Genetics and Dogs? Awesome.

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For those new around here, my day job is at a University working on genetic sequencing projects. Part of my daily TODO at work is to keep up on scientific literature, which is a tall task considering how many journals, subjects and specialities, and just sheer volume of data is being published right now. […]

My New Favorite Cleaner (Also Don’t Judge Me)

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This post is very firmly categorized as a random thought, but I’m just so impressed with the results that I had to share.

We have a ceramic sink. With ceramic sinks come stains. It’s remarkable how quickly our sink collects stains and scuff marks. I’ve always had stainless steel sinks before this, so—surprise—I didn’t know how […]

Yeast Confections: Sourdough Starter

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In our quest to eat more healthily, I’ve decided to try making—and sustaining—sourdough starter. Again. This time, hopefully successfully. We’ve found that Jon’s stomach seems to be able to handle some homemade glutenous goodies, such as his tomato-basil bread. So we thought sourdough might also work because it’s fermented, and that’s supposed to be good […]

Sequence Your DNA, Get In Better Shape?

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As I was browsing articles on GenomeWeb, a news website geared toward scientific things, I came across an article discussing the formulation of training plans based on an athletes underlying DNA. I found this fascinating, and decided to check the company out.

DNAFit is a company that essentially profiles a set of genes for a set of […]

Self Reported Data: Can We Trust It?

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I read an article on NPR discussing  the issue of self reported data when it comes to fitness and exercise. The author of the paper in question essentially came to the verdict that self reported data is such a poor measurement of actual energy intake and expenditure that it has “no place in scientific research”.

Those […]

Playing with Google Trends Again!

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Occasionally I remember that Google Trends exists. I then get very excited by all of the things I can look at. Today I decided to look at the relative popularity of different domains in the life sciences filed including Epigenetics, Proteomics, Genomics and Microbiome studies.

Proteomics – Large scale study of proteins and their structure and […]

Has Facebook Finally Crossed the Line? . . . and Why I Deactivated.

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To say that I have been on the fence about using Facebook for quite some time would be a fair statement to make. Over the past year I’ve constantly struggled with balancing my desire to be connected to friends and putting up with the constant slog through the garbage and emotional baggage that exists on […]

My Mom’s Exercise Cycle

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First, can I just say how difficult it is to get temperature information for a given location in a format that is easy to manipulate?

For awhile now my mom has been asking me to look into her data, to see the effect that temperature has on her activity level. I agreed that it would be […]

Continuous Health Statistic Monitoring

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I stumbled upon an article this morning on NPR that looked at the growing trend of continuous monitoring of health data. The article focused primarily on one “hacker” who has worked to set up his own system of tracking his vital signs using a wireless bracelet and software.

A link to his work can be found here.

Personally, I love to see the use of technology and software programming to gather statistics like this. Working on my own tracking platform, I am always interested in seeing ideas of what other people come up with. I like getting ideas and potentially integrating them into what I have done.

The article  makes an important point toward the end, and I wanted to discuss it briefly today. An important question to consider is: When is there too much information? Research has shown that people who routinely monitor their weight typically manage it better. But what about other vital signs, like blood pressure? The NPR article suggests that if you notice a spike in your blood pressure, it could lead to stress; thus, higher blood pressure.



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It is not often that I am allowed to work on wet-bench experiments, as I am a programmer by trade. On Friday I had an idea to test some of our sequencing samples, and today we are going to try to put the idea into practice and see what we can come up with. It […]