JBPC Reports

JBPC Reports are issued as supplements to the Journal of Biological Physics and Chemistry. They can be ordered via e-mail request to jbpc@colbas.org. Reports can be delivered via e-mail in PDF or as a printed copy by post. Note that supplements are not included in the regular journal subscription, but subscribers to JBPC are entitled to a 25% discount on any report. They should send an e-mail to jbpc@colbas.org to order a copy and to receive payment instructions.


In preparation:


Computing individual vaccination risk

Applied Complexity Team
Collegium Basilea (Institute of Advanced Study), Basel, Switzerland

Supplement to vol. 20 (2020). Citation: J. Biol. Phys. Chem. (Suppl.) 20 (2020) S1–S44.
DOI: 10.4024/01RP20A.jbpc.rpt.01
Publication date: 3 December 2020
Copyright © 2020 Collegium Basilea and AMSI
Price: 5500 CHF including delivery charges.

ABSTRACT. Great hopes are placed in the new anti-Covid-19 vaccines. Limited supply means that recipients must be prioritized. A brief introduction to the economic and ethical arguments appropriate for guiding government policy in this regard is given. A straightforward method for quantifying national benefit is presented. The main theme of this report is, however, the relatively neglected topic of individual benefit and disbenefit. These are also quantified, and a straightforward methodology for carrying out the calculations is presented. Using it, any individual will be able to assess the merits of receiving the vaccine.


Health risks from waste incineration

Applied Complexity Team
Collegium Basilea (Institute of Advanced Study), Basel, Switzerland

Supplement to vol. 19 (2019). Citation: J. Biol. Phys. Chem. (Suppl.) 19 (2019) S1–S44.
DOI: 10.4024/01RP19A.jbpc.rpt.01
Publication date: 1 December 2019
Copyright © 2019 Collegium Basilea and AMSI
Price: 4900 CHF including delivery charges.

ABSTRACT. Since the turn of the millennium, the amount of waste incineration, especially of commercial, industrial and municipal waste, has increased in many European countries. Surprisingly, what should ultimately be a decision based solely on rentabilité, taking of course due account of diseconomies, has become politicized and even published research may now appear to fit the policy rather than the other way round. This report briefly introduces the technologies and their costs, before analysing the health impacts, especially those due to the emission of fine particles, realization of the adverse effects of which is recent and postdates the present regulatory framework. Quantification reveals that adverse health impacts are the main, but not the sole, diseconomy of waste incineration. So-called "energy from waste" is discussed, and the influence of tax régimes on waste disposal, and the place of incineration in the circular economy.


An appraisal, with recommendations, regarding the installation of domestic smart energy meters in the UK

Applied Complexity Team
Collegium Basilea (Institute of Advanced Study), Basel, Switzerland

Supplement to vol. 18 (2018). Citation: J. Biol. Phys. Chem. (Suppl.) 18 (2018) S1–S56.
DOI: 10.4024/01RP18A.jbpc.rpt.01
Publication date: 1 December 2018
Copyright © 2018 Collegium Basilea and AMSI
Price: 5400 CHF including delivery charges.

ABSTRACT. In recent years, the installation of so-called "smart" meters for gas and electricity has been strongly encouraged by the UK government. Compared with traditional meters, which simply record consumption, which can be read from dials or a digital display, the smart meters are able to communicate consumption essentially continuously to the supplier, and give real-time cost feedback to the consumer. They facilitate the application of variable tariffs (e.g., cheaper electricity at night, when demand is low), and avoid the trouble and expense of manually reading the meters every few months. There have been technical problems associated with changing suppliers (which is also strongly encouraged by the UK government), as well as issues of data security and privacy. This report comprehensively assesses smart meters, reviewing the technology itself (with international comparisons), the history of the UK programme, and the ethical issues associated with the generation and use of consumption data.


A general appraisal of influenza vaccines for young children and the elderly

Clinical Reviews Team
Collegium Basilea (Institute of Advanced Study), Basel, Switzerland

Supplement to vol. 17 (2017). Citation: J. Biol. Phys. Chem. (Suppl.) 17 (2017) S1–S52.
DOI: 10.4024/01RP17A.jbpc.rpt.01
Publication date: 17 September 2017
Copyright © 2017 Collegium Basilea and AMSI
Price: 4200 CHF including delivery charges.

ABSTRACT. There is a trend to promote population-wide vaccination of defined sections of the population (e.g., children up to a certain age; elderly citizens) against fairly common, but nevertheless dangerous, diseases, most notably influenza ('flu). This report examines the nature of the disease, its medical consequences (which are dependent, inter alia, on the immune status of the infected person) and the vaccination process. These aspects can be quantified in terms of cost and life-expectancy, and the corresponding Judgment (J)-value computed. Subsidiary issues are also discussed, such as the influence of moral hazard and placebo/nocebo effects, whether vaccination campaigns rank as mass medication, and how citizens are persuaded to consider undergoing vaccination. The focus of the report is the UK NHS, but with relevant international comparisons.


Justifying large infrastructure projects through balancing quality of life considerations

Built Environment Team
Applied Complexity Research Centre, Collegium Basilea (Institute of Advanced Study), Basel, Switzerland

Supplement to vol. 16 (2016). Citation: J. Biol. Phys. Chem. (Suppl.) 16 (2016) S1–S48.
DOI: 10.4024/01RP16A.jbpc.rpt.01
Publication date: 6 June 2016
Copyright © 2016 Collegium Basilea and AMSI
Price: 3000 CHF including delivery charges.

ABSTRACT. The building of Britain's railways represented the first large infrastructure projects to be constructed in modern times. They were authorized by Act of Parliament, which granted far-reaching powers. Although the railways were generally welcomed, support was by no means unanimous and there was often strenuous local opposition. In our own time, this scenario can be observed when nuclear power stations, waste incinerators and the like are proposed. While the need for them has often been clear in a general sense, the ever-proliferating range of viable alternative technologies (VATs) makes it vital to quantitatively appraise the balance of merit for any particular proposed scheme. A methodology for accomplishing this is described in detail, based on work originally developed within the nuclear safety industry, and successfully extended to the appraisal of medicinal drugs. A key concept, allowing seemingly disparate quantities to be placed on a common scale using readily available data, is the quality of life index. When the balance of merit is negative, then obviously a scheme should not be allowed to proceed. Otherwise, if several schemes fulfil the same goal, the one with the most positive value should be selected.


Enhancing the performance of tall residential buildings using advanced technologies for cladding

Built Environment Team
Applied Complexity Research Centre, Collegium Basilea (Institute of Advanced Study), Basel, Switzerland

Supplement to vol. 15 (2015). Citation: J. Biol. Phys. Chem. (Suppl.) 15 (2015) S1–S44.
DOI: 10.4024/01RP15A.jbpc.rpt.01
Publication date: 6 July 2015
Copyright © 2015 Collegium Basilea and AMSI
Price: 2800 CHF including delivery charges.

ABSTRACT. Purely structural considerations may not result in optimal overall performance of a building. Other aspects include thermal insulation, weatherproofing, fire retardancy and purely aesthetic considerations. Traditionally these aspects have been dealt with by applying some kind of external cladding to the building, but usually any particular cladding is designed to improve one aspect; others may even be degraded. The advent of multifunctional coatings based on advanced micro- and nano-technologies allows multiple aspects to be optimized, including those difficult to address at all with conventional cladding, such as self-cleaning. These coatings can often be applied by simple spraying, which is highly cost-effective. This report describes advanced multifunctional coatings for their buildings and appraises their performance and cost.