University of Michigan: Genes for Good: Harnessing the power of Facebook to study a large, diverse genetic pool. “Collecting DNA samples for human genetic studies can be an expensive, lengthy process that has often made it difficult to include diverse populations in studies of medical and health data. University of Michigan researchers and their colleagues believe they have found a way to harness the power of social media and its ubiquitous presence to recruit a large, diverse participant pool they hope will help provide quick, reliable data for genetic studies. Their study appears in the June 13 issue of The American Journal of Human Genetics.”
University of Michigan Libraries: New Digital Collections: Completed July 2018 – June 2019. “The Digital Content & Collections (DCC) department grows and maintains nearly 300 digital collections that contain images, texts, and more. The digital collections receive upwards of 60 million hits each year.” There are so many collections listed here I don’t want to even try to summarize them. Just hit the link; I’d be really surprised if there wasn’t SOMETHING here to pique your interest.
University of Michigan: Historical Letters In U-M Zoology Museum Archive Highlight Links Between Specimen Collection, Conservation . “Clark Schmutz spent more than 100 hours last semester reading and digitally scanning hundreds of letters in the correspondence files of the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology’s mammal collections, which date back to the 1800s. The scanning project is a multiyear effort to make the museum’s correspondence files available online. For Schmutz, who graduated in December with a double major in English and ecology, evolution and biodiversity, it was also an opportunity to search for intriguing stories that illustrate the links between museum collections and conservation.”
Phys .org: Social media buffers depression among older adults with pain. “With a few finger strokes or swipes on a computer or cell phone, seniors with pain reduce the risk of depression when visiting social media sites. In a newly published University of Michigan study, researchers reported that using social media can reduce the negative health effects of curtailed social contact that comes as a consequence of pain.”
University of Michigan: U-M tool measures ‘iffy’ news on social media in time for 2018 election. “As the crucial mid-term election approaches, the University of Michigan Center for Social Media Responsibility offers media and the public a tool to help monitor the prevalence of fake news on social media through a Platform Health Metric called the Iffy Quotient. A web-based dashboard that shows the Iffy Quotient for Facebook and Twitter, dating back to 2016, will be updated regularly.”
University of Michigan: A MacArthur “Genius” Works to Preserve Uganda’s History. “When Derek Peterson got word last October that he’d received a MacArthur ‘genius’ grant, he was thrilled. The award affirmed his scholarship and the work of LSA’s African Studies Center, where Peterson is a faculty member. But Peterson was especially happy because the $625,000 stipend that came with the MacArthur grant meant he could further his work saving endangered government archives in Uganda.”
University of Michigan: ‘Learning database’ speeds queries from hours to seconds. “University of Michigan researchers developed software called Verdict that enables existing databases to learn from each query a user submits, finding accurate answers without trawling through the same data again and again. Verdict allows databases to deliver answers more than 200 times faster while maintaining 99 percent accuracy. In a research environment, that could mean getting answers in seconds instead of hours or days. When speed isn’t required, it can be set to save electricity, using 200 times less than a traditional database. This could lead to substantial power savings, the researchers say, as data centers gobble up a growing share of the world’s electricity.” Oh. My.