Austism Genes, Banjo Museum, WordPress, More: Monday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, December 16, 2019


Spectrum News: New database catalogs variants in autism genes. “VariCarta catalogs variants from more than 13,000 autistic people. So far, it has identified and corrected for 16,832 variants that have been reported in multiple studies. The team continually adds studies to the database.”

NPR: You Can Tour This Banjo Museum Without Getting Up From Your Couch. “For more than 15 years, filmmaker Marc Fields has been on a quest to capture and share the story of the banjo. The Banjo Project is an online museum that covers the instrument’s history and culture.”


Search Engine Journal: WordPress Announces Gutenberg 7.1 – It’s Big!. “WordPress Gutenberg 7.1 has been updated with a large amount of improvements. While there is a small performance slowdown introduced in this version of Gutenberg, the scope of improvements may override those concerns.”

Neowin: Google introduces Verified SMS and spam detection in Android Messages. “This new feature will verify whether a specified message is truly from a business. This feature is rolling out in nine countries for now: the U.S., India, Mexico, Brazil, the UK, France, Philippines, Spain, and Canada, but more countries will be added over time.”


Mashable: The unknown Twitch streamers to watch when you can’t sleep. “Not too long ago, I lost my mother to brain cancer. And with that, I lost the last tenuous threads that tethered me, albeit incredibly briefly, to the dream world. I’m sure you can imagine how grief mixed with exhaustion might play out healthwise. I’d check the clock. Note that it was about the time I should be slipping into my sheets, and, instead, turn on my PS4 Pro, fire up the Twitch app and browse through what used to be known as the IRL category — it’s now been rebranded as Just Chatting, which, ugh, that name. But it’s essentially the same: Streamers share their real lives from either the outside world or the inside of their homes. I’d then scroll alllll theeee waaaaay to the bottom of the list and select whichever streamer’s thumbnail struck a chord with me.” Sweet and poignant.

Nieman Lab: This is how Report for America ended up funding a community Wikipedia editor (!) at a library (!!). “The entire collaboration involves two positions and three partners. WFAE will house a traditional journalist focusing on local government coverage. That person, though, will work with a second [Report for America] participant with the title of ‘community Wikipedia editor,’ who’ll be based a few days a week in the city’s local public library’s branches. That person will focus on researching and writing up under-covered topics from the library’s archives for Wikipedia articles — in particular those that are relevant to the Charlotte area.”


The Next Web: FTC might put the brakes on Facebook’s plans to merge messaging apps. “A new report suggests the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) might file an injunction against Facebook, to keep it from integrating its messaging apps together. Doing so might make it harder to break up the company — which the FTC is reportedly considering.”

Motherboard: Inside the Podcast that Hacks Ring Camera Owners Live on Air. “The NulledCast is a podcast livestreamed to Discord. It’s a show in which hackers take over people’s Ring and Nest smarthome cameras and use their speakers to talk to and harass their unsuspecting owners. In the example above, Chance blared noises and shouted racist comments at the Florida family.”


Phys .org: Here’s what police know about digital evidence. “In today’s criminal justice system, a Play Station and iPhone are just as important pieces of evidence as eyewitness accounts. Yet, there isn’t a strong understanding as to how police officers identify digital evidence—everything from a laptop to a smart television—in the field.”

University at Buffalo: New web portal helps UB researchers spread the word about ongoing clinical trials. “Spreading the word about ongoing clinical trials at the University at Buffalo once was an incomplete and complicated process that posed challenges for both investigators and potential study participants. Now the UB Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), in close collaboration with the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development, has recently set up an online tool that lists and updates every active clinical trial throughout UB. This Participate in Research portal streamlines the processes of posting and accessing information about ongoing trials.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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