Purdue University: Genetic testing has a data problem. New software can help.

Purdue University: Genetic testing has a data problem. New software can help.. “In recent years, the market for direct-to-consumer genetic testing has exploded. The number of people who used at-home DNA tests more than doubled in 2017, most of them in the U.S. About 1 in 25 American adults now know where their ancestors came from, thanks to companies like AncestryDNA and 23andMe. As the tests become more popular, these companies are grappling with how to store all the accumulating data and how to process results quickly. A new tool called TeraPCA, created by researchers at Purdue University, is now available to help. The results were published in the journal Bioinformatics.”

Arizona State University: Scientists map food supply chains for every US city

Arizona State University: Scientists map food supply chains for every US city. “No matter where you are in the United States, the food on your plate probably started its life in Fresno, California. Vegetables follow a complex supply chain that moves bumper crops of delectable lettuce, tomatoes, fruits and nuts from where they’re grown to where they’re used. How do we know? New data from the FEWSION Project, led by Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University scientists, can now illustrate how every corner of America is connected.”

CBR Online: Office for National Statistics Wants to Turn a Big Data Eye on Company Ownership, Balance Sheets

CBR Online: Office for National Statistics Wants to Turn a Big Data Eye on Company Ownership, Balance Sheets. “The UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) is seeking a partner to provide it with ‘timely and detailed information’ on UK company data, including the financial balance sheets of all United Kingdom registered companies. It’s a big ask, given the UK’s notoriously opaque and sprawling sets of company data, but the independent organisation – which is responsible for collecting and publishing a wide range of national statistics – says it needs the data to better track Foreign Direct Investment, and ‘construction’ statistics.”

EdTech Magazine: Digital Library Opens Avenues for Data Analysis in Academic Research

EdTech Magazine: Digital Library Opens Avenues for Data Analysis in Academic Research. “At the HathiTrust Digital Library, there are no carrels, no tables, no card catalog and no reference desk. There’s almost nothing physical at all. This collection of nearly 17 million digitized volumes from dozens of campus libraries exists entirely online. An estimated 95 percent of those volumes were originally scanned by Google when it partnered with universities to create its Google Books project starting in 2002, says Mike Furlough, executive director of HathiTrust at the University of Michigan.”

Center for Public Integrity: You Elected Them To Write New Laws. They’re Letting Corporations Do It Instead.

Center for Public Integrity: You Elected Them To Write New Laws. They’re Letting Corporations Do It Instead.. “USA TODAY and the [Arizona] Republic found at least 10,000 bills almost entirely copied from model legislation were introduced nationwide in the past eight years, and more than 2,100 of those bills were signed into law. The investigation examined nearly 1 million bills in all 50 states and Congress using a computer algorithm developed to detect similarities in language. That search – powered by the equivalent of 150 computers that ran nonstop for months – compared known model legislation with bills introduced by lawmakers.”

MIT: AKDC’s LayerCake mapping tool now available to the public

MIT: AKDC’s LayerCake mapping tool now available to the public. “In LayerCake, latitude and longitude are mapped on the horizontal axis, while time is mapped on the vertical axis. The scale of the time axis is remapped to accommodate the chronological span of items on the map. Users may explore the map by panning, orbiting, and zooming their point of view. They may also click on map items for detailed information. A prototype of the tool released in 2017 provides a demonstration of capabilities of the tool by mapping the 12th c. travels of Ibn Jubayr.”

Nature: Cancer geneticists tackle troubling ethnic bias in studies

Nature: Cancer geneticists tackle troubling ethnic bias in studies. “… most studies and genetic databases are populated mainly by data from people of European descent. This knowledge gap exacerbates disparities in cancer incidence and outcomes around the world. In the United States, for example, African American men are about twice as likely as white men to die of prostate cancer. But researchers who study these inequities say they are encouraged by renewed interest in closing the data gap from their colleagues and funders, including the US government.”