The Onus is on Scientists – Shame on the AAAS
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has just come out against California’s Proposition 37, which would mandate the labeling of genetically-modified foods. In my opinion, the AAAS has failed its duty as promoters of Good Science. The question is not whether genetically-modified foods are safe. I see the benefits, and I see…
in praise of hands-on expertise
(I don’t usually share personal stories in public fora, but in this case, and with my wife’s permission, I’m making an exception.) “Shoulder Dystocia,” said the Obstetrician, as we neared the end of my wife’s otherwise-routine delivery of our son last week. This meant nothing to me. My wife, on the other hand, freaked out.…
What about the less obvious errors?
The New Scientist points out a case of genotyping error by one of the consumer genomics companies, where a software bug caused a genotype to appear non-human. The article attempts to be reassuring: Before other deCODEme customers get too irate about errors in data for which they have paid almost $1000, the bug affects only…
HealthEngage leaking email addresses?
For more than 10 years now, I’ve used custom email addresses when I log in to a web site I don’t fully trust, e.g. ben-SITENAME at adida.net. Until recently, the only time I’ve actually been able to trace emails to their source is when I saw how Democrats reused some of their mailing lists during…
Empowering the Patient vs. Enabling an Artificial Monopoly
Health Information Technology is moving along fairly quickly, with the stimulus money and the rise of Personally Controlled Health Records (Indivo/Dossia, Google Health, Microsoft HealthVault). I’m quite optimistic about the future of health data: there is a growing effort to free the data in order to empower patients. And then there are some really boneheaded…
Personal health record: it’s about the feedback loop
In my basic electronics college course, the classic lab that always got the teaching assistants laughing was the robotic arm. The task seems simple: build a circuit that measures the amount of weight carried by a small robotic arm and activates its motor to balance out the weight. Inevitably, within minutes, robotic arms throughout the…
Helios @ CodeCon
I’m at CodeCon presenting my Helios voting system in a little bit. But first, there’s a talk on sequencing your own genome at home using basic kitchen equipment. It’s quite rare for me to be at one conference that combines most of my interests in one afternoon! Should be fun.
Pinker on Personal Genomics
As some folks know, I’ve spent the majority of my time over the last 1.5 year as a member of the Faculty at Harvard Medical School in the Informatics group, thinking about security and privacy of web platforms for managing personal health data, including genomic data. I’ve had trouble blogging about it, because I’m still…
Privacy Advocacy Stunts
Deborah Peel, a well-known patient privacy advocate, and EPIC have joined forces to ask Google some questions about Google Flu Trends. Google is analyzing its search logs to detect flu outbreaks by region, which is super nifty. Peel and EPIC ask: There are, however, privacy concerns surrounding this new tool. […] In the aggregate, the…
Genomic Records & Voting
So part of my research is on voting. And another part is on the privacy of genomic medical records (which, admittedly, I haven’t spoken about much on this blog yet). It’s not often that I find an article that combines both. But I guess it was inevitable: In the coming era of personal genomics —…
An Inconvenient Truth about the Left
For the last few years, Bush and others within the Republican Party have ignored and distorted scientific evidence because the evidence didn’t match their ideology. The latest example this weekend is the administration’s attitude on the Endangered Species Act, but of course the most glaring example is the pseudo-controversy they fan regarding global warming. I’ve…
Health Records and Me
This summer, I joined the faculty at Children’s Hospital Informatics Program. My work is focused on security and privacy of health data. One of the projects I’m contributing to was just announced in the press: Dossia was established by major U.S. employers Applied Materials, BP America Inc., Cardinal Health, Intel Corporation, Pitney Bowes Inc. and…