Some uses of social technologies and big data are really surprising. When you collect lots of information about DNA and diseases it is logical that you can identify certain DNA sequences that pose an extra risk.
I came across the site my.microbes.eu that I was really flabbergasted about. Our bodies contain almost 2 kilos of bacteria, mainly in our guts. We live with these batteries in symbiosis, we would not survive without them. However, imbalances between these bacterias and their context (us..) can lead to severe problem for many people. Bowel problems are for many people a constant and nagging problem.
These problems can sometimes be improved by the right diet, avoiding certain activities or medication. However, due to the often vague and diverse nature of this problem it is hard to find the right solution for a specific person.
Enter my.mcrobes.eu. This website is based in a scientific project to collect data about the microbes living in our guts. However, the interesting thing they are doing is that they connect people worldwide that have the same microbial profile. Assumption is of course that people that have the same microbial profile benefit from the same diets or exercises. By bringing these people in contact with each other they can exchange information on how they are dealing with their issues.
To me this is a great example how big data (large quantities of similar data) and social technologies create surprising new combinations.