Project Tycho: Vaccines prevent diseases!

Tycho Brahe, Image from Wikipedia
Tycho Brahe, Image from Wikipedia

I just heard about a new “big data” project called Project Tycho. They chose the name Tycho in honor of Tycho Brahe who made tons of detailed observations of the stars and planets. After his death, his data was used by Kepler to formulate the laws of planetary motion. This project wants to connect the vast amounts of public health data to scientists and policy researchers to improve their understanding of contagious diseases and their spread. Their undertaking is incredible; they digitized weekly Nationally Notifiable Disease Surveillance System reports from 1888-2013. Now that all of the data is digitized they are working their way through standardizing it and making it amenable to analysis. This entire dataset is available for search online. Continue reading “Project Tycho: Vaccines prevent diseases!”

Don’t Fear the Toilet Seat!

Photo via Cheezburger.comFomite” isn’t a word that most people hear very often. However, if you’re a microbiologist (or are under the influence of one), you are likely to find yourself considering fomites as you go about your day. Fomites are everywhere, are difficult to avoid, and while it’s a good idea to be aware of fomites, they should not be feared. Continue reading “Don’t Fear the Toilet Seat!”

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