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Jacob Mayfield
Research specialist at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School. Jacob designs pipelines for the unsupervised analysis of large, quantitative data sets. He is working to develop improve tuberculosis diagnostics.

Feed your microbiota, too.

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Jacob MayfieldOct 17, 2014Comments
To follow up my past two posts about how poor assumptions in dietary science mistakenly concluded that full-fat dairy would promote better health outcomes and how the gut microbiota altered peanut allergies, I found a third recent article that ties the topics together.  It seems another long-held dietary assumption, that since calories lead to obesity, substituting noncaloric artifical ~  read more

So it's not that math class is tough?

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Jacob MayfieldJul 07, 2014Comments
Thank you to the Fivethirtyeight.com blog for providing some interesting data to support the notion that STEM education isn't failing women, STEM buisnesses are.  In particular, the percentage of women obtaining STEM degrees is roughly 50% and has remained constant for more than a decade.  The breakdown happens after, with fewer women hired and more leaving after a short period of time. ~  read more

3-D, without glasses

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Jacob MayfieldApr 07, 2016Comments
One of the real challenges to teaching and understanding development is the mental gymnastics needed to understand what's happening in three dimensions when only 2 dimensions are available for viewing using a microscope.   Wow! This video does an amazing job of bringing the third dimension to ~  read more

Why did it have to be snakes!

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Jacob MayfieldJul 17, 2014Comments
Let's put the fictional Indiana Jones aside and acknowledge a real and adorable snake mating ball.  Check out this video of the annual snake convention in the limestone caves of Narcisse in Manatoba, Canada.  Periscope up! Cute and small garter snakes were thought to be non-venomous until recently.  Not true.  They produce a neurotoxic venom, but lack an effective means of ~  read more

This applies to ice cream, too, right?

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Jacob MayfieldSep 30, 2014Comments
Two new studies seem to show that delicious, full-fat, whole milk dairy products are actually correlated with better health outcomes.  Why?  That's still an open question. Perhaps because people who eat them are happier?  Maybe not, but... ...to my eyes, the logic behind recommending against consuming full-fat dairy was surprisingly shaky.  I was going skewer nutritional ~  read more

A peanut butter and Clostridium sandwich

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Jacob MayfieldOct 09, 2014Comments
As the father of a school-aged child, peanut allergies are emblematic of the tremendous increase in the incidence of allergies. PB&J is already on notice in my daughter's class, a trend I expect to follow her throughout schooling.  Increased allergy and asthma have received plenty recent of scientific and media attention, if not funding, but actionable conclusions have been harder ~  read more

vIrus

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Jacob MayfieldAug 08, 2014Comments
As the worst Ebola outbreak in recorded history continues to devastate Africa, it's easy to see why viruses have a reputation as villainous, sinister, robot-like killers.  But just as the mantra "the only good microbe is a dead microbe" has given way to FDA guidance on fecal transplants, so too should our fear of viruses be tempered by an understanding of their role in the ~  read more

Is this the true origin of the word antechamber?

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Jacob MayfieldJul 10, 2014Comments
Matt already wrote about wasps.  But I can't get enough of a clade that made Charles Darwin question the existence of God, writing: I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidae with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of Caterpillars How would Darwin feel about about a wasp that not only practices ~  read more