Migrating this blog to randombits.workingagenda.com

I will be migrating future content on this blog to a new URL, http://randombits.workingagenda.com. I will also be changing the CMS from WordPress to Drupal 7.

Collection of reactions to the Ames Iowa straw poll

These are some of the reactions to the Ames Iowa straw poll, where Michele Bachmann won with 29 percent of the vote, and Ron Paul was second, with 28 percent. Read the rest of this entry »

The IRS Enhanced donation

In 2000, Manon Ress wrote a memo for MSF on Tax Deductions for Pharmaceutical Drug Donations. These are the few notes about the enhanced donation rules, as they apply to drug donations.

The IRS has special provisions for “enhanced” donations. For such donations, the taxpayer is able to deduct the lesser of 50 percent of the fair market value of a donation, often associated with the retail price of a good, or twice the cost basis. For drug company donations, the donation should be “used by the donee solely for the care of the ill, the needy, or infants.” [26 USC 170 (e)(3)] Read the rest of this entry »

The economic costs of lobbying of financial institutions and mortgage companies in the U.S.

Larry Lessig tweeted a link about this. In 2009, an IMF research paper took a look at the consequences of lobbying by financial institutions and mortgage companies in the U.S. Read the rest of this entry »

Funny or die parody of the Newsweek cover shot of Michele Bachman

This parody of the photo session for the Newsweek cover of Michelle Bachmann focuses largely on her husband, Marcus Bachmann, a “gay reparative therapist,” possibly in need of some self help.

This is a link to Dr. Marcus Bachmann’s Christian counseling service: http://www.bachmanncounseling.com/

Employment of Computer and Information Research Scientists by state

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes National Industry-Specific Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates.

The BLS estimated 24,580 persons were employed as “Computer and Information Research Scientists” in 41 states. The employment occupation code is 15-1111.

52 percent of all jobs were in 5 states: California, Virginia, Maryland, Texas and Massachusetts. Read the rest of this entry »

Some user generated databases

KEI is interested in the development of sustainable mechanisms to strengthen the evidence for public policy decisions. One element of this work concerns user generated databases, an area of considerable interest, but mixed experience, in recent years. The following are examples of several such projects, beginning with the excellent Ensembl project, followed by several others of varying degrees of success in their implementation.

As this brief list shows, there are all sorts of ways to design and manage user generated databases. In some cases, the database services seem to be set up more to showcase a technology or an idea for a platform. In other cases, the database is a focused effort to solve a practical and well identified user interest. Some are run by for profit companies, others by non-profits, individuals or communities. The databases take different approaches in terms of database design, attention to standards for data formats, and governance, among other issues.

The Ensembl Project

The Ensembl project produces genome databases for vertebrates and other eukaryotic species, and makes this information freely available online. The Ensembl project was started in 1999, some years before the draft human genome was completed. Even at that early stage it was clear that manual annotation of 3 billion base pairs of sequence would not be able to offer researchers timely access to the latest data. The goal of Ensembl was therefore to automatically annotate the genome, integrate this annotation with other available biological data and make all this publicly available via the web. Since the website’s launch in July 2000, many more genomes have been added to Ensembl and the range of available data has also expanded to include comparative genomics, variation and regulatory data.

The number of people involved in the project has also steadily increased. Currently, the Ensembl group consists of between 40 and 50 people, divided in a number of teams. Read the rest of this entry »

Market cap per employee, and rate of R&D spending, for large pharmaceutical companies

Among large bio-pharmaceutical firms, Gilead is an outlier in terms of market cap per employee. Read the rest of this entry »

Market cap and 2011 2nd Quarter Revenue per employee, for selected technology firms

In terms of market cap and revenue per employee, Apple and Google are in another class.
Read the rest of this entry »

2nd quarter revenue per employee for 12 big pharma companies

The chart below presents the 2011 2nd quarter revenue per employee for the 12 largest bio pharmaceutical firms.

The unweighted average was $146,235.86. The median was $135,712. Amgen has the largest ratio of $227,660
in 2nd quarter revenue per employee. Read the rest of this entry »