25
Sep
2013

Although heavily studied, the specific genetic causes of “complex diseases,” a category of disorders which includes autism, diabetes and heart disease, are largely unknown due to byzantine genetic and environmental interactions.

Now, scientists from the University of Chicago have created one of the most expansive analyses to date of the genetic factors at play in complex diseases—by using diseases with known genetic causes to guide them. Analyzing more than 120 million patient records and identifying trends of co-occurrence among hundreds of diseases, they created a unique genetic map that has the potential to guide researchers and clinicians in diagnosing, identifying risk factors  for and someday developing therapies against complex diseases.

24
Sep
2013

To determine how the universe as we know it formed, scientists have come up with an ambitious strategy: just do it all over again. In an article at Energy.gov, Rob Roser, the head of the Fermilab Scientific Computing Division, describes a partnership with Argonne National Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to create a cosmological simulation toolbox that helps scientists run these massive supercomputing experiments.

09
Sep
2013

Where does knowledge come from? How does "certainty" come to be? What role do social, psychological and institutional practices play in these processes? To what degree is knowledge and practice shared and what is the landscape or ecology of knowledge transmission?

These weighty questions were the central focus of the inaugural meeting of the Metaknowledge Research Network, held in Pacific Grove, CA from August 19th – August 23rd. Organized by the CI's Knowledge Lab, the network brought together a broad array of domain experts from around the country.

04
Sep
2013

Data is raw material that can be sculpted into many useful forms: for scientific discoveries, for business decisions, or for recommendations on entertainment and relationships. But in their presentations for the inaugural Eric & Wendy Schmidt Data Science for Social Good Summer Fellowship Data Slam, fellows presented twelve examples of data used for its most noble purpose: to make the world a better place.

In its first summer, the fellowship brought 40 undergraduate and graduate students from around the U.S. as well as Italy, Mexico and Israel to Chicago to work on data-based projects with nonprofit organizations and government agencies. Organized by Rayid Ghani of the Computation Institute and the Harris School of Public Policy and funded through a personal gift from Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, the program struck a nerve in both tech and academic circles, attracting over 550 applications in just two weeks.