Category Archives: Uncategorized

What to eat according to twitter

This week Dr. Coupland joked that he eats anything he sees recommended on twitter. It occurred to me that I could look at foods talked about on twitter by collecting tweets and matching each word against the list of foods in the USDA Nutrient Database. Challenge accepted! First, I scraped each food (discarding specifics after commas) from the database, which provided 975 foods. Then, I downloaded the last 3200 tweets (or until the start of 2013) from the following groups and performed the word Read more [...]

Why be on Twitter for Food & Nutrition Professionals

I wrote a blog post for the American Society for Nutrition on how Twitter can be useful to food and nutrition professionals. Because of space constraints, I had to cut down and even remove a few thoughtful quotes that I received from many health and nutrition scientists and professionals when I asked them what they liked about it. So below are the full quotes of the 9 responses I received. Also, if you are just getting started and don’t know who to follow, you might want to have a look through Read more [...]

Experimental Biology tweets #EB2013

As I've done for another conference, I collected tweets for this year's Experimental Biology conference with a Python script that I wrote and played around with them in R. I could not attend but it was great to follow along through twitter. Check out David Despain's roundup post for nutrition coverage. Here is the spreadsheet of 5,455 tweets starting on 4/18 at 4:21PM EST through 4/28 at 6:34PM EST: link. This is obviously more days than the conference, but if anyone wants to do any analysis you Read more [...]

2012: A year of nutrition according to twitter

In the past I've done a favorites list at the end of each year, but I've been enjoying using Python to download tweets, so I decided to try something new. I downloaded the last year's worth of tweets from people who in my opinion consistently link to good sources and combined them all to see what links were most popular. I used a number of people from the list that I maintain here. Obviously my focus was nutrition, but the people I chose represent a broad survey of food, nutrition, biotech, and other Read more [...]

An analysis of Prop37 (GMO) twitter activism

The election this November had an important topic on California ballots: Proposition 37, which would require the labeling of foods containing genetically modified ingredients. It ended up failing by just under 3% margin. While I didn't support the initiative (though I don't live in California), it was fascinating to observe both sides of the campaigns and activists on Twitter leading up to and after the election. This was an opportune time to get a glimpse at GMO activism, so I collected tweets Read more [...]

Update to @ScholarlyBot: Push Papers to Mendeley

Last month I posted about @ScholarlyBot, a bot I wrote that checks for full texts on Google Scholar through twitter. If you use Mendeley, thanks to their great example client, I was able to add the ability to push papers from links to your Mendeley library. This can make for a nice to-read list in Mendeley, or enable you add things if you don't have Mendeley installed. To do so, first you must authorize @ScholarlyBot to access your library. Follow these steps (you only need to do this once): Follow Read more [...]

A twitter bot to monitor for pubmed links and check for full papers: @ScholarlyBot

I am trying to improve my coding skills, so I pieced together a python script that sarcastically replied to people to wrote "Dr Oz" and "great" in a tweet. That account was quickly suspended, so I made something a little more useful- one that checks for full texts of research papers indexed by Google Scholar using twitter as the interaction medium, through the account @ScholarlyBot. It does 2 3 4 5 things: You can @ it a Google Scholar query and it will check if the first result has an Read more [...]

Nutrition Research Trends

Just a quick note, I've been playing around with some ways to track publication counts over a number of different research areas within nutritional science to attempt to quantify trends. What I have so far is posted here: It uses NCBI E-Utilities, javascript, and Google Spreadsheets to automate tracking of paper count in the pubmed database for a number of search terms. Right now I have embedded on the page 4 spreadsheets, which show the following: Number Read more [...]

My favorites of 2011

Like 2010 and 2009, here is my annual list of favorite personal posts, blogs, and twitter people. I hope it can help others discover new sources of information. This year I changed the blog domain to and hope to continue highlighting interesting research as I have time. Favorite Post Topics I didn't write as many posts this year, choosing to transition to more in depth posts instead of on single studies. Here are my favorites: Evidence that paternal diet can influence offspring Read more [...]

A reader survey

Last year around this time I put up a survey to learn more about reader demographics to this blog and posted some of the results here. It proved interesting so I've decided to do it again this year using the same questions to see if there are any differences. Here is the link to the survey: If you have a few minutes of time I would greatly appreciate any feedback you can give- none of the questions have required answers so you can answer 1 or all of them. Read more [...]