Buzzwords of the Day: Biohacking, DIYbio, and Quantified Self


Convenient title generator

One of the things I’ve noticed in my emerging technologies explorations is that buzzwords are super important in identifying trends and the evolution of concepts over time. Often the same idea will reappear over decades, but with different terms applied. Those in the field know it is a rebranding of the idea, but people outside don’t know this and may very well believe it is a new idea or that two related terms are distinct rather than overlapping. I started thinking maybe it would be helpful to others if I occasionally have brief blogposts highlighting specific terms I’m tracking in the e-tech or em-tech world. This would be the first post of this sort.

I’ve been increasingly involved with personal genomics over the past year. It started with being a subject of a campus research study, and has only become more important.

Personal Genomes: what can I do with my data?, by lablogga http://www.slideshare.net/lablogga/personal-genomes-what-can-i-do-with-my-data

I’m finding that it isn’t enough. When you start getting information that makes a HUGE difference in the quality of your life, you want more. You start to realize that good can become better. Even without aspiring to “ideal” or “perfect”, you realize that so much more is possible. In digging for more options, I found first the quantified self movement (in which I am stumbling around trying to find my way), then DIYbio, and finally biohacking. What all of these have in common is generating data and performing experiments to improve your own personal health and quality of life. They are closely related to the earlier terms of mobile health and e-health, but extend and focus those concepts. Between these three terms — biohacking, DIYbio, and quantified self — lines blur. There is substantial overlap as well as distinct differences between these terms, the technologies they use, their goals and methodologies. These are just a few slidedecks to give you quick introductions to these concepts. I hope to blog more about them in the future, as I truly believe these are very important, and even essential to the future of healthcare.

Biohacking

Biohacking refers to the practice of engaging biology with the hacker ethic.[1] Biohacking encompasses a wide spectrum of practices and movements ranging from Grinders who design and install DIY body-enhancements such as magnetic implants to DIY biologists who conduct at-home gene sequencing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biohacking


Quantified Self & Biohacking, by Teemu Arina. http://www.slideshare.net/infe/quantified-self-biohacking

DIYbio

“As molecular tools get cheaper, and the know-how for using them more widely distributed, I think we’re going to see a renaissance in science. The peculiar feature of this renaissance is that its going to take place outside of “science proper”, away from the universities which dominate now, and funded out-of-pocket by enthusiasts without PhDs.” Science without scientists, DIYbio.org http://diybio.org/2008/08/22/science-without-scientists/


Singularity University July 2010: DIYbio Demo Workshop, by Mac Cowell http://www.slideshare.net/100ideas/singularity-university-july-2010-diybio-demo-workshop


On Experimenting with Others. The Rise of D-I-W-O Science, by Eli Gentry. http://www.slideshare.net/erigentry/gentry-laser-7-mar11

Quantified Self

“The Quantified Self is a movement to incorporate technology into data acquisition on aspects of a person’s daily life in terms of inputs (e.g. food consumed, quality of surrounding air), states (e.g. mood, arousal, blood oxygen levels), and performance (mental and physical). Such self-monitoring and self-sensing, which combines wearable sensors (EEG, ECG, video, etc.) and wearable computing, is also known as lifelogging or sousveillance. Other names for using self-tracking data to improve daily functioning are “self-tracking”, “auto-analytics”, “body hacking” and “self-quantifying”.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantified_Self


Self tracking, Sensors, and mHealth: Trends and Opportunities, by C Torgan http://www.slideshare.net/ctorgan/self-tracking-sensors-and-mhealth-trends-and-opportunities

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