New Years Resolutions 2014

This used to be a yearly tradition for me – setting goals or resolutions for myself. It’s mostly a way for me to give myself something to aim for, as well as a time limit in which to accomplish it. Unlike my daily task list, it’s for things that aren’t simple to resolve quickly – things that do take a year to complete. Last year, I had one task: recover from the insanity that was Denmark – and I think that’s been done. I still haven’t written up the lies and financial hell that CLC put me through on my way out of the country, but that isn’t so emotionally charged anymore that it hurts to write.  (I still don’t have a sense of humour about all of it, but that’s a different story entirely.)

In any case, my resolutions for 2014 are a little more career and family focused, aiming to bring a bit more balance back to my life.  Starting with the family, here they are:

  1. Teach my daughter to ask “Why?”, instead of “What’s that? (or “Dassit?” as she pronounces it – and then take the time to answer in as much detail as she can handle.
  2. Get back into photography, and take more pictures of my wife and my daughter.  A picture without a person in it is never as good as one that has someone in it – and it’s never as good as one that has someone you care about in it.
  3. Do more for my wife – after a year and a half at home with our daughter, I can’t express my gratitude for her patience enough, but I can do a better job of showing it.
  4. Get back into Fencing.  My daughter is sleeping through the evening, if not the whole night, most nights.  It’s time for my wife and I to get out a bit more and get some physical activity, and my activity of choice involves pointy sticks.
  5. Finish off each and every one of my projects at work, and then publish it!  I have a nearly complete chip-seq project, chip-chip project, human methylation visualization project and several others.  It’s time they all got out into the world and into the hands of those who can use them.
  6. Social networking update.  I’ve been neglecting twitter, blogging and my feeds for too long.  It’s time for a fresh start, and a return to engaging with the world.
  7. Be a leader, not a follower.  I feel like I’ve been a bit on auto-pilot this year, in that I haven’t really done a lot of cutting edge work, and haven’t pushed the envelope as much as I’d like.  After a year in Denmark, where I spent all my time just trying to keep afloat over the culture shock and language barrier, I’ve lost a bit of my edge. It’s past time to get it back.

None of my resolutions this year are all that challenging, but they all have a place in helping me get back to being the person I would like to be.  Isn’t that, after all, what New Year Resolutions are about?

On 23andMe v. the FDA

Ok, it’s not really a court case… yet. However, from what I’ve read, it’s a pretty adversarial interaction. I’ve read a bunch of articles on the topic, already, and I have to say I’ve yet to see anyone state what I think is the obvious issue with the approach the FDA has taken.

They’re not regulating the equipment that does the testing.
They’re not regulating the interpretation of the information.

What’s left is that they appear to regulating the business model. It’s ok to do exactly what 23andMe is doing, but it’s not ok to do it if the consumer is uneducated. Were they handing the tests to an MD (who may or may not know what to do with the information) or a researcher (who may or may not have the ability to tell the subject of the test what the results are), it would be fine. As soon as it’s being handed over to a general consumer, it’s now going to be regulated.

I find that pretty hard to swallow.

If the FDA wants to regulate it as a medical device, then fine – regulate access to the medical device itself, and don’t try to regulate the burgeoning field of information interpretation and dissemination.

(Sorry for the lack of links – it’s been a busy week.)

Dr. Dawn Bowdish on After Office Hours.

I’m going to blog more, damnit. I’ve working on one big post to wrap up the Danish misadventure, and I haven’t wanted to post anything until that’s done.

However, I came across a video that I wanted to share: Dr. Dawn Bowdish on After Office Hours. I’ve known Dawn since her grad school days, where she was in my wife’s lab. She’s given me great advice a few times in the past, and she shares a bit about her personal life and career. Useful information for people who are thinking about the academic career.

edit: sorry for the typo in your name, Dawn! Fixed it as soon as it was brought to my attention.