In Short

I’ve written a simple Python script that extracts out all the raw data that Google saves about you. Google has a service called Google Takeout. You can find the link to Google Takeout here and the Github Repository here.

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The Google Takeout Homepage

Google has a feature that allows you to download a large, confusing bundle of all different kinds of data that it keeps about you. That data may include: Chrome Browsing History, Location History, Google Search History, Youtube History, Clicked Advertisements, Searched Images on Google Images, Searched Locations & Directions on Google Maps.


In Short

I’ve written a simple Python script that extracts out all the raw data that Google saves about you. Google has a service called Google Takeout. You can find the link to Google Takeout here and the Github Repository here.

Image for post
Image for post
The Google Takeout Homepage

Google has a feature that allows you to download a large, confusing bundle of all different kinds of data that it keeps about you. That data may include: Chrome Browsing History, Location History, Google Search History, Youtube History, Clicked Advertisements, Searched Images on Google Images, Searched Locations & Directions on Google Maps.


Data. The confusingly plural cornerstone of research. The grounding for a scientific understanding of the world. Lightning rods for the negotiation of political, social and economic interests.

Over the past 150 years, ideas have shifted drastically as to what counts as data, which data are reliable and who owns them. Once regarded as stable objects whose significance was determined by a handful of professional interpreters, data are now reusable goods. Their mettle depends on the extent to which they are mobilized across contexts and aggregated with others. …


The Human Data Point is a space for organizing, collaborating and disseminating ideas, philosophies and stories around personal data ownership. We define personal data as the composite set of information involving our individual behaviors, patterns and interests. Data points can range from how long we listen to a particular song on Spotify to how often we buy ice cream.

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The Human Data Point has 3 missions.

To highlight the sheer quantity of data that is actively tracked and traded by corporations and governments alike. We seek to retrace our digital footprint and uncover the stories that our data tells us.

To have an honest discussion about the advantages and risks of the data hoarding era. Is capitalism directing us toward a surveillance state? We encourage thoughtful discussion around privacy, the role of the 4th Estate, and our vulnerabilities in the digital age. …


The Healthcare Supply Chain

There is a ton of oppurtunity to improve the way healthcare works in the United States — mainly because healthcare is extremely messy. It’s hard for one person to even understand how all the moving pieces fit together…It’s even harder to take one more step and figure out if some of the broken pieces can be fixed. This is a basic outline of the pharmaceutical supply chain (this doesn’t even include actual hospitals or health services…literally just the market of drug prescriptions):

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Source: CB Insights “Amazon in Healthcare

Most of these players are billion and trillion dollar industries with several big corporations worth multiple billions of dollars. With so many different players with large revenue and expense streams flowing in all different kinds of directions, it would take a long time for the average person to understand how it works…That in itself is kind of big problem. If the average person can’t understand how the healthcare system even works, they are probably just going to listen to whoever tells them what to do…aka passive…


Idea: Here’s a potential research direction of CRISPR to help understand the following:

  1. Comparison of CRISPR as a genetic-knockout tool versus a gene regulation tool in the context of in vitro fertilization of mice zygote cells
  2. Plausibility of developing zygote cell-lines of mice using multi-gene and single-gene CRISPR modifications
  3. Measurement of adverse drug reactions and metabolism response in mice with altered CYP genes

To put this article into context, check out the previous article here regarding practical applications of CRISPR.

Background:

In 2014, the pharmaceutical industry in the United States alone accounted for 333 Billion dollars in healthcare expenditure.[i] Pharmaceutical administration alone accounts for a major chunk of the medical resources allocated to healthcare in the United States, and naturally, more effective administration could translate to huge cost savings and improved patient outcomes. Through decades of research, several gene-families in mammals have been identified as key drug metabolizers. Scientists have studied gene families in humans also found in mice that account for the metabolism of about 80–90% of currently available prescription drugs — CYP2D6, CYPC19, CYP2C9, CYP3A4, CYP3A5.[ii] The CYP gene family is a group of hemoproteins that play a central role in the oxidative metabolism (phase I) of clinically used drugs and other xenobiotics.[iii] It would be an interesting research direction to see how in vitro manipulation of genes in the CYP family at the zygote level affect a mice’s metabolism of drugs. Perhaps there is a way to mitigate the high risk associated with adverse drug reactions and complications in other areas of a patient’s health, given that they are predisposed to weakened inability to metabolize drugs or certain classes of drugs. …


The CRISPR/Cas9 genome-editing system has experienced tremendous research growth and media attention in the past few years due to its unique ability to target specific areas of genetic code and edit precise locations of DNA. CRISPR, which stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Palindromic Repeats, was first discovered as a part of the immune system in bacteria and archaea to defend against invading viruses (Barrangou et al. 2007[i]; Horvath & Barrangou 2010[ii]). Since its discovery, several research institutions around the world have been experimenting with combined systems like CRISPR-Cpf1 and CRISPR-Cas9 to edit genomes in cells, study phenotype and genotype expression through transgenics, knockouts and a host of varying techniques. In January 2013, the Zhang lab at the Broad Institute was the first to engineer a CRISPR method to edit the genome of mice and human cells (Zhang 2013[iii]). There continues to be significant strides in the application of this DNA-editing technique. We will have to wait to see the outcomes of high-profile medical applications like that of Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) and University of Iowa. They have already started clinical trials as of January 2017 to test the efficacy of gene therapy for patients suffering with retinitis pigmentosa.[iv] Bitó, the Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and associate professor of Pathology & Cell Biology at CUMC, states “We still have some way to go, but we believe that the first therapeutic use of CRISPR will be to treat an eye disease. Here we have demonstrated that the initial steps are feasible.”[v] Although there are still many major milestones for CRISPR, it is critical to understand the current advantages and limitations of the system in order to make sense of its potential in research directions and medical applications. …


On November 5th, 2015, Layla, had won. She could rest in her hospital bed peacefully for the first time in a year and a half, and her parents could finally let out a sigh of relief. Layla had battled with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, one of the least understood and brutal of cancers. Chemotherapy hadn’t worked. A bone marrow transplant hadn’t work. The odds she would have made a recovery were incredibly low. However, a miracle had happened and luck was on her side. Waseem Qasim, a doctor from the University College London, had been developing a new, highly experimental therapy — a gene-therapy — that could have been tested on Layla.[i] At two-years old, Layla had already run out of options, and this last ounce of hope could have marked the end, but it was just what she needed to push through. She had defeated her battle against cancer, and not only that, she made history in the process. Layla was the first cancer survivor to have been cured by gene-therapy. With a highly specialized pair of molecular scissors, doctors cut out pieces of her DNA that were causing problems and pasted in new DNA to fix it. It was as simple as that. In no other period in history was such a feat possible, until now. As we move into 2018, the pace at which healthcare is advancing is unprecedented. It’s the age of DNA, rather, the age of programming our bodies to fix illness, disease and cancer. …


Wrote a piece addressing the long-term needs of a Zero-Carbon transition in the United States. Primarily focuses on what infrastructure challenges need to be met for a successful transition to renewable energy. Further reading and articles at the bottom. Thanks for reading!

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Transition to Zero Carbon: Investment & Key Needs

Overview: The biggest hurdles (by %) for an effective transition to renewables in the United States seem to cover investment in the following categories:

  1. Electrifying transport (26% of US energy consumption comes from petroleum used for transport)
  2. Transitioning away from natural gas infrastructure in the industrial and residential sectors and using electricity instead (this covers 17.6%


A Possible Decentralized Application in Africa

Overview: This is an idea for implementing decentralized applications like blockchain in the African economy through emigrant backed micro-financing as a product-market fit. To employ effective strategy, it might be worthwhile following Paul Farmer’s partnership model at PIH to avoid historic failures associated with misinformed, big brother tendencies. In terms of a blockchain start-up, this may look like a dual infrastructure: a grassroots group in African regions working with locals to establish credit channels AND a US based team developing and managing the actual start-up’s executability and resources.

Needs

  • Entrance Opportunity: 2.6% of Africa’s GDP comes from emigrants sending funds back into the economy to family and…

Vihar Desu

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