) accepted with no rewrite needed at all.  So I see what it's like on the other side.

And of course I've received countless rejections of science fiction stories (I no longer concentrate on shorter works, so haven't received any in years).  Those weren't fun either.  Only five or six of my short stories have been published, and now I'm concentrating on novels (and I'm expecting a lot of rejections there, too).  Ecch.

But handing them out doesn't feel good either.  I guess I'd make a lousy editor.

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    okay okay