the blog of a geek physician and mother


Patients joined in doing their own research

"Imagine patients around the world coming together to share quantitative information on over 500 medical conditions. They talk about sensitive symptoms and compare which treatments work best for them. They track their health. New research discoveries are made based on the patient-contributed data. This is happening at CureTogether, and we believe it can have a massive global impact. Alexandra Carmichael and Daniel Reda launched CureTogether in July 2008 to help the people they knew and the millions they didn't who live in daily chronic pain. Starting with 3 conditions, it quickly expanded as people wrote in to request that their conditions be added to this ongoing study."

Patients come together and rate what really helps and what doesn´t to make them feel better.


Two examples of infographics generated by the data from the site:


Hack yourself – self knowlege through numbers

"The Quantified Self is a collaboration of users and tool makers who share an interest in self knowledge through self-tracking. We exchange information about our personal projects, the tools we use, tips we've gleaned, lessons we've learned. We blog, meet face to face, and collaborate online."

This site gives that warm feeling of finding friends in a warm café after a long chilly November walk. There are great videos from the show-and-tells on Vimeo.

The Quantified Self
Videos on Vimeo

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Eyetracker on the cheap

"Behold the latest ocular assault weapon from the Graffiti Research Lab, openFrameworks, The Fat Lab and The Ebeling Group: The EyeWriter. It is a low-cost eye-tracking apparatus + custom software that allows graffiti writers and artists with paralysis resulting from Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis to draw using only their eyes....This instruction set details how to make your own solderless eyetracker for only $50 dollars using a hacked PS3 Eye and a cheap pair of sunglasses."

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DIY ventilator in a pinch

In case of a shortage of ventilators, here are instructions on how to make your own.

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From the why didn´t we think of that sooner department – vehicle energy

"The Sainsbury's in Gloucester, which opened in June 2009, has several kinetic energy plates installed in their parking lot. Each time a car drives over the plates, the motion of the plate creates energy. The energy is then stored and sent to the store to provide power to the checkout stations. Sainsburys says that the plates can supply 30 kWh of energy per hour."

Used instead of speed-bumps, energy that would just have been lost is harvested.


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A DIY microscope with electronic focusing

Jean-Marie Cavanihac has put together a handly guide to turning a webcam and a lens from a discarded CD player into a focusing microscope


Free: The Future of a Radical Price

I train endurance riding which means long hours in the saddle, mainly at a brisk walk. Often I take the opportunity of so much uninterupted time listen to an ebook or a podcast. Yesterday I downloaded Chris Andersons Free: The Future of a Radical Price and found him a wonderfully entertaining companion. The book has received criticism for being heavily wikipedia researched and maybe it shows in the print version but hardly in the audio version. Chris reads it well and I find myself chuckling frequently. He entertains and is thought-provoking. Highly recommended!

(Chris Anderson is editor of chief of Wired magazine. He was U.S. business editor at The Economist. He began his career at the two premier science journals Science and Nature. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from George Washington University and studied Quantum Mechanics and Science Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley.)

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The definitive guide to open source hardware projects in 2008

Make's list of open source hardware 2008. Including a lot of Arduino projects but also a self-replicating 3D-printer.


A business model for open source hardware

"The price of a typical gadget reflects two factors: the cost of making it and the price its inventor is charging for the intellectual property in it. Often the second can be many times the first (as in the case of an Intel processor chip, for example, which costs just a few dollars to make but can sell for hundreds of dollars)."

Chris Anderson, author of Free: The Future of a Radical Price which you can download free from Itunes or read on Google books.


GOSH list of List of Open Hardware Projects

"The Grounding Open Source Hardware (GOSH!) Workshop and Summit at The Banff Centre bring together makers, producers and theorizers of open source hardware to facilitate the emerging dialogue on both artist-driven and socially conscious open-source hardware. From prosthetic limbs to electronic hardware, the breadth of open source hardware projects and distributed models of manufacturing suggest that it is time for these disparate manufacturers, designers, artists and engineers to come together to discuss the common issues of their practices."

The link to OSH projects is