Citizen Scientists

      70 Comments on Citizen Scientists

A reader sent me a link to an interesting article about “citizen scientists” – people who don’t bear the official “scientist” stamp from a university, but are nonetheless running their own small experiments and sharing their data online.  Some quotes from the article with my comments:

More than a decade ago, in hopes of advancing research on the rare genetic disease that afflicts her children, Sharon Terry let two different researchers draw their blood for study. But when she asked for the results of the investigations, the scientists gave her a startling response. Information generated from her own children’s DNA, they said, didn’t belong to her.

Well, if the state of Ohio decides her children are too fat, they won’t belong to her either.

Today, Ms. Terry is part of a growing movement to unlock medical secrets by empowering patients to gather, control and even analyze their own health data.

Members of this loose collective of amateurs, who call themselves “health hackers” and “citizen scientists,” also perform their own analyses and use the Internet to create and run experiments and clinical trials. They all believe that too much science happens behind closed doors.

I agree, but that’s because most health science these days is being conducted in hopes of developing a new pois—er, drug that can be patented.

The controversial notion that people with no formal scientific training can make meaningful research contributions arose a few years ago, prompted in part by new, inexpensive DNA tests intended for consumers.

I can see why the notion is controversial.  Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Ben Franklin — they never would have contributed anything worthwhile without first getting their PhDs … no wait, sorry, I had them confused with people who attended college.  Well, perhaps Thomas Edison had some brilliant professors during his four months of formal education.

Critics of this new wave of citizen scientists point to several potential problems. Amateurs may not collect data rigorously, they say, and may draw conclusions from sample sizes that are too small to yield statistically reliable results.

We’d better train them not to do that.  Otherwise they’ll end up declaring that red meat causes cancer and restricting salt is the cure for hypertension.

When an individual patient determines that something is making him feel better, “that’s great,” says Harlan Krumholz, a professor at Yale School of Medicine, “but to find something that I can put in a textbook and encourage everyone to offer to patients requires a stronger evidence base.”

Don’t be silly, professor.  Lack of strong evidence didn’t stop the makers of Lipitor or Prozac from getting really, really rich.

In traditional studies, scientists guard their data from outsiders for several reasons. They fear that someone else might take that data and publish a finding ahead of them, taking credit for their discoveries. Even after a study is done, they often prefer to keep the data private, for any potential future discoveries.

Or so people don’t look at the data and say, “Hey, look!  There was a small reduction in cardiovascular events in the statin group, but more people died.”

Citizen-science projects don’t fall under the purview of the Food and Drug Administration, since they generally don’t involve testing or developing anything new—such as a new drug, medical device or diagnostic test. The experiments usually test things like vitamins that are already FDA-approved or sold over-the-counter.

Earlier this year, prompted by the growing availability of consumer DNA tests, the American Medical Association sent a letter to the FDA saying that genetic testing should only be done with the guidance of a doctor or trained genetic counselor.

In other words, “People should have to pay us for an office visit before they learn anything about themselves on their own.”

Doctors worried that people might not understand the genetic information being explained to them.

When I lived in California, I had to explain to my doctor that my LDL score was calculated and probably wrong since my triglycerides were very low, and that there’s a difference between small, dense LDL and large, fluffy LDL.  (Not the doctor in Fat Head, by the way.)  Since I wasn’t wearing a white coat at the time, he seemed to assume I making it all up.

As for interpreting results of a DNA test, there’s this new method of acquiring information called the Internet.  Anyone motivated enough to take a DNA test at home will probably make the effort to look up the explanations.

Melanie Swan, an investment adviser in Silicon Valley, is one of the citizen scientists questioning the traditional approach. She has written a smart-phone app that lets users study their genetic data to find any correlations between known efficacy rates for drugs associated with certain genes. Ultimately, she says, the goal is to help patients tailor their own treatment plans.

So she’s an investment adviser, not a programmer by profession, but she wrote her own smart-phone application … I dunno, she may not have the intelligence to interpret a DNA test without a doctor helping her past the big words.

Richard Nikoley of Free the Animal gave an excellent speech at the Ancestral Health Symposium about n = 1 experiments, the point being that if you try different diets, supplements, exercise programs, etc., and carefully track the results, those results are relevant –- for you, if not for everyone else.  If you adopt a low-carb diet and your roller-coaster glucose level stabilizes, it’s relevant.  If you give up wheat and your psoriasis or arthritis vanishes, it’s relevant.

Now we’ve got people sharing their individual and small-group experiments online, which means they can go a step beyond n = 1 and learn from each other’s results as well.  The Wisdom of Crowds in action.

I think this is a terrific trend.  Somewhere, Ben Franklin is smiling.

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70 thoughts on “Citizen Scientists

  1. Jesse

    I love it! It’s like crowdsourcing taken to an entirely new level. If you don’t know about it yet, check out shareable.net for a peek into the sharing economy that’s beginning to sprout up all over the place. This kind of science fits right in and makes me just a little more optimistic for the future.

    Reply
  2. scientist-type

    As a scientist who sometimes wishes I could share more findings with our research participants than is allowed, I just want to say that not all scientists refuse to release their results for selfish, self-promoting reasons. There are many regulations which, for example, prevent release of ‘research-based’ results to study participants, because most research labs aren’t certified for diagnostic testing. The certification process is very expensive and cumbersome, and therefore unrealistic for most small research labs to undertake, and without such certification, the researchers and their institutions are open to lawsuits, government-inflicted penalties, etc. Sometimes ethical conundrums are created where no clinical testing labs exist for a particular test- usually because it is so new, or for a very rare disease or something, so not profitable- so the only way a patient could get a result is through a research lab, but research labs aren’t allowed to release such results, or if in some cases they can provide them with caveats, etc, it is a risky legal grey zone.

    Reply
  3. scientist-type

    Well, on further thought, maybe my motivations are a bit selfish, in that I want to avoid destroying my career prospects as a scientist by breaking laws and angering my employers!

    Reply
  4. Jesse

    I love it! It’s like crowdsourcing taken to an entirely new level. If you don’t know about it yet, check out shareable.net for a peek into the sharing economy that’s beginning to sprout up all over the place. This kind of science fits right in and makes me just a little more optimistic for the future.

    Reply
  5. gallier2

    One only needs to look at ClimateGate http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/11/22/climategate-2-0/ http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/11/30/climategate-2-0-emails-thread-2/ to see that the bad state of science is not a fluke of the nutrition/medical discipline.
    I have formal training in science (physics), but didn’t graduate because I prefered a career in IT. One thing I noticed at the time I was at the University, the most that followed up to get a PhD were the ones that were incapable to get good jobs with a diploma. There were the 1 or 2 who were motivated from the beginning, but most were people who continued at the University because nobody else wanted them.

    Don’t get me started on ClimateGate.

    Reply
  6. PJ

    You see what this REALLY is Tom, right?

    It’s: “We have kept the bible in Latin, because you must go to the priest to learn about your relationship with God.”

    The idea that intelligence is limited to people who kept their ass in a chair moving at the same pace as the herd, is ludicrous. Pretty much all the most intelligent and critical-thinking people I know are profoundly autodidactic — whether or not they had advanced, or much of any beyond the basics, schooling.

    PJ

    There’s a reason the religious authorities persecuted John Wycliffe, who translated Bibles into English.

    Reply
  7. FrankG

    You don’t even have to go as far back as Edison for examples Tom – Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, both dropped out of college.

    I’m also a big fan of the internet and I am hopeful that the free-exchange of information that it facilitates, is going to make (has already made) big changes in the world.

    I’m sorry to say I even read Stephan Guyenet falling into the “appeal from authority” in his on-going spat with the apparently uncredentialed Gary Taubes. I take that as a sign of a weak position… either your arguments stand on their own strength, or they don’t… letters after your name don’t change the evidence based facts.

    On the other hand I was watching a PBS show “Lord of the Ants” last evening. It profiles E.O. “Ed” Wilson, biologist, researcher (sociobiology, biodiversity), theorist (consilience, biophilia), naturalist (conservationist) and author… who has also had his share of controversy over the years, but now in his 80’s is unquestionably a scientist of the highest repute. In the show he describes himself as an “Entomologist… a student of insects”. When others look to him as the “expert”, He still calls himself a “student”!

    Frankly, when supposed experts try to dismiss Gary Taubes because he’s “just a journalist,” I have to laugh.

    Reply
  8. scientist-type

    As a scientist who sometimes wishes I could share more findings with our research participants than is allowed, I just want to say that not all scientists refuse to release their results for selfish, self-promoting reasons. There are many regulations which, for example, prevent release of ‘research-based’ results to study participants, because most research labs aren’t certified for diagnostic testing. The certification process is very expensive and cumbersome, and therefore unrealistic for most small research labs to undertake, and without such certification, the researchers and their institutions are open to lawsuits, government-inflicted penalties, etc. Sometimes ethical conundrums are created where no clinical testing labs exist for a particular test- usually because it is so new, or for a very rare disease or something, so not profitable- so the only way a patient could get a result is through a research lab, but research labs aren’t allowed to release such results, or if in some cases they can provide them with caveats, etc, it is a risky legal grey zone.

    Reply
  9. scientist-type

    Well, on further thought, maybe my motivations are a bit selfish, in that I want to avoid destroying my career prospects as a scientist by breaking laws and angering my employers!

    Reply
  10. gallier2

    One only needs to look at ClimateGate http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/11/22/climategate-2-0/ http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/11/30/climategate-2-0-emails-thread-2/ to see that the bad state of science is not a fluke of the nutrition/medical discipline.
    I have formal training in science (physics), but didn’t graduate because I prefered a career in IT. One thing I noticed at the time I was at the University, the most that followed up to get a PhD were the ones that were incapable to get good jobs with a diploma. There were the 1 or 2 who were motivated from the beginning, but most were people who continued at the University because nobody else wanted them.

    Don’t get me started on ClimateGate.

    Reply
  11. Nina

    ‘Melanie Swan, an investment adviser in Silicon Valley, is one of the citizen scientists questioning the traditional approach. She has written a smart-phone app that lets users study their genetic data to find any correlations between known efficacy rates for drugs associated with certain genes. Ultimately, she says, the goal is to help patients tailor their own treatment plans.’

    Stop teasing us. What’s it called? Is there a link?

    Nina

    Unfortunately, the article didn’t specify.

    Reply
  12. PJ

    You see what this REALLY is Tom, right?

    It’s: “We have kept the bible in Latin, because you must go to the priest to learn about your relationship with God.”

    The idea that intelligence is limited to people who kept their ass in a chair moving at the same pace as the herd, is ludicrous. Pretty much all the most intelligent and critical-thinking people I know are profoundly autodidactic — whether or not they had advanced, or much of any beyond the basics, schooling.

    PJ

    There’s a reason the religious authorities persecuted John Wycliffe, who translated Bibles into English.

    Reply
  13. Lauren

    When I was in 6th grade, I conducted a science experiment where I build two solar water heaters using different materials, to see which was better. I presented the results at a science fair and won 2nd place. No one called my results “unscientific” or “irrelevant” because I was 12 or because I only tested the heaters in my own backyard or built them in my garage. I was complimented on how I followed the basic experimental laws. If a 12-year-old can do it, why can’t a 31 year old (i.e. me, now) Why, if I should apply the same laws to my health, am I considered foolish? It’s like they don’t want me to think for myself – sheesh!

    If you tinker in your basement, they don’t mind. It’s when you start making data available that they get nervous.

    Reply
  14. AndreaLynnette

    These people, these “real scientists” and “real doctors,” are elitists. They have been taught to believe that they are better than the rest of us, like the nobles and clergy way back who ruled by divine right and could tell everyone what to do, never questioned about WHY.

    It’s the same fight that regular people are having with news and entertainment megaliths. Bloggers aren’t “real news sites” and not protected by freedom of the press, a guy who makes his own movie and puts it out there can be sued by some studio that stole his idea, but has the money to bury him in legal mumbo-jumbo.

    Reply
  15. FrankG

    You don’t even have to go as far back as Edison for examples Tom – Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, both dropped out of college.

    I’m also a big fan of the internet and I am hopeful that the free-exchange of information that it facilitates, is going to make (has already made) big changes in the world.

    I’m sorry to say I even read Stephan Guyenet falling into the “appeal from authority” in his on-going spat with the apparently uncredentialed Gary Taubes. I take that as a sign of a weak position… either your arguments stand on their own strength, or they don’t… letters after your name don’t change the evidence based facts.

    On the other hand I was watching a PBS show “Lord of the Ants” last evening. It profiles E.O. “Ed” Wilson, biologist, researcher (sociobiology, biodiversity), theorist (consilience, biophilia), naturalist (conservationist) and author… who has also had his share of controversy over the years, but now in his 80’s is unquestionably a scientist of the highest repute. In the show he describes himself as an “Entomologist… a student of insects”. When others look to him as the “expert”, He still calls himself a “student”!

    Frankly, when supposed experts try to dismiss Gary Taubes because he’s “just a journalist,” I have to laugh.

    Reply
  16. Phyllis Mueller

    Tom, can I order Fathead DVDs to be shipped to someone other than myself? I want to send one as a gift (to my niece, who just told me she is going back to school to study for a degree in nutrition).

    I didn’t notice separate “bill to” and “ship to” fill-in-the-blanks. Did I miss something in the ordering screens?

    We often receive two orders from the same person, one going to a different address. I haven’t stepped through the PayPal cart, but I’m sure it’s possible.

    Reply
  17. Mike

    It’s like the open source of science. Tom, do you have any links to sites that host all sorts of open source experiments? If not, I don’t know what kind of programming you do, but would you be interested in getting involved in developing such a site?

    I think it’s a cool idea, but I don’t have time for another project.

    Reply
  18. Josh

    The controversy surrounding over-the-counter DNA testing is not only affecting the individuals interested in finding out about their health, but also the genealogical DNA community. The International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG.org) is a large world-wide community of individuals who network together to discuss issues pertaining to genealogical DNA research. There is even a PAC due to some in government who want to restrict or ban any type of over-the-counter DNA kits. I am the Administrator of several DNA research groups and provide DNA consultations/project to many clients every year. I cannot fathom having this type of information restricted. It is our DNA!

    It is yet another case of government insisting that:

    “You don’t know what is good for you!”
    and
    “We don’t want citizens to be confused”.

    They’re aiming to restrict supplements, too. Can’t have me finding out if a harmless dose of tryptophan cures my insomnia (which it did) without a doctor’s approval.

    Reply
  19. Mike

    Unless properly trained I don’t think investment advisers should be writing smart phone applications.

    I was never properly trained as a programmer. I’d resign my current position in protest over my lack of qualifications, but I’m too busy cleaning up mistakes created by a previous programmer with a degree in computer science.

    Reply
  20. Jorge

    As a scientist ive always considered myself to be a citizen 🙂 Most scientists, in fact are a subset of the greater citizenry. However, not all citizens are scientists. That is not to say that a huge # of scientific breakthroughs are made by ‘everyday people’ (thanks Sly!). It’s just that WAY more pseudo scientific quackery comes out of this same set. So be careful, esp on the net. Replicability, clarity, transparency, etc are vital for both groups: the pharmaceutical engineers as well as the future Steve Jobs in garages.

    As Richard Feinman says, follow the data.

    Reply
  21. Jorge

    Oh yeah, the above was sorta a causality joke. Readers of this are familiar with the danger in believing everything you encounter. Action item? Grind a telescope mirror with your kid. Understand corporate secrecy by starting up your own company… that’s you not me!

    Reply
  22. Lori

    Awhile back, there was another article in the WSJ warning people not to try a FODMAPs diet on their own. Why? It can be tricky! The real reason is that if elimination diets became a household remedy, a lot of dieticians, nutritionists and gastroenterologists would be out of a job.

    LOL … how tricky could it be?

    Reply
  23. Nina

    ‘Melanie Swan, an investment adviser in Silicon Valley, is one of the citizen scientists questioning the traditional approach. She has written a smart-phone app that lets users study their genetic data to find any correlations between known efficacy rates for drugs associated with certain genes. Ultimately, she says, the goal is to help patients tailor their own treatment plans.’

    Stop teasing us. What’s it called? Is there a link?

    Nina

    Unfortunately, the article didn’t specify.

    Reply
  24. Bill RN, BSN, CEN

    Great post Tom.
    One of my nursing professors made that comment that when we get our nursing degrees and take the certification exam, it only means that we are minimally competent and have met the minimum requirements to take care of people. Kind of scary when you think of it that way. It probably is the same for some of our “educated” elite in my opinion, since they stay minimally competent.

    Even if they’re more than minimally competent, it doesn’t mean the rest are incompetent, which is what many of them believe.

    Reply
  25. Rocky

    Translation:

    “We’re frightened that the stranglehold we’ve held on medical information is starting to crumble. The thought that the consumers of today’s medical goods and services might become informed consumers is a threat to our egos, and more importantly, our profits.”

    Bingo.

    Reply
  26. Lauren

    When I was in 6th grade, I conducted a science experiment where I build two solar water heaters using different materials, to see which was better. I presented the results at a science fair and won 2nd place. No one called my results “unscientific” or “irrelevant” because I was 12 or because I only tested the heaters in my own backyard or built them in my garage. I was complimented on how I followed the basic experimental laws. If a 12-year-old can do it, why can’t a 31 year old (i.e. me, now) Why, if I should apply the same laws to my health, am I considered foolish? It’s like they don’t want me to think for myself – sheesh!

    If you tinker in your basement, they don’t mind. It’s when you start making data available that they get nervous.

    Reply
  27. AndreaLynnette

    These people, these “real scientists” and “real doctors,” are elitists. They have been taught to believe that they are better than the rest of us, like the nobles and clergy way back who ruled by divine right and could tell everyone what to do, never questioned about WHY.

    It’s the same fight that regular people are having with news and entertainment megaliths. Bloggers aren’t “real news sites” and not protected by freedom of the press, a guy who makes his own movie and puts it out there can be sued by some studio that stole his idea, but has the money to bury him in legal mumbo-jumbo.

    Reply
  28. Phyllis Mueller

    Tom, can I order Fathead DVDs to be shipped to someone other than myself? I want to send one as a gift (to my niece, who just told me she is going back to school to study for a degree in nutrition).

    I didn’t notice separate “bill to” and “ship to” fill-in-the-blanks. Did I miss something in the ordering screens?

    We often receive two orders from the same person, one going to a different address. I haven’t stepped through the PayPal cart, but I’m sure it’s possible.

    Reply
  29. Mike

    It’s like the open source of science. Tom, do you have any links to sites that host all sorts of open source experiments? If not, I don’t know what kind of programming you do, but would you be interested in getting involved in developing such a site?

    I think it’s a cool idea, but I don’t have time for another project.

    Reply
  30. Josh

    The controversy surrounding over-the-counter DNA testing is not only affecting the individuals interested in finding out about their health, but also the genealogical DNA community. The International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG.org) is a large world-wide community of individuals who network together to discuss issues pertaining to genealogical DNA research. There is even a PAC due to some in government who want to restrict or ban any type of over-the-counter DNA kits. I am the Administrator of several DNA research groups and provide DNA consultations/project to many clients every year. I cannot fathom having this type of information restricted. It is our DNA!

    It is yet another case of government insisting that:

    “You don’t know what is good for you!”
    and
    “We don’t want citizens to be confused”.

    They’re aiming to restrict supplements, too. Can’t have me finding out if a harmless dose of tryptophan cures my insomnia (which it did) without a doctor’s approval.

    Reply
  31. Mike

    Unless properly trained I don’t think investment advisers should be writing smart phone applications.

    I was never properly trained as a programmer. I’d resign my current position in protest over my lack of qualifications, but I’m too busy cleaning up mistakes created by a previous programmer with a degree in computer science.

    Reply
  32. Jorge

    As a scientist ive always considered myself to be a citizen 🙂 Most scientists, in fact are a subset of the greater citizenry. However, not all citizens are scientists. That is not to say that a huge # of scientific breakthroughs are made by ‘everyday people’ (thanks Sly!). It’s just that WAY more pseudo scientific quackery comes out of this same set. So be careful, esp on the net. Replicability, clarity, transparency, etc are vital for both groups: the pharmaceutical engineers as well as the future Steve Jobs in garages.

    As Richard Feinman says, follow the data.

    Reply
  33. Jorge

    Oh yeah, the above was sorta a causality joke. Readers of this are familiar with the danger in believing everything you encounter. Action item? Grind a telescope mirror with your kid. Understand corporate secrecy by starting up your own company… that’s you not me!

    Reply
  34. Lori

    Awhile back, there was another article in the WSJ warning people not to try a FODMAPs diet on their own. Why? It can be tricky! The real reason is that if elimination diets became a household remedy, a lot of dieticians, nutritionists and gastroenterologists would be out of a job.

    LOL … how tricky could it be?

    Reply
  35. Peggy Cihocki

    “I can see why the notion is controversial. Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Ben Franklin — they never would have contributed anything worthwhile without first getting their PhDs … no wait, sorry, I had them confused with people who attended college. Well, perhaps Thomas Edison had some brilliant professors during his four months of formal education.”

    You can add Charles Darwin and Gregor Mendel to the list of citizen or amateur scientists. Neither had training in their respective disciplines, but where would we be now without their contributions to science? I mean, really!

    Good additions to the list.

    Reply
  36. Bill RN, BSN, CEN

    Great post Tom.
    One of my nursing professors made that comment that when we get our nursing degrees and take the certification exam, it only means that we are minimally competent and have met the minimum requirements to take care of people. Kind of scary when you think of it that way. It probably is the same for some of our “educated” elite in my opinion, since they stay minimally competent.

    Even if they’re more than minimally competent, it doesn’t mean the rest are incompetent, which is what many of them believe.

    Reply
  37. Rocky

    Translation:

    “We’re frightened that the stranglehold we’ve held on medical information is starting to crumble. The thought that the consumers of today’s medical goods and services might become informed consumers is a threat to our egos, and more importantly, our profits.”

    Bingo.

    Reply
  38. Peggy Cihocki

    “I can see why the notion is controversial. Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Ben Franklin — they never would have contributed anything worthwhile without first getting their PhDs … no wait, sorry, I had them confused with people who attended college. Well, perhaps Thomas Edison had some brilliant professors during his four months of formal education.”

    You can add Charles Darwin and Gregor Mendel to the list of citizen or amateur scientists. Neither had training in their respective disciplines, but where would we be now without their contributions to science? I mean, really!

    Good additions to the list.

    Reply
  39. Martin Levac

    All science is merely a series of n=1 experiments. It seems absurd to think it’s not science when we do have just n=1, but it is science when we have n=2. Which is to say, science is defined only by three characteristics:

    1. Observation
    2. Hypothesis
    3. Test

    I bet that those scientists who oppose popular science are those who most often skip one or more of those steps in their own work. Epidemiology comes to mind. In fact, I’m certain that’s the case. It’s easy to see how a scientist with a conflict of interest would be exposed if his hypothesis, which he got from observations but did not yet test, would suddenly be falsified by a series of simple n=1 citizen experiments. We can’t have that.

    On the other hand, the true scientist would welcome confirmation from laymen. Maybe.

    I suppose it’s an instinct among some to protect their territory.

    Reply
  40. Craig

    I was in a social setting once with a doctor who made a joke about cholesterol. I made a brief remark about cholesterol only clogging arteries when it is patching up inflammation caused by some other factor like high blood sugar, refined vegetable oil or smoking. I just got a patronizing smile and a condescending, “Well that is certainly a unique theory about heart disease.”

    The bad thing is, there is very little you can do to debate a doctor in public without people thinking you are a crackpot, despite the well-researched scientific fact that inflammation is highly linked to clogged arteries.

    You can always tell a doctor, but you can tell him much.

    Reply
  41. Underground

    It’s very interesting to actually see feedback by BG testing on how different foods affect you.

    A weekly food test? Publish it on the website with BG testing intervals and what other observations to record. Then everyone that wants to participate post up their data.

    Reply
  42. Martin Levac

    All science is merely a series of n=1 experiments. It seems absurd to think it’s not science when we do have just n=1, but it is science when we have n=2. Which is to say, science is defined only by three characteristics:

    1. Observation
    2. Hypothesis
    3. Test

    I bet that those scientists who oppose popular science are those who most often skip one or more of those steps in their own work. Epidemiology comes to mind. In fact, I’m certain that’s the case. It’s easy to see how a scientist with a conflict of interest would be exposed if his hypothesis, which he got from observations but did not yet test, would suddenly be falsified by a series of simple n=1 citizen experiments. We can’t have that.

    On the other hand, the true scientist would welcome confirmation from laymen. Maybe.

    I suppose it’s an instinct among some to protect their territory.

    Reply
  43. Craig

    I was in a social setting once with a doctor who made a joke about cholesterol. I made a brief remark about cholesterol only clogging arteries when it is patching up inflammation caused by some other factor like high blood sugar, refined vegetable oil or smoking. I just got a patronizing smile and a condescending, “Well that is certainly a unique theory about heart disease.”

    The bad thing is, there is very little you can do to debate a doctor in public without people thinking you are a crackpot, despite the well-researched scientific fact that inflammation is highly linked to clogged arteries.

    You can always tell a doctor, but you can tell him much.

    Reply
  44. Underground

    It’s very interesting to actually see feedback by BG testing on how different foods affect you.

    A weekly food test? Publish it on the website with BG testing intervals and what other observations to record. Then everyone that wants to participate post up their data.

    Reply

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