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The data deluge: A report from Stanford Medicine magazine

Just as people leave digital trails these days, so do our cells, and they’ve been doing so for decades as a result of biomedical research. The huge challenge of mastering this biomedical “big data” deluge, a goldmine for research and drug development, is the theme of a special report in the new issue of Stanford Medicine magazine.

In the report:

“B!g data:” the lead article on the data deluge in biomedicine, told through the story of genetics professor Michael Snyder, PhD, who made himself the subject of his own big data project, allowing the world to watch as his health took a nose dive.

“A singularity sensation:” a Q&A with science fiction author Vernor Vinge, five-time winner of the Hugo Award, whose stories explore themes including deep space and the singularity, a term he coined for the emergence of a greater-than-human intelligence brought about by the advance of technology.

“King of the mountain:” a profile of a wildly successful medical data miner Atul Butte, MD, PhD, who’s urging other researchers to dig in.

“On the records:” a piece on the creation of a research database built on medical records from Stanford and Lucile Packard Children’s hospitals.

“Statistically significant:” an article on the rise in importance of biostatistics: Suddenly the “stodgy” old field of statistics is where the action is.

This issue’s “Plus” section, featuring stories unrelated to the special report, includes:

“Cancer roundhouse:” a feature on the mounting evidence that a single antibody, known as anti-CD47, could knock out many cancers.

“Game on:” a story on using gamification — with a computer game called Septris — to teach residents and doctors how to recognize when patients have sepsis, and how to treat them.

Previously: The future of psychiatry: A report from Stanford Medicine magazine, Cancer’s next stage: A report from Stanford Medicine magazine, and Surviving survival: The new Stanford Medicine magazine is out
Photo by Dwight Eschliman

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