Genome of India
Analyzing India's genome, base by base
What is the newsletter about?
India’s genome contains multitudes. This thought letter attempts to decipher it, base by base, by analyzing data using first principles. Every fortnight, I choose a topic I am interested in, look up the data and try to put it in context - for India.
Why am I writing this?
Newspapers and PrimeTime TV shows are full of experts explaining what is happening in India. However, a critical missing component of these opinions is the underlying statistics. A narrative coming from an expert (or a non-expert but being repeated enough times) often masquerades as “the fact” despite being pure fiction. Blanket statements are problematic and harmful. I am intrigued by India’s statistical architecture. Despite the popular narrative that there is too little data on any topic (health or otherwise) in India, I feel there is a wealth of data (including bad-quality data) as long as we look in the right places. But data and numbers can often be boring, unintelligible, and hard to communicate without context. I aim to critically engage with this data through a contextual lens to help interpret it without any ideological spin.
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Who am I?
I am currently a postdoc at the New York Genome Center, where I develop statistical and computational methods to understand how genes are regulated and how evolution has shaped the mechanism across different organisms to be the same or different.
Before this, I was a Ph.D. student at the University of Southern California (USC), where my work revolved around developing new computational methods to decipher the process of protein synthesis. I trained in Statistics and Computer Science while at USC. And before that, I studied Chemical Engineering at IIT Bombay.
Outside of work, I enjoy music, exploring the city's (NYC) food scene, and books. You can find me on Twitter @saketkc and my website.