Nobel Prize.... here I come

Posted by Tandarin Nike Monday, November 1, 2010 1:05 PM
As regular readers might by now know, my goal is to win a Nobel Prize.
I don't really care which one. I'm just in it for the instant celebrity status that comes with it. Last night I came up with an idea that should get it done.

This idea targets the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. I don't have any relevant education in those fields, and I haven't done any research, so I know I need to come up with something big to get the judges past their bias for competence.

My idea needs to cure a whole lot of problems. Anything less would be begging for the award committee to snub me once again.

My idea is this: A web site that collects extremely detailed lifestyle habits from volunteers all over the world, which includes the type of food they eat, how they exercise, exposure to sunlight, and lots of other things.

These volunteers will also enter data on any health problems they encounter, from a sniffle to a broken hip. The data would be available to the general public, without association to the identities of the people, so amateur researchers can mine for patterns.

For example, we might find that people who have a diet rich in a particular vitamin or mineral don't get cataracts, or tinnitus, or shin splints, or whatever.

This idea is cobbled together from several other ideas floating around in the ether. Most recently, I was wondering why my allergies inexplicably went away in the past year.

The only thing I changed, as far as I know, is taking some supplements, and there is some scientific evidence to believe that could help. But it might be something else, such as drinking more lime juice than usual. If the database I described already existed, doctors could check to see if people who take supplements, or drink lots of lime juice, have fewer allergies.

I read a book called The China Study that is a lot like this concept, but with less detail than I am proposing, and limited to China. The data from China showed that people who ate a plant-based diet hardly ever got the most common killer diseases such as heart disease, cancer, or diabetes.

This past month you might have seen a number of media reports about other research that supports that same point. Wouldn't you like to know if most of the health benefit shown in The China Study came from particular plants?

Personally, I don't want to eat any more kelp than I need to.

The other source of inspiration for my idea is the stories about amateur astronomers who have been given access to the vast unviewed archive of pictures of space, so they can help find any anomalies.

You'd think that would be boring work that no one would volunteer to do, but apparently so many people are volunteering that the servers initially couldn't hold the load.

I think that in a world of 6 billion people, it wouldn't be hard to find a few million who are willing to record their lives in great detail, knowing it would have so much benefit to humanity. And volunteers might end up finding solutions to their own health problems along the way.

The database would do more than discover what prevents health problems. It would also tell you what lifestyle elements promote good moods, or lead to high performance at work, in school, or in sports. It might tell you what elevates testosterone, thus improving our productive lives, and probably keep you looking younger. The potential is just too vast.

I'm hoping the idea is so good that someone builds the web site.

If you decide to do it, I promise to thank you by name when I am in Stockholm accepting my award.

Now wish me luck ……

2 Response to "Nobel Prize.... here I come"

  1. shivani Says:

    Firstly i wish you luck and hope u do win the award.
    who knows the intense research might give clues to so many unanswered questions about many aspects apart from just allergies and diseases.Like you said the potential is just too vast.
    You need my help in filling up a questionnaire honestly...count me in.
    i think results will only depend on how HONESTLY the data is filled into that.
    What do you say?

  2. Tandarin Nike Says:

    Thanks for being my well wisher and ready to become a volunteer to manage huge quantity of data collected, which as you said needs to be honest. Does look like the Nobel is not that far away. Thanks Shivani for your lovely comment.

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