Human Project to recruit 10k New Yorkers for 'big data' project: 5 things to know

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A team of scientists seek to monitor 10,000 New Yorkers over the next 20 years as part of the Human Project.

Here are five things to know.

  1. The Human Project is a data-driven initiative that aims to gain insights into the "connections between our biology, behavior and our environment," according to the initiative's website. The goal is to improve public health and education, The New York Times reports.
  1. The scientists — led by Paul W. Glimcher, PhD, a neuro-economist at New York University in New York City — will collect roughly 50,000 data points from participants' genomes, microbiomes and medical records, as well their education, employment and purchasing behaviors, among other characteristics, The New York Times reports.
  1. Dr. Glimcher and his team will begin recruiting participants this fall by randomly targeting families from 150 blocks in New York City. Dr. Glimcher told The New York Times the project will have enough participants even if only 10 percent of targets agree to take part in the initiative.
  1. The team is spending a large portion of their $15 million start-up budget on IT security by building a special data center at the new campus of New York University in Brooklyn — the home base for the Human Project. Researchers will only be able to access the data through multiple password- and identity-protected barriers, according to The New York Times.
  1. Mr. Glimcher told The New York Times he hopes the Human Project will be able to identify noteworthy data patterns by 2020.

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