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.
University of Michigan: As scientists take to Twitter, new study shows power of “visual abstract” graphics to share results. “When it comes to sharing new research findings with the world, Twitter has emerged as a key tool for scientists – and for the journals where they publish their findings. But a new study shows a way for that research to reach even more people, so that new ideas and findings can travel farther.”
Now available: a digital archive of The Michigan Daily, student newspaper at the University of Michigan. “The digitization has been a collaboration between the Bentley, The Michigan Daily and the U-M Library. The digital archive contains every extant issue of The Michigan Daily, from its founding in 1891 to 2015—including more than 300 volumes from 23,000 issues.”