Glossary of scientific terms on big data use

Algorithms: computer programs that sort big data to find trends and unique points within the data, detailed ideas that implement pieces of software, or components of a piece of software

Biocomputation: The science of taking genetic information from thousands of patients and designing algorithms to sort and find common genes associated with certain pathologies

Bio-marker: A gene associated with a strong development of a disease. If detected early in a patient could lead to better medical outcomes. Biocomputation aims to finding such bio-markers.

Computerized Tomography: A process that uses generated X-rays to produce virtual slices of the image being taken.

Bronchoscopy: A medical procedure which a device is inserted through either the nose or mouth down the trachea to procure a sample of lung tissue.

Microarrays: A large-scale lab experiment utilizing up to thousands of samples to generate big data to be later sorted by sophisticated algorithms

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Linjing Cheng is a second year journalism graduate student at Emerson College. She is a published writer in English and Chinese. She has done work during her internships, among others, at China Central Television International, WERS, and The Somerville Times. You can find her works at

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