Coronavirus, scientific expertise, and knowledge infrastructures

Coronavirus news is dominating our mental and physical airwaves – I for one have eyes glued to virologists’ Twitter feeds and am constantly refreshing the Seattle Times daily updates. Scrolling through tweets the other night (I have self-diagnosed “Scrolliosis”), I saw a fascinating exchange in the comments. My favorite computational biologist, since that’s a thing Read More…

When “good enough” is great

My tolerance for imperfection is perhaps most apparent in the kitchen. My friends and family joke about my laxness with recipes and lack of respect for key ingredients — most recently, when I persevered in making a chili without any chili powder. (Surely, paprika with some cayenne would do the trick?) The end product often Read More…

Genetic “Mesearch”

Personal genomics Personal, consumer genomics has exploded in the past decade, and shows no signs of slowing. Yet there is an inherent tension in attempts to translate the findings of genetic research, which is done in large groups of people, into insights for individuals. I.e., the research question, “Does this genetic variant, or set of Read More…

A Room of One’s Own

Virginia Woolf spoke of needing a “room of one’s own” in which to write. Her remarks were partly in response to a culture where intellectual work was not seen as women’s work, where women were given neither the physical nor abstract spaces in which to pursue their own thoughts. Thankfully, today these issues are less Read More…

In support of anticipatory scholarship

Last week, a fellow PhD student and I were remarking how our dissertation topics have been tying into current public and academic discourse. Whether it’s media coverage or peer-reviewed literature, we’re seeing our areas of study get a little deserved time in the limelight. I said that’s why we do what we do: anticipatory scholarship. Read More…

Do third-party genetic analysis tools interpret data, or simply “bridge to the literature”?

A variety of third-party genetic interpretation tools are available online that enable users to pursue self-directed analysis of their personal genetic data. Tools can return information about health/wellness, family relatedness, or genetic ancestry. While users may seek out these tools for help interpreting their data, some developers describe tools as providing a “bridge to the Read More…