Category Archives: Uncategorized

Color Our Collections via the University of Michigan Libraries

Have you seen the Color Our Collections meme this week?

Basically, libraries and museums all around the world are making coloring pages and books from public domain content in their collections. Pretty awesome stuff! Some of the images are beautiful, some horrifying, some fascinating. Many fit right in with the sort of things people are already seeking out as part of the Adult Coloring movement, which I’ve been working on in other areas of my job. And some are funny or quirky and amusing.

Most of the image providers also give a citation to the original work in their collection catalog. Many of the images raise all sorts of questions. Why did they choose THAT image? Why was that image famous in the first place? Who was the original audience of the image? What was the creator trying to communicate? There are so many stories that the images hint at, leaving a faint clue to lead the curious deeper into a story forgotten by most.

I don’t know if the University of Michigan is participating in #ColorOurCollections officially or not (and this is NOT an officially sanctioned offering from them), but I have in my own files images I’ve collected from some of the wondrous items available in our campus rare and special collections. I’e selected just a few of my favorites that inspire in me the kinds of questions and whisper of stories that I’m observing in so many of the other images being shared. Most of these are selected from an anatomy exhibit curated here some years ago by Barbara Shipman. I’m afraid I’m not certain of which book which image came from, so I will have to check with Barbara. For now, I am hazarding a fair guess for those I’m unsure of and noting that uncertainty.


Rhead, 1898 Idylls of the King
Idylls of the king, Vivien, Elaine, Enid, Guinevere: with sixty original decorations by G.W. Rhead & L. Rhead. http://mirlyn.lib.umich.edu/Record/008590577 Hathi Trust: http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=nyp.33433000181689;view=1up;seq=13

COMMENTS: I fell in love with the romance and beauty of this book the first time I saw it. The books is exquisitely crafted, beautifully illustrated, and filled with the philosophical and thoughtful poems of Tennyson’s exploration of the King Arthur mythos. He tells the story through the tales of four women who are relatively minor characters in most of the tellings of the myth, and most of whom die tragically in Tennyson’s retelling. I’m assuming that some enterprising graduate student has already studied the gender bias implications of the stories. The images are so lovely it is worth exploring the entire book, and luckily for you, it is available as a free public domain download from the Hathi Trust for those at partner institutions like UofM. This particular image illustrates the scene where the Lady of the Lake has stolen the infant Lancelot away from his birth mother to raise as her own. Why would she do that? How did it effect him? Does that original betrayal set the stage for later events in the story. I thought the Lady of the Lake was bound to the lake by magic. So how and why is she floating and flying above it in this image? So many questions.


VesaliusMacroColoring
Andreae Vesalii … Suorum de humani corporis fabrica librorum epitome. http://mirlyn.lib.umich.edu/Record/002075697

COMMENTS: Vesalius is very likely the most famous name in the history of anatomy, kind of the Shakespeare of medicine with early rare editions of his work that scholars attempt to reconcile and interpret. This image is a macro excerpted from a large image of a crowd witnessing a dissection in a crowded theater. I look at this image of people in a low balcony looking down upon the dissection. A student tries to connect what he sees with what is in the book. Others debate and contest and try to reconcile what they believe, what they’ve learned, and what they see. One silent man stands in the middle of all the bustle and somehow completely apart from all of it. He looks deeply sad or troubled. Is he a friend or relative of the person being dissected? Is he a competitor of the experts doing the demonstration? Who is he, and why does he seem both obscured and highlighted within the story the image is telling?


SkeletonColoring
D.O.M. Positiones anatomicae et chirurgicae. Ex anatomia. Mira corporis humani compages … http://mirlyn.lib.umich.edu/Record/011360662

COMMENTS: This is a portion of a full skeleton by Shonbornio and dating from around 1590 (according to Barbara’s notes here). This is supposed to be a lesser quality imitation of one of Vesalius’ drawings. It still calls to me emotionally. The skeleton is frail and powerful at the same time, angry or miserable or tired, turning his back to us. We can say this is because the image was for students to study the bones of the back, but did the artist imbue those bones with some richer emotions for a purpose?


AdamEveColoring

COMMENTS: I’ve been looking at this image all day. Each time, I see Adam and Eve at the tree, and then only afterwards realize that the tree is a skeleton. Even when I know that this is the case, I still see it the other way. When I look at the skeleton, I find it’s posture odd and disconcerting. Its legs are twisted and its hips cocked in an almost flirtatious way, but the torso is twisted and the head turned toward Eve, as if it is speaking to her. The image is simultaneously charming and disturbing.


Flore Medicale Decrite: Sunflower
Flore médicale décrite par MM. Chaumeton, Poiret, Chamberet, peinte par Mme E. P. et par M. J. Turpin. Nouvelle publication… http://mirlyn.lib.umich.edu/Record/002082410

Flore Médicale Décrite: Sunflower Macro
Flore médicale décrite par MM. Chaumeton, Poiret, Chamberet, peinte par Mme E. P. et par M. J. Turpin. Nouvelle publication… http://mirlyn.lib.umich.edu/Record/002082410

COMMENTS: This is only ONE image from a seven volume set of beautiful, intricate, hand-watercolored paintings illustrating herbal medicine in France. The images are lush and richly colored, which is why it is neither fast nor easy to convert them to a coloring page. I tried several, and this was the only one that actually still worked after I fiddled with it digitally. These two images are both from the same plate, of “Carline,” which we know as Carlina acaulis, a mountain herb that is edible and antibiotic and which tells the weather forecast! It grows low to the ground in poor soil in the mountains and is a relative of the thistle.


OrnamentWomanColoring

Ornament: Rose

COMMENTS: It was common previously to not leave a large portion of a page blank, but to fill in the blank space with something, either content or ornament. I don’t remember where either of these ornaments came from, which is easy to have happen when they have little to nothing to do with the content of the books! These were both from the Anatomy Exhibit, and I included them here simply because I thought they’d be fun to color.


DureroSymmetriaTraced
Trattato geometrico di Pietro Antonio Cataldi … Doue si essamina il modo di formare il pentagono sopra ad vna linea retta, descritto da Alberto Durero. Et si mostra come si formino molte figure equilatere, & equiangole sopra ad vna proposta linea retta. http://mirlyn.lib.umich.edu/Record/000167243 (I’m not sure, I think it was from this book: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rosefirerising/2909081613)

COMMENTS: This was a special request, from another emerging technologies librarian on Twitter who is fascinated by the inclusion of mythological beasts in historical medical books. This image shows a strong leg stomping down a snake which is being tortured with nails hammered through its mouth and head area. I suspect that this is referencing the Catholic Church’s belief in “crushing the snake”. That suspicion is reinforced by the appearance of the phoenix in the right corner, which was in the Middle Ages a fairly common symbol of the resurrection of Christ.

You Gotta See This! Hacking, Making, & Innovating Health (#MakeHealth)

#MakeHealth Logo

The excitement is building! The schedule is set and the program is printed. The doors open on Sunday at 11am. People who register in advance get free food (tell your friends!). Volunteers (still room for more!) get a t-shirt with this cool logo. And here are a few highlights.

#MakeHealth 2015: Keynotes

KEYNOTES

You’ve already heard about our incredible and inspiring keynote speakers, Susannah, José, and Anna.

#MakeHealth 2015: Symposium

SYMPOSIUM: THE NIGHTSCOUT PROJECT

And you’ve already heard about the Symposium on Monday morning, where we’ll discuss the empowering Nightscout Project, in which patients and families living with diabetes have taken charge, hacked, innovated, and generally re-written the rules and tech in such a powerful way that the corporations, healthcare providers, and even the FDA have had to sit up and take notice. But there’s lots more. LOTS!

#MakeHealth 2015: Hacking

HACKING HEALTH

Hacking means to use things that already exist, and then re-work them to do something new. Examples from what’s coming at MakeHealth include using your cell phone to improve balance, hacking walkers, hacking our guts and our bodies to improve health.

#MakeHealth 2015: Innovating

INNOVATING HEALTH

Innovating means to make something new, to do something in a new way, to look at problems with new eyes, and to think of new solutions. Sunday you can hear from people who are using crowdfunding to solve important problems, who’ve developed new technology for testing cognitive function, gaming physical therapy, and better ways to handle jetlag.

#MakeHealth 2015: Making

MAKING HEALTH

Making means to make something. It might be new, it might not; it might use materials intended for that purpose, or it might involve creating new materials. In the maker movement, “making” may or may not imply novelty, but what it does imply is being able to do it yourself, to customize, to personalize. Examples from our event next Sunday include 3d printed ostomy wafers, new inexpensive prosthetics, and motion capture for real people.

You see why you need to be there? COME!

From the Arxiv (What Caught My Eye Last Week)

Quantifying the impact of weak, strong, and super ties in scientific careers
Alexander Michael Petersen
PDF: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1509.01804v1.pdf
Soundbite: “We find that super ties contribute to above-average productivity and a 17% citation increase per publication, thus identifying these partnerships – the analog of life partners – as a major factor in science career development.”

Do we need another coffee house? The amenity space and the evolution of neighborhoods
César A. Hidalgo, Elisa E. Castañer
PDF: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1509.02868v1.pdf
Soundbite: “Neighborhoods populated by amenities, such as restaurants, cafes, and libraries, are considered to be a key property of desirable cities. … Finally, we use the Amenity Space to build a recommender system that identifies the amenities that are missing in a neighborhood given its current pattern of specialization.”

Liberating language research from dogmas of the 20th century
Ramon Ferrer-i-Cancho, Carlos Gómez-Rodríguez
PDF: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1509.03295v1.pdf
Soundbite: ” Those tenets can be summarized as a belief in the existence of word order constraints that cannot be explained by evolutionary processes or requirements of performance or learning, and instead require either (a) heavy assumptions that compromise the parsimony of linguistic theory as a whole or (b) explanations based on internal constraints of obscure nature.”
Interesting: “We submitted our commentary to PNAS but it was rejected. We hope that the availability of our submission helps to liberate language research from dogmas of the 20th century”

Estimating Reproducibility in Genome-Wide Association Studies
Wei Jiang, Jing-Hao Xue, Weichuan Yu
PDF: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1508.06715v1.pdf
Soundbite: “This can be used to generate a list of potentially true associations in the irreproducible findings for further scrutiny.”

Nucleosome positioning: resources and tools online
Vladimir B. Teif
PDF: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1508.06916v4.pdf
About: Gene Regulation Info
Includes: Nucleosome positioning datasets sorted by cell type

Combining exome and gene expression datasets in one graphical model of disease to empower the discovery of disease mechanisms
Aziz M. Mezlini, Fabio Fuligni, Adam Shlien, Anna Goldenberg
PDF: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1508.07527v1.pdf
Soundbite: “It is not unusual to observe a significant gene expression change in thousands of genes, the majority being a downstream, rather than the driver, effect (e.g. inflammation, drug response, etc) Additionally, and more importantly, there is a large heterogeneity in gene expression in cancer: many patients within the same subtype will appear to have an abberant expression. These variations are of unknown cause.”

Using Genetic Distance to Infer the Accuracy of Genomic Prediction
Marco Scutari, Ian Mackay, David Balding
PDF: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1509.00415v2.pdf
Soundbite: ” In human genetics, decay curves could be used study to what extent predictions are accurate and thus to improve the performance of medical diagnostics for the general population. In plant and animal breeding, on the other hand, it is common to incorporate distantly related individuals in selection programs to maintain a sufficient level of genetic variability.”

Population genomics of intrapatient HIV-1 evolution
Fabio Zanini, Johanna Brodin, Lina Thebo, Christa Lanz, Göran Bratt, Jan Albert, Richard A. Neher
PDF: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1509.02483v1.pdf
Soundbite: “In most patients, the virus populations was initially homogeneous and diversified over the years, as expected for an infection with a single or small number of similar founder viruses (Keele et al., 2008). In two patients, p3 and p10, the first sample displayed diversity consistent with the transmission of several variants from the same donor.”
Soundbite: “Our reasoning proceeds as follows. Figure 6B indicates that diversity accumulates over a time frame of 2-4 years, i.e., about 1,000 days. Recombination at a rate of 10−5/bp/day hits a genome on average every 100 bps in 1000 days. Mutations further apart than 100bps are hence often separated by recombination and retain little linkage consistent with the observed decay length in Figure 7.”

Inadequate experimental methods and erroneous epilepsy diagnostic criteria result in confounding acquired focal epilepsy with genetic absence epilepsy
Raimondo D’Ambrosio, Clifford L. Eastman, John W. Miller
PDF: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1509.01206v1.pdf
Soundbite: “Because the authors could not induce focal seizures by FPI, they ended up comparing absence epilepsy in their controls with absence epilepsy in FPI rats, and concluded that they look similar. They also used inappropriate epilepsy diagnostic criteria that cannot distinguish between focal non-convulsive seizures and genetic absence epilepsy. Moreover, the authors failed to consider all literature conflicting with their conclusion, and surmised similarities between the absence epilepsy in their rats with the focal seizures we induce by rpFPI.”

Reduction of Alzheimer’s disease beta-amyloid pathology in the absence of gut microbiota
T. Harach, N. Marungruang, N. Dutilleul, V. Cheatham, K. D. Mc Coy, J. J. Neher, M. Jucker, F. Fåk, T., Lasser, T. Bolmont
PDF: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1509.02273v1.pdf
Soundbite: “Our results indicate a microbial involvement in the development of Alzheimer’s disease pathology, and suggest that microbiota may contribute to the development of neurodegenerative diseases.”

Fractal Fluctuations in Human Walking: Comparison of Auditory and Visually Guided Stepping
Philippe Terrier
PDF: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1509.01913v1.pdf
Soundbite: “[B]ecause it can be assumed that AC and VC mobilize the same motor pathways, they can probably be used alternatively in gait rehabilitation. The efficiency of VC to enhance walking abilities in patients with neurological gait disorders needs further studies. However, the high gait variability induced by VC might have detrimental effects, for instance, a lower dynamic balance. This should be taken into account in the development of VC rehabilitation methods.”

The Brain Uses Reliability of Stimulus Information when Making Perceptual Decisions
Sebastian Bitzer, Stefan J. Kiebel
PDF: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1509.01972v1.pdf
Soundbite: “Our analysis suggests that the brain estimates the reliability of the stimulus on a short time scale of at most a few hundred milliseconds.”

Brain Model of Information Based Exchange
James Kozloski
PDF: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1509.02580v1.pdf
Coolness: IBM Neural Tissue Simulator (about NTS | NTS slides | 1st article)

Interplay between the local information based behavioral responses and the epidemic spreading in complex networks
Can Liu, Jia-Rong Xie, Han-Shuang Chen, Hai-Feng Zhang, Ming Tang
PDF: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1509.01321v1.pdf
Soundbite: “The spreading of an infectious disease can trigger human behavior responses to the disease, which in turn plays a crucial role on the spreading of epidemic…. Our finding indicates that, with the increasing of the response rate, the epidemic threshold is enhanced and the prevalence of epidemic is reduced.”

Identification and modeling of discoverers in online social systems
Matus Medo, Manuel S. Mariani, An Zeng, Yi-Cheng Zhang
PDF: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1509.01477v1.pdf
Soundbite: “We develop an analytical time-aware framework which shows that when individuals make choices — which item to buy, for example — in online social systems, a small fraction of them is consistently successful in discovering popular items long before they actually become popular. We argue that these users, whom we refer to as discoverers, are fundamentally different from the previously known opinion leaders, influentials, and innovators.”

Time-aware Analysis and Ranking of Lurkers in Social Networks
Andrea Tagarelli, Roberto Interdonato
PDF: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1509.02030v1.pdf
Soundbite: “Our goal in this work is to push forward research in lurker mining in a twofold manner: (i) to provide an in-depth analysis of temporal aspects that aims to unveil the behavior of lurkers and their relations with other users, and (ii) to enhance existing methods for ranking lurkers by integrating different time-aware properties concerning information-production and information-consumption actions.”

Taubman Health Sciences Library: Open for Business!

THEN:

Taubman Medical LibraryHealth Sciences Library / Taubman Medical Library
Taubman Library: StacksDSCN0694

NOW:

New THL: AnatomageMoving in
Moving in

Just over a year and a half ago we moved out. Mysterious things happened (ie. a renovation). Almost a month ago, we moved back. At that point in time, there were still places that looked a lot like this.

New THL: Construction Signs

And somehow, miracle of miracles, today, we opened to the public. There’s a bunch of press about it, but I thought some might like to get a sense of the unofficial, completely my own personal point-of-view, behind the scenes view. Especially other medical librarians!

The space is, as my colleagues describe it, “BEAUTIFUL!” I confess, we were a little worried when the color scheme was described as, “Aggressively neutral with black and yellow accents,” but it absolutely works. The space is bright with light and color, cozy with comforting nooks and crannies, and deliciously modern to the minute with tech. Here are some of my favorite highlights (which are likely to be rather different from what excites the popular press).

VIDEO & PODCAST RECORDING STUDIO

New THL: Video Studio

I love that there is a video studio, complete with backdrops, green screen, audio and video equipment, computers, editing software, and so forth. I’m very excited to see what comes from this, and equally proud of Anne Perorazio who has reinvented herself as our local video expert through a great deal of passion and practice and study.

I am hoping that there will be times when I find time to expand my own skills in this area, and am hoping for some tutorials and training sessions to be forthcoming. My understanding is that the studio has already been in use!

ACCESSIBILITY & SIT-STAND TABLES

New THL: Sit/Stand Station

I could hardly contain myself when I realized there were sit-stand tables for public use. Not just one, but FOUR! FOUR sit-stand tables, one at each corner of the public computing areas. I bet these are going to be popular. That level of attention to accessibility issues in the design is just thrilling to me. Here is what the sit stand tables look like in context, both at an elevated height and at the same height as the rest of the tables.

New THL: Computers / Sit/Stand StationNew THL: Computers & Long View

USB & POWER EVERYWHERE

Moving in

One rule of designing for tech is, until we have safe & ubiquitous wireless charging, there is no such thing too much power. Not talking superhero or political power, but power to charge our electronic devices. I was so delighted to see not just electrical power, but also USB chargers, and these are at almost every seat in the entire library. We’re talking hundreds of outlets and phone chargers. HUNDREDS. Yowza. I am blown away. There are also Ethernet jacks in the public space, and other features that are designed to make the tech environment as seamless and powerful as possible. See the official details for more info on this.

MULTI-PURPOSE ROOM WITH TELECONFERENCING

Moving in

The new multipurpose room is very flexible, and can be redesigned for a wide range of uses, but what I’m excited about is all the teleconferencing capability that keeps being mentioned. I’ve heard rumors that this may even include satellite connections. I’m hoping it’s true, and looking forward to being able to attend events here that used to have me running all over campus.

ANATOMAGE


MLive: The University Of Michigan’s New Virtual Cadaver: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0U372pSI47I

OK, OK, yes, everyone in the press is geeking out over the Anatomage for “virtual dissection.” I would be remiss in some sense if I didn’t mention it, however what excites me about is, again, likely to be a little different from what other folk are thinking. My background, before coming to UM, involved supporting multimedia for medical and dental education. I’ve been tracking the Virtual Human project and uses of its data for a very long time. Decades. Really. I’ve seen programs and tools and resources developed around the data to try to make it useful for teaching, learning, and research. By and large most of the failed, and for the same reasons. They repackaged the basic data, added very little content, and called it cool. The Anatomage is different.

What makes it different? Customization. The ability to add your own data, your own labels, to expand data sets and enrich the content. The other thing that makes it pretty cool is the ease and flexibility of exporting images from the device. This is what I’ve been waiting for.

Here you can see some of the labeling (which again, can be customized), and the extreme responsiveness of the touchscreen manipulation. Chase Masters is demonstrating this with his tie. Any kind of touch works to interact with the device. And Chase deserves a big shoutout for all the work he’s done learning about working with the Anatomage, building community of practice around it, incorporating it into instructional design and specific course, and so very much more.

Moving in: AnatomageNew THL: Anatomage

The Anatomage is super popular. So far, if I walk out into the main part of the library, there is always someone using it. I am deeply impressed that the Anatomage is being made available for use by the public, and not just locked away for use by medical students. It has a lot of potential for working with outreach, patients, and more. I am very hopeful about ways in which it can change lives of regular folk as well as supporting and enriching medical education.

New THL: AnatomageNew THL: Anatomage

I HAVE A WINDOW

New THL: I have a window! And visitors!

OK, this is just for me. I have a window. I’ve never had a window before. I must say, I really do like it.

OFFICIAL DETAILS

Key features of the new Taubman Health Sciences Library:

* It stands on the site where U-M’s second hospital began taking patients in 1891 – one year after the Medical School adopted a then-revolutionary four-year curriculum.
* Learning spaces are spread over five levels of the building – two below street level.
* Learning technologies include a large touch-screen table for exploring human anatomy virtually, and facilities for teleconferencing and computer-based testing.
* The Clinical Skills Suite includes 30 realistic patient care rooms complete with simulated medical technology, and facilities for the trained medical actors – called “standardized patients” and actual patients who help medical students learn and test hands-on skills.
* In addition to the library, the entrance level includes a new café with coffee and light fare.
* A medical student lounge offers kitchen facilities and entertainment options.
* An all-glass exterior of nearly 18,000 square feet of low-e glass replaced the former windowless brick walls on all sides of the building, providing natural illumination
* About 6,000 square feet were added in the renovation, including a monumental staircase.
* A wide array of “green building” features make the building eligible for Gold LEED status, a measure of environmentally conscious facility construction and operation.
* The building has indoor connections on several levels to other Medical School buildings.
* Construction teams used 1,700 tons of concrete, recycled 1,780 tons of material, and installed more than 67 miles of data cable and 2,011 data jacks.

MORE LINKS


A grand space for learning: U-M reopens Taubman Health Sciences Library after $55M metamorphosis http://www.uofmhealth.org/news/archive/201508/grand-space-learning-u-m-reopens-taubman-health-sciences
Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdUKf9Fi9ZE&feature=youtu.be
Brochure: http://medicine.umich.edu/medschool/sites/medicine.umich.edu.medschool/files/content/downloads/THSLbrochure.pdf

Crain’s Detroit Business: Transformed UM library reopens after two years http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20150802/NEWS/150809996/transformed-um-library-reopens-after-two-years

Detroit Business: U-M’s Taubman Health Sciences Library Reopens After $55M Renovation http://www.dbusiness.com/November-December-2015/U-Ms-Taubman-Health-Sciences-Library-Reopens-After-55M-Renovation/

See U-M Medical School’s new 3-D virtual cadaver http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2015/08/see_u-m_medical_schools_new_vi.html

University of Michigan unveils state of the art medical library http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2015/08/university_of_michigan_unveils_2.html

UM Libraries: Taubman Health Sciences Library: http://www.lib.umich.edu/thl

UMMS: A. Alfred Taubman Health Sciences Library http://medicine.umich.edu/medschool/about/facilities/alfred-taubman-health-sciences-library

Our Cool Toys Group as a Community of Practice for Emerging Technologies (And What’s Next!)

It’s been seven years. Can you believe that? SEVEN YEARS! Cool Toys Conversations is definitely growing up, and it was time to tell folk so. I presented a poster on our group at the Medical Library Association Annual Meeting in Austin last month. I was swamped the entire poster session. Lots of questions, lots of great conversations. I was surprised by the parts that other folk found surprising.

What seemed to be the most important finding to others was the idea that to connect with a new audience that aren’t aware of what the library has to offer, it may be necessary to make yourself highly discoverable outside of your normal channels. This means social media, blogging, publishing, attending sessions on their topics, live-tweeting, and otherwise getting your name associated with that topic in a variety of locations. That way, while they might not think to look to the library for assistance, when they go do a Google search for people working in this area, you pop up. By being discoverable nationally, you are more likely to connect with your target audience in your home institution. It sounds counter-intuitive, but there were a lot of library directors stopping by, asking me about this part of it, and then sending their staff to talk with me. Very interesting.

The other logical-in-hindsight part that was really important was the value to the community of having a broad open-door policy with a broad scope of topics, combined with loose partnerships with other campus groups that share interests. It is helpful in building community to have a place where people can come and catch up beyond the narrow focus. For example, my official focus is on emerging technologies for healthcare. We have meetings that talk about those, but we don’t limit it to just those. We also look at technologies that support teaching, research, workflow, personal productivity, marketing and communication, and more. Ultimately, these “off-topic” themes connect back. A session on personal organization tools may attract a clinician supporting persons with executive function disorder. A session on wearable technologies for fitness draws in a researcher working on best practices for sleep. A session on iphone apps to make comics brings in nursing staff designing training materials. Conversations around social media best practices attract attention from hospital researchers wanting to market clinical trials. So, we keep the meetings open to anyone on campus of any level, and even people from the local community. We let the people who show up shape the topics of interest to them, and even though they may not be folk working in healthcare, it seems to work out to support a diversity of communities.

Recently, we had our first Cool Toys Conversations group meeting since my return, and we brainstormed ideas and topics for the coming year. Here is an alphabetical list of what we came up with.

* DIY Cognitive Rehab & Alzheimer’s ‘Prevention’ (Brain Training Apps)
* DIY Comics for Education & Outreach (Tools, Tips, & Fun)
* Design Thinking Walk Through
* The Home Front: Emerging Tech at UM
* Make Health
* New Tech & Student Retention (DIY U, Credentialing, DIY Badging)
* Online Identity Management (Privacy, Transparency, Safety, and What Else?)
* Reverse Innovation (Rural, Underserved, Global, Sustainable)
* Study Apps, Part 1 (Writing, notetaking/sharing, speed reading/writing, assignment management, time management, flash cards)
* Study Apps, Part 2 (Text2Speech, Disabilities, ESL students)
* Trends in Multimedia Consumption & Production, From Youtube to Stage-It to Archive.org

If you have other ideas, now is the time to share them! We are also talking about partnering on some of these with the Mobile Users Group, Health Design By Us, Global Health, Web Accessibility Working Group, and other campus groups. There is even the possibility that we might Skype in some experts from other schools. And then, in December we’ll have a bit of a party instead of a meeting. Don’t you wish you were here?

The other very interesting idea that was proposed was to repurpose the Cool Toys blog or create some other related online space as a way for sharing information about emerging technologies, resources, events, activities, projects, and so forth across the entire campus. This is something that would have to be brought up to other groups, but it’s definitely an interesting idea!

Links shared during the meeting

Companion – Your Personal Safety Service http://companionapp.io/
Cool Toys U: Calendar: https://cooltoysu.wordpress.com/calendars/
ETechLib: Tools for Learning: Flashcards? Really? https://etechlib.wordpress.com/2009/10/06/tools-for-learning-flashcards-really/
ETechLib: Tools for Learning: Flashcards Done Right, Video Tools, & Augmented Reality https://etechlib.wordpress.com/2009/10/14/tools-for-learning-flashcards-done-right-video-tools-augmented-reality/
Evernote https://evernote.com/pricing/
HealthDesignByUs http://www.healthdesignby.us/
Qualtrics: File Upload: http://www.qualtrics.com/university/researchsuite/basic-building/editing-questions/question-types-guide/file-upload/
Read&Write GOLD: http://www.texthelp.com/north-america/campaigns/attips
UM Mobile Users Group: December 5, 2014 Meeting: http://www.instructionblog.com/mobileusers/december-5-2014-meeting/

Happy National DNA Day!

Here are some things I’ve stumbled on recently that I think might make playing with DNA more fun or interesting, and help integrate the process of learning about our own personal DNA more relevant to our own personal health. Good stuff, eh?

Genes for Good
Genes For Good
http://genesforgood.sph.umich.edu/

“Participants in Genes for Good have a unique opportunity to learn about their health, behavior, and ancestors. Any information you provide to the study is yours to visualize using plotting tools available in the App itself. If you like, you can also download the information. After all, it’s your information and you should be able to do with it what you wish.”

Open Human
Open Humans
https://www.openhumans.org/

“Open Humans helps you connect to exciting and innovative research studies – and gives you access to the data they produce from you.
– find exciting studies to join
– access to your raw data
– share your data with others
– connect with other members
– let others see your contribution to science!”

NOTE: They are partners with the Personal Genome Project AND American Gut!

Apple ResearchKit
Apple Research Kit
http://www.apple.com/researchkit

“Until now, taking part in a medical study has usually required traveling to a hospital or facility to complete tasks and fill out questionnaires. With ResearchKit, you can use your iPhone to perform activities and generate data wherever you are, providing a source of information that is more objective than ever possible before. This is invaluable to the progress of medical research — and we can all have a hand in it.
What’s more, many of the apps built with ResearchKit will enable you to track your own data and potentially discover correlations between symptoms and daily actions such as diet or exercise.”

Apple Health Kit
Apple Health Kit
https://www.apple.com/ios/whats-new/health/

“The new Health app gives you an easy‑to‑read dashboard of your health and fitness data. And we’ve created a new tool for developers called HealthKit, which allows all the incredible health and fitness apps to work together, and work harder, for you. It just might be the beginning of a health revolution.”

Panometer (we're measuring everything)
Panometer
http://panometer.org/index.html

The Panometer is at this moment, vaporware, but I went to a presentation with the inventor and heard what he’s imagining. It’s pretty exciting. So, what if we could measure, link, and visualize in a meaningful way, our genetic data, our environment (exposome), our experience, our health metrics, our behavior, and our social streams in a way that is both private and persona, creating tools that help us make informed decisions about our lives and how to make them better and more personally satisfying? Doesn’t the idea make you feel happy?

Hedonometer
Hedonometer
http://www.hedonometer.org

Hashtags of the World: The #SciArt Tweet Storm

Sonobe Ball as Gift for IV

Since I’m no longer doing hashtag posts weekly, I’m revising the acronym to “Hashtags of the World” hoping to imply basically that they are interesting. They will be interesting to me, anyway! The image at the head of this post is my most popular contribution to the #SciArt Tweet storm (a.k.a. Twitterstorm).

Help Us Start a SciArt Tweet Storm: http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/symbiartic/2015/03/01/sciart-tweet-storm/

#SciArt obviously stands for Science plus Art, and this week the tag is focused on creating international attention for science through the engaging lens of art and artists. Symbiartic, the group that is hosting this, has an excellent high-profile blog, hosted through Scientific American. They have a large following, a good core team, and have built strong relationships with a broad range of collaborators. All of that has come together for a phenomenal event and a trending hashtag. The stream for the hashtag is phenomenal. Here are a few of my favorites from the life sciences subset of the conversation.

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