Papers in biodemography and systems biology
The physics of living populations

An appealing field
A precursor foray into the field of biodemography as seen by physicists was made in 2011 with the publication of a study entitled ``The physics of foraging''.

For physicists biodemography is an appealing field because demographic data are less noisy than many other kinds of social science data, e.g. prices or transaction volumes on stock markets. This is not because demographic variables are recorded more accurately but rather because demographic phenomena are less subject to high-frequency exogenous shocks and are therefore less volatile.
In addition, demographic data are available online through a number of convenient websites, e.g. WONDER, IPUMS, VSUS, UN Demographic Yearbooks.
Moreover, historical demographic data going back to the mid-19th century are also available online (or in recapitulative paper volumes) for a number of countries.
By combining such databases, it becomes possible to conduct research in a quasi-experimental way.

Testable predictions
In what sense should the expression ``systems biology'' be understood? Many demographic effects occur not only in human populations but also in a broad range of species. The great merit of a systems science perspective is that it leads to testable predictions. As an illustration, paper no 7 gives conclusive predictions for the postnatal mortality spikes of various fish species.
Moreover, even for effects which are specific to humans, we make a point of checking their similarity in different developed countries for which data are available.

(1)
How can population pyramids be used to explore the past?
Asia Pacific Center for Theoretical Physics (APCTP) Bulletin 25-26,13-25, January-December 2010.

(2)
Incidence of the Bertillon and Gompertz effects on the outcome of clinical trials.
Physica A 344, 300-307 (July 2014)

(3)
Symmetry breaking on density in escaping ants: experiment and alarm pheromone model
Plos One (31 December 2014)

(4)
How can one explain changes in the monthly pattern of suicide?
Physica A 424,350-362 (January 2015)

(5)
Predictive implications of Gompertz's law.
Physica A 447,446-454 (December 2015)

(6)
Effect of marital status on death rates. Part 1: High accuracy exploration of the Farr-Bertillon effect.
Physica A 450,748-767 (January 2016)

(7)
Effect of marital status on death rates. Part 2: Transient mortality spikes.
Physica A 450,768-784 (January 2016)

(8)
Deciphering infant mortality.
Physica A 463,400-426 (July 2016)

(9)
Effect of isolation on life expectancy of Red Imported Fire Ants (Solenopsis invicta) and Tephridid fruit fly (Bactrocera dorsalis)
Acta Ecologica Sinica 36,252-255 (July 2016)

(10)
Is cancer a disease that can be cured? An answer based on a new classification of diseases.
The alternative title used in Physica A is: A 2-d classification of diseases based on age-specific death rates.

arXiv:1609.08285 (Sep 2016)
Physica A 492,2281-2291 (Dec 2017)

(10 review)
Lifespan limits
This is a review of (9) written by Mark Buchanan and published in ``Nature Physics'' of November 2016

(11)
Age spectrometry of infant death rates as a probe of immunity: identification of two peaks due to viral and bacterial diseases respectively
Physica A 486,915-924 (June 2017)

(12)
Postnatal death rate spikes due to viral and bacterial diseases.
Preprint 2017

(13)
. Excess-tuberculosis-mortality in young women: high accuracy exploration
Preprint 2017, arXiv:1802.00744
Physica A 506,476-485 (Sept 2018)

(14)
Impact of marital status on health.
Physica A 486,542-553 (June 2017)

(15)
Exploration of the strength of family links.
Physica A 502,1-13 (March 2018)

(16)
Coupling between death spikes and birth troughs. Part 1: Evidence.
Preprint (Oct 2017) arXiv:1801.04533
Physica A 506,97-111 (April 2018)

(17)
Coupling between death spikes and birth troughs. Part 2: Comparative analysis of salient features.
Preprint (Oct 2017) arXiv:1801.04535
Physica A 506,88-96 (April 2018)

(18)
Deciphering the fluctuations of high frequency birth rates.
(Feb 2018) arXiv:1802.08966
Physica A 509,1046-1061 (June 2018)

(19)
Effect of population density on epidemics.
Preprint (Mar 2018) arXiv:1803.03809
Physica A 510,713-724.

(20)
A physicist's view of the similarities and differences between tuberculosis and cancer,
Preprint (Mar 2018) arXiv:1801.09528

(21)
The influence of Lent on marriages and conceptions explored through a new methodology.
Preprint (Mar 2018) http://arxiv.org/abs/1804.02572
To appear in Physica A (June 2019)

(22)
The physics of large scale food crises.
http://arxiv.org/abs/1807.05100
Physica A 522,274-293 (May 2019)

(23)
Congenital anomalies from a physics perspective. The key role of ``manufacturing'' volatility.
Preprint (May 2019) https://arxiv.org/abs/1905.04357

(24)
Infant mortality across species. A global probe of congenital abnormalities.
Preprint (May 2019) https://arxiv.org/abs/1905.02621