Drugs, Diseases, Robots, More: Morning Buzz, December 3, 2013

Happy 10th Anniversary Search Engine Roundtable!

Now available a new catalog of interactions between drugs and proteins. “In total, the catalogue includes 16,600 compounds, of which 1,300 contain pharmacological descriptions, and 500,000 interactions that witness the extensive social network that governs the functioning of organisms. The information is available to the entire scientific community via the public FireDB database.”

More medical! The University of Pittsburgh has released a collection of surveillance reports about diseases in the United States going back 125 years. “The researchers obtained all weekly notifiable disease surveillance tables published between 1888 and 2013 — approximately 6,500 tables — in various historical reports, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. These tables were available only in paper format or as PDF scans in online repositories that could not be read by computers and had to be hand-entered. With an estimated 200 million keystrokes, the data — including death counts, reporting locations, time periods and diseases — were digitized. A total of 56 diseases were reported for at least some period of time during the 125-year time span, with no single disease reported continuously.”

Google Now is apparently now showing you the steps you’ve taken or miles you’ve biked? Hmm. Not sure how much I’d use this – I already have a Fitbit.

Yahoo has acquired SkyPhrase, a natural language processing company.

Telethons are SOOOO 20th century. Today Google is going to have a Hangout-a-Thon. “…you can join nonprofit organizations working to improve clean water access, eliminate bullying, and provide disaster relief in the Philippines. Learn more about their work, ask questions and connect directly to the people they’re helping. Celebrities such as Jennifer Garner, Chris Daughtry and Sophia Bush will stop by to join in on the fun, and you can also donate to the charity of your choice while watching the Hangout.”

The Wall Street Journal has a fascinating (and apparently free) article on Twitter robots. “Italian security researchers Andrea Stroppa and Carlo De Micheli say they found 20 million fake accounts for sale on Twitter this summer. That would amount to nearly 9% of Twitter’s monthly active users.” WOW.

Useful: Google Places now has a review inbox. Good morning, Internet…

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