Making Music from Data: Our ears are actually better at picking out trends than our eyes. That’s just one reason that Mark Ballora of Pennsylvania State University turns big data into beautiful soundscapes. He has transformed data from hurricanes and stars, and is working with deep-sea biologists.
Improving Disease Diagnosis with Big Data: Doctors can image your body and decode your genes in search of what ails you. But Kenneth Mandl of Harvard University says that, to reap the full benefits of big data, doctors need access to the records of as many patients as possible. He’s calling for a clinical information commons, but acknowledges we have to find a balance between technology and personal attention in medical care.
Novels About Scientists Highlight Passion and (Sometimes) Failure: If you’ve never heard of the LabLit genre, you’re not alone. Cell biologist and author Jenny Rohn went looking for novels about scientists and discovered there were only a couple hundred such books in existence. She now tracks fictional portrayals of scientists on her webzine LabLit.com, and she runs through some of this year’s best.