Saturday, December 7, 2013
Taking a sip from a fire hydrant, part 1
The exponential growth in the amount of biological data available on the net is best compared to taking a drink from a fire hydrant, an analogy often compared to the medical school educational process. But unlike medical school info, this biological data can be written/stored in any number of programs using terms/codes that are often unique to who/where that data was created.
The slide below from my Bioinformatics course this semester illustrates just how significant the amount of available data is:
So where a MB of data was considered a LOT when I first started using computers on a regular basis in the early 90's, I'm certain we'll cross the yottabyte level in the next 5 years. And for the uninformed, that's 1 trillion terabytes, with ONE terabyte equal to 1 trillion bytes. YIKES!! That's a helluva' a lotta' data! MY question, what's the "end point", numerically speaking and how in the world will this data be stored, much less processed? Yeah, give me the medical school "fire hydrant" of info because that's small stuff compared to genomic data.
Moving on, one of the things I haven't really talked much about this year is my kid and let's just say that when you have a person straddling the line between smart mouthed teenager and adult AND is a Senior in high school applying to colleges, it can be a difficult thing. What I can say is that it would have been a COMPLETE disaster for me to be focused on full-time studies right now, because I would have lacked both the time or patience to "be there" the way I am now. So while I often wish I was in med school or at the least Residency, I also know I NEVER could have been the Mother I needed to be to my daughter. And this is as much about what she needs as what I need to do for her to feel like I've done my "job" as a Mother. One thing is for sure, I'll NEVER regret putting my academic goals on the back burner so to speak because I've so thoroughly enjoyed being there for her!