Rabbi Dr. Louis Jacobs, FDA Purple Book, Coronavirus Updates, More: Wednesday ResearchBuzz, February 26, 2020


The Jewish Chronicle: A new online resource — the complete works of Rabbi Dr Louis Jacobs. “His more than 50 books, which touch on virtually every area of the Jewish tradition, defy any easy categorisation. What is remarkable is the extraordinary consistency that he exhibited in his scholarship, which spanned almost 60 years. In the opening of his most famous book We Have Reason To Believe, he argues for ‘a synthesis… between the permanent value and truth of tradition and the best thought of the day’ and it is this sentence that perhaps best encapsulates the guiding force behind all of his writing.”

Regulatory Focus: FDA Launches Searchable Purple Book. “The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday unveiled the first version of its searchable online database of biological product information, known as the Purple Book. Building off the previous PDF lists of biological products, the database now allows for easier searches and includes information on product names (proprietary and proper), the type of biologics license application (BLA) that was submitted, strength of the biologic, dosage form, product presentation, license status, BLA number and approval date.” I didn’t know how a “biological product” was defined. I got educated via this FDA PDF.

WCCO: U Of M Launches Novel Coronavirus Resource Center. “The University of Minnesota announced Thursday it will offer a new online resource center to educate the public about the novel coronavirus disease COVID-19. The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy launched the CIDRP Novel Coronavirus Resource Center to highlight the latest news developments, relevant scientific literature and guidance from leading agencies.”


Cornell Chronicle: Roper Center gives voice to American public opinion. “With voting to select this year’s presidential nominees in full swing, the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research at Cornell has launched a series of initiatives to help inform citizens and journalists and support the democratic process. Their goal: to bring public opinion back to the public.”

Engadget: Google searches are showing rival business directories in Europe. “Google seems to be taking extra steps to please EU regulators worried that it’s abusing its search dominance. Search Engine Land has discovered that Google is highlighting rival directory services like Yelp when you search for businesses in European countries like France and Spain, placing prominent ‘find results on’ cards above Google’s own.”


Slate: Welcome to the Streaming Wars. “Begun, the streaming wars have. Worse and far more harmful than the cable wars of years past. And with the new content wars will come a fresh internet hell.”

CNET: Facebook invests in diverse array of projects in mission to connect the world. “Facebook’s mission to connect the world has been part of the company’s message at MWC in Barcelona for many years now. But even though the show was canceled this year due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak, the company is pressing ahead with its latest connectivity updates. On Tuesday, the company made a number of announcements about its many projects designed to bring affordable internet access to people in developing countries and rural regions.”


Ubergizmo: Swiss Court Rules That ‘Liking’ Hateful Content Could Be Considered A Crime. “We need to be more careful of our online social media activities. This is because in recent times, we’re starting to see the implications of what we do online affect our offline lives. More recently, over in Switzerland, the courts have ruled that it is possible that ‘liking’ or sharing online posts that are deemed hateful or defamatory could be considered a crime.”

Ars Technica: Companies are stealing influencers’ faces. “The first time Lucy Kyselica’s face was stolen, it turned up in the window of a beauty salon in small-town America. Kyselica is a Dutch beauty YouTuber who mostly makes videos about historical hairdos, but she had also made a video showing her subscribers how to thread their own eyebrows. The salon took a screengrab from that video, enlarged it to poster size, and used it to advertise their eyebrow threading services.”


Newswise: Social networks enable hate movements, like boogaloo, to grow rapidly. “Using popular social media networks and under-the-radar memes and phrases, hate movements are able to organize and gain appeal, a Washington University in St. Louis expert says. The most recent hate movement to emerge from social networks is an anti-government movement — referred to as ‘boogaloo’ by supporters — that is plotting violence against minorities, police and public officials.”

IEEE Spectrum: Ambitious Data Project Aims to Organize the World’s Geoscientific Records. “Geoscience researchers are excited by a new big-data effort to connect millions of hard-won scientific records in databases around the world. When complete, the network will be a virtual portal into the ancient history of the planet. The project is called Deep-time Digital Earth, and one of its leaders, Nanjing-based paleontologist Fan Junxuan, says it unites hundreds of researchers—geochemists, geologists, mineralogists, paleontologists—in an ambitious plan to link potentially hundreds of databases.”

Becker’s Hospital Review: Vanderbilt develops EHR data-mining tool to identify disease associations. EHR in this case stands for Electronic Health Record. “Nashville, Tenn.-based Vanderbilt University engineers created a new tool that can identify disease co-morbidities by analyzing de-identified EHR data and medical diagnosis codes, according to a Feb. 18 news release. The toolkit, called Phenome-Disease Association Study, uses machine learning algorithms to perform association studies and identify disease co-morbidities across time in EHRs.” Good morning, Internet…

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