Google X has launched what it calls the “Baseline Study”. This study is supposed to help us understand the human body.
Google wants to collect genetic and molecular information that it will use to create a picture of a healthy human. The project will initially start with 175 people and will later expand to thousands more. Say what?
Google’s plan is to collect lots and lots and lots of information on healthy people and to use that data to proactively identify and address health problems. Most medicine today is reactive rather than focusing on preventative—as in something goes wrong and then you get treatment. Google wants to get a good baseline of what a healthy human looks like. Once they have that, then they can compare that data to data from other individuals to discover potential problems before symptoms become obvious. This is a “big data” idea and a long-term effort that will take many years before we see if anything comes of it.
There is some protection with this data collection in that the Institutional Review Boards of Duke and Stanford University will review how Google intends to use the information.
So how can this really be used? One suggested application involves the identification of a biomarker that’s associated with the efficient breakdown of fatty foods. People who lacked this biomarker could eventually suffer problems with fatty build ups in their arteries, but its identification could help them modify their behavior and avoid a potential health problem.
This is Google’s third health-related initiative. The first was Calico, a company Google created to focus on “health, well-being, and longevity,” and the second was the Google Contact Lens, a contact with embedded sensors which is intended to measure the glucose levels of people with diabetes.
Testing started this past summer with 175 people, and it included the collection of “bodily fluids such as urine, blood, saliva, and tears” and information on how well the subject metabolizes food, nutrients, and drugs. The study also did whole genome sequencing and noted the subject’s heart rate, family genetic history, and “how chemical reactions change the behavior of their genes”. The plan is to replace some of the follow-up tests with wearable devices that continually collect data on the subjects, like heart rates and oxygen levels. To alleviate privacy concerns, this data will be collected by a third-party, anonymized, and then given to Google.
So, before we went to my parent’s house for Christmas, the girls went to the groomer and got so very pretty! I forgot how white Callie’s fur is! And they are so soft! We are going to have to start doing this more often!
And look at the ornaments that Shawn painted of the girls and my sister’s pup Winston for Christmas! I think they just turned out wonderfully! I love them!
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday! 2015 is just around the corner!
Food for Thought: Bell Peppers. Even though I do not like them, the color of a bell pepper indicates its ripeness and taste. Green peppers are picked before they are fully ripe and are not as sweet as mature yellow, orange or red varieties. Red peppers also contain 8 times more Vitamin A than green peppers and 60% more Vitamin C! All bell peppers have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory health benefits.
Quote of the Day:
“Running is one of the most positive, powerful gifts that you can give someone; it represents triumph, agony, responsibility, commitment.” -Dr. Natalie Stavas
I love these biscuits. They are my favorite biscuit recipe out of all the ones I have tried. I found this recipe at least 3 or 4 years ago when I was in grad school, and I have been sold ever since!
Baking Powder Biscuits
– 2 1/2 cups AP flour
– 5 teaspoons baking powder
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 3 tablespoons sugar
– 1 egg, beaten
– 1/2 cup butter
– 3/4 to 1 cup milk
– Mix dry ingredients together then work in the butter with a fork.
– Add beaten egg and stir gently.
– Add milk 1/4 cup at a time, stirring gently until dry ingredients are just moistened and a soft dough is formed.
– Turn onto a floured surface and press out gently to the desired thickness.
– Cut into circles and place close together in a greased 9×9 inch baking pan.
– Bake at 350* for 15-20 minutes.