US Department of Energy: DOE invests $13.7 million for research in data reduction for science

US Department of Energy: DOE invests $13.7 million for research in data reduction for science. “Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $13.7 million in funding for nine research projects that will advance the state of the art in computer science and applied mathematics. The projects – led by five universities and five DOE National Laboratories across eight states – will address the challenges of moving, storing, and processing the massive data sets produced by scientific observatories, experimental facilities, and supercomputers, accelerating the pace of scientific discoveries.”

EurekAlert: Science Journals’ new site enlivens communication of leading research and elevates scientist voices

EurekAlert: Science Journals’ new site enlivens communication of leading research and elevates scientist voices. “Following a top-to-bottom redesign, content published on the Science journals website is more integrated, discoverable, and visually engaging than ever before. In late August, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the publisher of the Science family of journals, moved its full suite of online offerings to Atypon’s online publishing platform, Literatum.”

Mashable: Ig Nobel Prize winners include scientists who cleared blocked noses with sex

Mashable: Ig Nobel Prize winners include scientists who cleared blocked noses with sex. “This year the 31st First Annual Ig Nobel Prize ceremony (not a typo) was again held via live stream due to the COVID-19 pandemic, though that definitely didn’t stop scientists from getting silly. In addition to the awards, the stream featured a series of 24/7 lectures wherein speakers had 27 seconds then seven words to convey their thoughts on a topic. There was also a bridge-themed “mini-opera,” because scientists like singing too.”

Techdirt: Sci-Hub Celebrates 10 Years Of Existence, With A Record 88 Million Papers Available, And A Call For Funds To Help It Add AI And Go Open Source

Techdirt: Sci-Hub Celebrates 10 Years Of Existence, With A Record 88 Million Papers Available, And A Call For Funds To Help It Add AI And Go Open Source. “To celebrate ten years offering a large proportion of the world’s academic papers for free — against all the odds, and in the face of repeated legal action — Sci-Hub has launched a funding drive.”

Associated Press: 9/11 museum to retool its research rules after criticism

Associated Press: 9/11 museum to retool its research rules after criticism. “Until at least Aug. 21, the National Sept. 11 Memorial & Museum’s website detailed ‘scholarly research rules and regulations’ for access to its collection. They required researchers to let museum staffers review their work before publication and to adopt ‘any text changes’ the museum proposed as a condition of getting the institution’s ‘consent’ to publish. The rules said the institution was entitled to pursue ‘legal remedies’ if a researcher didn’t comply, though the museum says it never did so and is now scrapping the review requirements and legal threat.”

The Conversation: Data privacy laws in the US protect profit but prevent sharing data for public good – people want the opposite

The Conversation: Data privacy laws in the US protect profit but prevent sharing data for public good – people want the opposite. “U.S. data protection laws often widely permit using data for profit but are more restrictive of socially beneficial uses. We wanted to ask a simple question: Do U.S. privacy laws actually protect data in the ways that Americans want? Using a national survey, we found that the public’s preferences are inconsistent with the restrictions imposed by U.S. privacy laws.”

Quanta Magazine: Computer Scientists Discover Limits of Major Research Algorithm

Quanta Magazine: Computer Scientists Discover Limits of Major Research Algorithm. “Many aspects of modern applied research rely on a crucial algorithm called gradient descent. This is a procedure generally used for finding the largest or smallest values of a particular mathematical function — a process known as optimizing the function. It can be used to calculate anything from the most profitable way to manufacture a product to the best way to assign shifts to workers. Yet despite this widespread usefulness, researchers have never fully understood which situations the algorithm struggles with most.”

The Conversation: Excel autocorrect errors still plague genetic research, raising concerns over scientific rigour

The Conversation: Excel autocorrect errors still plague genetic research, raising concerns over scientific rigour. “Autocorrection, or predictive text, is a common feature of many modern tech tools, from internet searches to messaging apps and word processors. Autocorrection can be a blessing, but when the algorithm makes mistakes it can change the message in dramatic and sometimes hilarious ways. Our research shows autocorrect errors, particularly in Excel spreadsheets, can also make a mess of gene names in genetic research.”

Science: Airborne transmission of respiratory viruses

Science: Airborne transmission of respiratory viruses. “Wang et al. review recent advances in understanding airborne transmission gained from studying the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections and other respiratory pathogens. The authors suggest that airborne transmission may be the dominant form of transmission for several respiratory pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2, and that further understanding of the mechanisms underlying infection from the airborne route will better inform mitigation measures.”

Treasure quest: Researchers embark on a pre-modern manuscript mission (Monash University Lens)

Monash University Lens: Treasure quest: Researchers embark on a pre-modern manuscript mission. “Thousands of stories have been written about the impact of COVID-19. One overlooked group is historians in Australia whose research efforts have been stymied by travel restrictions. Medieval scholar Guy Geltner’s solution is to search for any ‘pre-modern’ manuscripts that may be lurking in private collections in Victoria.”

Baylor College of Medicine: Largest 3D mouse brain map to help understand what makes brains smarter

Baylor College of Medicine: Largest 3D mouse brain map to help understand what makes brains smarter. “Neuroscientists seeking to understand how the brain processes information along neocortical circuits, and researchers wanting to treat brain disorders where wiring or connections are altered now have a new analytical tool at their fingertips: the largest 3D wiring diagram of the mouse brain containing hundreds of thousands of cells and nearly half a billion connections.”

The Verge: Facebook shut down German research on Instagram algorithm, researchers say

The Verge: Facebook shut down German research on Instagram algorithm, researchers say. “Researchers at AlgorithmWatch say they were forced to abandon their research project monitoring the Instagram algorithm after legal threats from Facebook. The Berlin-based project went public with the conflict in a post published Friday morning, citing the platform’s recent ban of the NYU Ad Observatory.”