Man makes his microbes into research study

Richard Sprague keeps samples of his own feces, in the family freezer, so he can send them to a Stanford University laboratory. Some days he tries to improve his sleep by swallowing potato starch to feed a certain population of microbes in his gut. Lately, he’s been studying his brain acuity every morning to see … Continue reading Man makes his microbes into research study

The hairball of citizen science

The hairball is jargon for data scientists. It means a special graphic that illustrates intersections. When I visited the Citizen Science Association’s first conference in San Jose, Calif., in February, it felt like a living hairball. Every one of the 600 people was already a networker, an accelerator, or somehow a person forced by curiosity … Continue reading The hairball of citizen science

My bacteria and yours – telling stories

Small pictures of the microbes growing in my own gut, and in my own house, are filling my mind with questions. Why do I have a higher percentage of a bacteria family called Firmicutes than other people? Why did my house have a higher percentage of plant-based material on our door sill than the other … Continue reading My bacteria and yours – telling stories