5 cool things DNA testing can do – thnxz so much @cnnhealth


By Jacque Wilson, CNN

Today we use DNA tests to tell us about all kinds of things — from Justin Bieber’s baby daddy status to theinnocence of a man sitting on death row. But genetic scientists are doing more than trying to prove Bigfoot’s existence.

Here are five cool things DNA testing can do:

Map your family tree

A $99 DNA test could give you thousands of new relatives (although if they’re anything like ours, we’re not sure why you’d want them). Sites such as Ancestry.com offer to compare your DNA to those they already have on record in hopes of connecting you to unknown branches of your family tree. Ancestry.com’s test can also tell you your genetic ethnicity.

A growing body of research suggests that our ability to lose weight is shaped in large part by our genes.
A growing body of research suggests that our ability to lose weight is shaped in large part by our genes.

“The new test looks at a massive amount of your DNA … and compares it to other DNA samples from around the world. By detecting similarities, we can trace back generations to connect you to the lands your ancestors once called home,” the site states.

Solve ancient mysteries

No one knew where Richard III, one of the most famous kings of England, was buried until his remains were discovered in a parking lot in Leicester.

The remains showed evidence of battle wounds and scoliosis, but scientists weren’t sure the skeleton was Richard III’s until DNA extracted from the bones was matched to Michael Ibsen, a direct descendant of the king’s sister.

It wasn’t the first time ancient remains had been identified using DNA. If it’s stored in a cold, dry, dark place, DNA can last for thousands of years. In 2009, a DNA analysis of some bone fragments showed two of Czar Nicholas II’s children were killed along with the rest of the family during the Russian Revolution, despite speculation they could have escaped.

Scientists have even extracted DNA from Neanderthals, who went extinct about 30,000 years ago, in hopes of gaining insight into the evolution of humans.

Shakespeare, thou art stored in DNA

Full article 🙂

23 and me, big data como commodity y medicina personalizada // thnxz Dolors Reig @dreig


 

Muchos/as habéis escuchado hablar de 23andMe, la empresa que fundaba la compañera de Sergei Brin (explicamos aquí su curioso origen) y que se dedica a la realización por correo de análisis genéticos personales.  Desde Mountain view te hacen llegar un kit de testeo genético, consistente en un recipiente para la saliva que se analizará después, devolviéndote desde la web una serie de reportes acerca de tu DNA.

La idea es medir las probabilidades de incidencia, riesgos relativos de padecer varias enfermedades con base genética conocida y a la vez dibujar un mapa de probabilidades para rastrear nuestros orígenes, descubrir nuestros ancestros.

En algunos casos puede resultar curioso sabes qué porcentaje de Neanderthal nos queda…. Sonrisa 

s-EUndgSxlkviRR29wG4bA_neanderthal-lab

Artículo Completo —> dreig.eu/caparazon

 

The Innovation Matrix | via timkastelle.org


One of the exciting trends in innovation right now is the lean startup idea.  The basic premise is that when ventures are starting out, building a scalable business model needs to be a top priority.  People like Steve BlankEric ReisAsh Maurya and Alex Osterwalder are all doing great work in this area.

I’m all for lean startups, and if you’re building a new venture, this is an essential approach.  However, the area that I keep focusing on is this: how can we make established firms more innovative?  One of the reasons that I love the lean startup movement is this: it embeds the innovation DNA into the venture from the word go.

I’ll use The Innovation Matrix to illustrate:

As I’ve said before, most startups begin as accidental innovators.  They have to successfully execute an innovation, or they won’t survive, but they don’t have any kind of innovation infrastructure in place.  The problem is that if they don’t think about how to embed innovation, then even if they are successful, they are likely to become less innovative over time. Leer más “The Innovation Matrix | via timkastelle.org”

Scientists Convert a 53,000-Word Book Into DNA


digital-dna-600by  | Mashable.com

In a scientific first, Harvard University researches successfully transformed a 53,426-word book into DNA, the same substance that provides the genetic template for all living things. The achievement could eventually lead to the mass adoption of DNA as a long-term storage medium.

Published Thursday in the journal Science, the experiment aimed to demonstrate the viability of storing large amounts of data on DNA molecules. Since the data is recorded on individual nucleobase pairs in the DNA strand (those adenine-guanine/cytosine-thymine pairs you may be straining to remember from high school biology), DNA can actually store more information per cubic millimeter than flash memory or even some experimental storage techs, IEEE Spectrum reports.

The difficulty is in the translation — both to DNA and back again (summarized in the diagram below). The researchers started with the book’s content, which included the text as well as 11 images and a javascript program, and converted it to binary code. Then they assigned every 0 and 1 a nucleobase.

dna-book-640

Top image courtesy of iStockphotoalengo Leer más “Scientists Convert a 53,000-Word Book Into DNA”

Benefit-Driven Metrics: Measure the lives you save, not the life preservers you sell

Special note for ad-driven startups
Now ad-supported startups have a particularly interesting issue in this, because I keep using the words “benefits” and “customers” and perhaps it’d be easy to think this refers to the users of the product. But maybe not, as I’ve outlined before in Your ad-supported Web 2.0 site is actually a B2B enterprise in disguise. The reason is that your customer may actually be the advertiser on the site, not your user!

And in fact, if you overfocus on pleasing your users to the detriment of your advertiser customers, which is very easy – then that leads to very bad things.

Start this benefits-driven approach now, not later, so you can learn the right things
Finally, I want to emphasize that I believe it’s important to start thinking about these benefit-driven metrics from the beginning of your business, not later. The reason is that every learning that a startup makes is often hugely applicable to a specific context, but not at all applicable to other variations.

If you’re going to start a website that churns users like crazy but hits massive user goals, you will build an entire organization to optimize for those metrics. And once you’ve gone far on this, it’s not clear that you’ll have the DNA, the technology, the ideas, or the willpower to execute in a different direction.


http://andrewchenblog.com

Measuring value created rather than optimizing for yourself
In my last blog post, I talked about the idea that value creation generates revenue, traffic, and other metrics, not the other way around. This is a particularly interesting idea to implement because it goes against much of the standard analytics reports that are out there.

The reason is that ultimately, most metrics tend to focus inwards, on self-interested gain, rather than outwards on the value you’re creating for your customers. Let’s take a couple examples of inward-focused metrics that people often cite:

  • account registrations
  • pageviews
  • unique visitors per month
  • revenues

I’m sure you measure many of the above, as I do as well. It’s OK to measure this stuff, but if you start to optimize for it, you are starting to focus on the business of value extraction, not value creation. Leer más “Benefit-Driven Metrics: Measure the lives you save, not the life preservers you sell”

“Creating an innovation entity” by Richard Hababou, Chief Innovation Officer at Société Générale

Richard Hababou is Head of Innovation Group atSociété Générale (Banking industry). He’s an acknowledged specialist in integrating new technologies in Banking Information System, shaping innovative services powered by IT.

Following conversation on “elementary particles of innovation“, Richard tells us about the set-up and the management of an Innovation entity.
An innnovation entity, what for ?

Société Générale Innovation Division was created in 2009 while the company needed to transform itself. Setting-up an entity dedicated to innovation was a way to instill “innovation thinking” within the company. The main goals were as follows:

develop an innovation culture, make innovation thinking a natural habit through Collaborative Innovation activities including set-up innovation contests and prize;
capture disruptive innovation through specific market intelligence andlab activities, and pass relevant information to business lines.


http://nbry.wordpress.com

 

Richard Hababou is Head of Innovation Group atSociété Générale (Banking industry). He’s an acknowledged specialist in integrating new technologies in Banking Information System, shaping innovative services powered by IT.

Following conversation on “elementary particles of innovation“, Richard tells us about the set-up and the management of an Innovation entity.

An innnovation entity, what for ?

Société Générale Innovation Division was created in 2009 while the company needed to transform itself. Setting-up an entity dedicated to innovation was a way to instill “innovation thinking” within the company. The main goals were as follows:

“Taking the NO Out of Business InNOvation” 10 NO’s Blocking Business Innovation

From experience and ongoing business innovation research, there are fairly common situations blocking business innovation across companies. No company has all of these business innovation roadblocks, but the presence of just a couple of business innovation barriers will scuttle the most modest dreams of implementing a business innovation program to create value for customers.

None of these business innovation NO’s are insurmountable, so it’s important to understand what causes each of them and some steps to navigate around them and get business innovation going.

1. NO Knack for Innovation

There simply isn’t an orientation toward business innovation. It may be a mature industry, a company that’s had success with an intense focus, one that’s grown through M&A, or has been burned on previous formal innovation efforts. Whatever the reason, innovation doesn’t appear to be in the company’s DNA.

What Are Some Things You Can Try?

* Challenge conventional wisdom that says innovation isn’t vital to the company.
* Target introducing small doses of unconventional strategy to begin.
* Introduce ways to look at the business differently.
* Try to borrow and adapt proven ideas from other industries or markets.


From experience and ongoing business innovation research, there are fairly common situations blocking business innovation across companies. No company has all of  these business innovation roadblocks, but the presence of just a couple of business innovation barriers will scuttle the most modest dreams of implementing a business innovation program to create value for customers.

None of these business innovation NO’s are insurmountable, so it’s important to understand what causes each of them and some steps to navigate around them and get business innovation going.

1. NO Knack for Innovation

There simply isn’t an orientation toward business innovation. It may be a mature industry, a company that’s had success with an intense focus, one that’s grown through M&A, or has been burned on previous formal innovation efforts. Whatever the reason, innovation doesn’t appear to be in the company’s DNA.

What Are Some Things You Can Try?