Life (Bio—) and Why I’m Excited About It.

Bioinformatics

I started working for a bioinformatics company a few weeks ago and I’m just so amazed by what they’re doing.

In a nutshell, bioinformatics uses computer science to understand biological processes. It’s about dealing with big data produced by sequencing genomes. The practical applications are mind-blowing. For example, bioinformatics help in identifying disease-causing genes like cancer genes. And what gets me really excited is that this field will literally change the way we live and how long we live and I am going to be part of that!

I was a little afraid of working here at first because of the language barrier and because they don’t really have the awesome offices and culture of a silicon-valley-esque company. But after watching a 5 hour documentary about DNA (http://www.pbs.org/wnet/dna/episode1/), I think I will be eternally regretful if I pass up the chance to make a dent and contribute to this bigger cause called human life.

Whew. I never thought that I would find something like this in Hong Kong.

Biotechnology

Anyway, with this new-found curiosity for bio-anything, I have stumbled upon Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes.

Theranos is disrupting the medical testing industry with a new and cheaper way of doing blood tests. And Elizabeth Holmes dropped out of college to found it.

I find myself idolising Elizabeth. She is amazing and the work she has done – she has created a meaningful product that solves a real problem and will actually make life better for everyone.

Some bits of this idolisation probably stem from me identifying with her physical attributes: her deep voice and the way she likes to sit de quatro. But that’s beside the point.

I like how she is highly motivated and purposeful. And I envy her that she knows what her life’s work is going to be and that she’s already doing it.

“I grew up with those stories about greatness,” she said, “and about people deciding not to spend their lives on something purposeful, and what happens to them when they make that choice—the impact on character and quality of life.”
-Elizabeth Holmes, New Yorker http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/12/15/blood-simpler

 

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