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Personal Science Week - 4 Aug 2022
Enroll in research trials, crowd-sourced treatments, and more
Enroll in research trials
The non-profit organization ResearchMatch funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is a clearinghouse for many clinical trials and other research studies that are looking for subjects. If you register, they’ll email you whenever they spot a new trial that meets your criteria. Or you can search for specific trials at their companion site TrialsToday.
Here’s a list of trials that have something to do with cholesterol:
Most of the trials are simple survey-only, although some will send a kit or other collection instructions for you to send back. Many of the trials have gift cards or other (small) remuneration as well. I’ve done at least two (free) microbiome tests this way, and more are listed all the time. (Try the Endominance one, for example, and earn $40 plus get your microbiome results)
Crowdsourced Health Treatments
Stuff That Works boasts more than 3 million registered users and almost 100 million data points on hundreds of common conditions. Users answer a few questions about their experience with a specific condition and the site summarizes the treatments that were most tried and those that were most effective. For example, here’s what they list for “migraine”:
There are many similar sites, notably Patients Like Me, but I find this one to be more well-organized and focused on solutions rather than meeting or collaborating with others.
About Personal Science
Personal Science uses science for personal reasons (understand something for yourself) rather than professional ones (it’s your job). Because so many personal issues tend to be health-related, many Personal Science endeavors tend to focus on optimization related to the human body. That's one reason you'll see an emphasis on self-tracking and measurement, whether through a fitness tracking device, a medical sampling kit, or even through simple note-taking.
But just as medical science is only one aspect of science, we can use the principles of science for much more than the study of personal health. Personal Scientists can ask questions about the world in general, in both what we call "physical" sciences like astronomy or physics and "social" sciences like linguistics or politics.
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