Cataloging a year of blogging: cancer and fitness landscapes

Happy 2019!

As we leave 2018, the Theory, Evolution, and Games Group Blog enters its 9th calendar year. This past year started out slowly with only 4 posts in the first 5 months. However, after May 31st, I managed to maintain a regular posting schedule. This is the 32nd calendar week in a row with at least one new blog post released.

I am very happy about this regularity. Let’s see if I can maintain it throughout 2019.

A total of 38 posts appeared on TheEGG last year. This is the 3rd most prolific year after the 47 in 2014 and 88 in 2013. One of those being a review of the 12 posts of 2017 (the least prolific year for TheEGG).

But the other 37 posts are too much to cover in one review. Thus, in this catalogue, I’ll focus on cancer and fitness landscapes. Next week, I’ll deal with the more philosophical content from the last year.

Mathematical oncology

    In my first three cancer posts of the year, I was mostly thinking about how evolutionary game theory is used in cancer. This was largely prompted by some of the thoughts behind my work on how fibroblasts and Alectinib switch the evolutionary games played by non-small cell lung cancer.

  1. Deadlock & Leader as deformations of Prisoner’s dilemma & Hawk-Dove games (January 30th)
  2. Symmetry breaking and non-cell-autonomous growth rates in cancer (April 7th)
  3. Looking for species in cancer but finding strategies and players (August 11th)
  4. Although not all of these thoughts were new. The above post on species, for example, was prompted by on an old post of David Basanta’s from 2014 on what is a species (in cancer) and based on my response to it. The advantage of working under a self-imposed weekly schedule is that when pressed for time on Saturday night, I took to completing old drafts.

    Another one of these old drafts that became reality through time pressure was an exploration of connections between cancer and ancient Chinese philosophy:

  5. The wei wu wei of evolutionary oncology (October 20th)
  6. This post was inspired in part by reading Michael Puett & Christine Gross-Loh’s The Path. And the ‘natural therapies’ debunking in the middle of the post benefitted greatly from the input of David Robert Grimes and Andrew Dhawan. Thanks to all this help, the post ended up as one of the 4th top new posts in views for this past year.

    My other big cancer inspiration this year was visiting the Institut Mittag-Leffler from December 2nd to 8th as part of their program on mathematical biology. The visit inspired a number of post, with two of them about cancer (another is on effective games from spatial structure, and I’ll discuss it next week). The focus was on resistance.

  7. Causes and costs in biological vs clinical resistance (December 14th)
  8. Local peaks and clinical resistance at negative cost (December 21st)

It is likely that I will write more about the cost of resistance in future posts. Especially due to the interesting discussion about local peaks and resistance in the comments on the blog and on Meddit. Maybe I’ll even get a chance to write a preprint about some of these thoughts.

Computational complexity as an ultimate constraints on evolution

As the title of this section suggests, these posts were based on my ongoing work on the computational complexity of finding local fitness peaks.

  1. Proximal vs ultimate constraints on evolution (July 24th)
  2. Labyrinth: Fitness landscapes as mazes, not mountains (August 18th)
  3. Minimal models for explaining unbounded increase in fitness (October 27th)
  4. Open-ended evolution on hard fitness landscapes from VCSPs (December 26th) by Alexandru Strimbu

The last post was by Alexandru Strimbu and was the only guest post of this year. I am hoping for more guest posts in 2019. We should expect at least some. Alex and I will be continuing to work on hard instances of fitness landscapes together, so he will probably contribute a couple of posts.

If anybody else is interested in writing for TheEGG in 2019, please do contact me. It is always great to grow our long roster of writers.

About Artem Kaznatcheev
From the Department of Computer Science at Oxford University and Department of Translational Hematology & Oncology Research at Cleveland Clinic, I marvel at the world through algorithmic lenses. My mind is drawn to evolutionary dynamics, theoretical computer science, mathematical oncology, computational learning theory, and philosophy of science. Previously I was at the Department of Integrated Mathematical Oncology at Moffitt Cancer Center, and the School of Computer Science and Department of Psychology at McGill University. In a past life, I worried about quantum queries at the Institute for Quantum Computing and Department of Combinatorics & Optimization at University of Waterloo and as a visitor to the Centre for Quantum Technologies at National University of Singapore. Meander with me on Google+ and Twitter.

2 Responses to Cataloging a year of blogging: cancer and fitness landscapes

  1. Pingback: Cataloging a year of metamodeling blogging | Theory, Evolution, and Games Group

  2. Pingback: Cataloging a year of social blogging | Theory, Evolution, and Games Group

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