Your Wild Life Releases Home Microbiome Data Set for Visualization

Figure from Your Wild Life blog

Nice article on the Your Wild Life blog: Your Wild Life — A Whole New Way of Doing Citizen Science, Maybe.  It discusses a collaobration between Your Wild Life and Holly Bik on visuliazation data from the citizen science – microbiome work that has been a part of the Your Wild Life project.  The collaboration has involved getting data into a format that will work with Phinch a data viz and exploration tool at Holly Bik has been working on.  They write:

So how do you do it? First, we recommend you watch a video tutorial that Holly Bik prepared to walk you through how to use Phinch. Then, you’ll download the specially formatted datasets to your desktop — the files, one for bacteria and archaea and another for fungi, contain information about the species detected, locations in the home where we found the species and some data about the homes where we found those species. Next, go to hip-hop Phinch (be sure to open it in Google Chrome) and browse for the file you have downloaded. Once you have found it, upload it. Then the fun begins. You can begin to explore the data in its full fullness.

Data visualization is a critical component of research in many ways these days.  But I think it is extra critical for citizen science projects on “microbiomes” because, well, the data is a bit complex and, well, people don’t see the actual microbes in most studies.  So I hope people try this out and find it useful and help continue the development of data viz tools for microbiome work.

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Jonathan Eisen

I am an evolutionary biologist and a Professor at U. C. Davis. My lab is in the UC Davis Genome Center and I hold appointments in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology in the School of Medicine and the Department of Evolution and Ecology in the College of Biological Sciences. My research focuses on the origin of novelty (how new processes and functions originate). To study this I focus on sequencing and analyzing genomes of organisms, especially microbes and using phylogenomic analysis (see my lab site here which has more information on lab activities).  In addition to research, I am heavily involved in the Open Access publishing and Open Science movements.