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DNA

AncestryDNA 20% Sale

Order AncestryDNA for $79 through 26 April 2017.Happy DNA Day! Today (25 April) is the anniversary of the publication of articles theorizing the helical structure of DNA. Ancestry is celebrating with a 20% sale on its DNA kit. (Thomas MacEntee has put together a list.) Normally priced $99, Ancestry is offering the kit for $79 (plus taxes and shipping) through 26 April 2017 at 11:59pm Eastern Time. While I sometimes see a $89 sale price, I don’t recall seeing the $79 price since DNA Day last year. After Thanksgiving the past couple years they have offered the kit for $69. It seems likely they will do the same this year. At RootsTech this year they were trying to overshadow the announcement of kits from other vendors by selling AncestryDNA for $49 (with no shipping since you purchased in-person). I don’t know that you will ever see that happen again.

Bottom line, if you aren’t willing to wait until after Thanksgiving, today’s the day to order AncestryDNA for $79.

National DNA Day - April 25To see what scientists, teachers, and students are doing to commemorate DNA Day, visit the National Genome Research Institute website.

Click here to order AncestryDNA for $79.

Check your AncestryDNA® results next week! We’re adding new Portuguese and Scandinavian communities, empowering you to discover even more about your family history through DNA

Next week on Monday, October 21, we will release new AncestryDNA® communities for members with ties to Scandinavia and Portugal, helping them learn even more about their family’s unique story. To deliver frequent, quality updates to our members we leverage the latest DNA science to improve our products, resulting in highly-detailed and meaningful historical insights.  Read More

The post Check your AncestryDNA® results next week! We’re adding new Portuguese and Scandinavian communities, empowering you to discover even more about your family history through DNA appeared first on Ancestry Blog.

Ancestry® Expands Reference Panel to Deliver More Precise Results and New Regions

Consumer genomics is a new and evolving field and Ancestry® is at the forefront, constantly developing new ways for you to learn about yourself through DNA. Today, we’re proud to announce that our team of scientists have increased the AncestryDNA® reference panel to more than double its previous size with samples from more places around Read More

The post Ancestry® Expands Reference Panel to Deliver More Precise Results and New Regions appeared first on Ancestry Blog.

Taal Volcano, Google One, Meena, More: Sunday ResearchBuzz, February 2, 2020

NEW RESOURCES

Good News Pilipinas: University of the Philippines opens portal on Taal Volcano data, 1st in Asia to offer public access. “The Taal Volcano LiDAR datasets were derived through the use of airborne systems mounted on an airplane. The output of the LiDAR sensor is a 3D point cloud containing points that were scanned. The LiDAR technology was able to generate maps with resolution of up to 1×1 meter which can be used for planning and reconstruction of areas damaged by the Taal Volcano eruption in Batangas on January 12, 2020. The Taal Volcano mapping is free and downloadable by anyone with internet access and by most modern GIS software.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Android Police: Google is killing Google One Today, gives supporters only a week’s notice. “Today Google has announced that it’s killing its One Today service. This isn’t the renamed Google Drive paid storage program, but an app-based donation system you’ve probably never heard of, haven’t used, and won’t miss. Those still using it have a week before it shuts down.”

The Register: Google says its latest chatbot is the most human-like ever – trained on our species’ best works: 341GB of social media. “AI researchers at Google have trained a giant neural network using a whopping 341GB of discussions scraped from public social media to create what they believe is the most human-like chatbot ever.” Just read this story because the quoted conversation between Meena and a human is glorious. Why? Because it was outstanding in its field!

TechCrunch: Snapchat launches Bitmoji TV: zany 4-min cartoons of your avatar. “f you were the star of every show, would you watch more mobile television? Snapchat is betting that narcissism drives resonance for its new weekly videos that put you and your friends’ customizable Bitmoji avatars into a flurry of silly animated situations. Bitmoji TV premieres on Saturday morning, and it’s remarkably funny, exciting and addictive. Think cartoon SNL on fast-forward, with you playing a secret agent, a zombie president or a Moonlympics athlete.”

USEFUL STUFF

Search Engine Watch: The perils of tricking Google’s algorithm. “Google has been regularly introducing algorithm updates to improve the quality of its search results. But it also penalizes sites that employ unethical or outdated practices to rank higher. This can adversely impact a brand’s reputation and bottom line. Ideally, these updates should be used as a guide for improving a site’s UX, ranking on SERPs is an end result that will follow. Read on to know the ill-effects of chasing Google’s algorithms. There’s also a bonus involved! You will also learn some effective tips to stay on top of these updates while boosting your business reputation.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

New York Times: Doctors on TikTok Try to Go Viral. “On TikTok, sex ed is being flipped on its head. Teenagers who load the app might find guidance set to the pulsing beat of ‘Sex Talk’ by Megan Thee Stallion. A doctor, sporting scrubs and grinning into her camera, instructs them on how to respond if a condom breaks during sex: The pill Plan B can be 95 percent effective, the video explains.”

Yale News: Collection of Musical Instruments to resume public hours. “Musette, Mayuri, Double Virginal. Yale students may have never heard of these instruments, but they reside only a step away at 15 Hillhouse Ave. The Romanesque building — which holds Yale’s Collection of Musical Instruments has been under renovation since May 2019 — will resume public hours starting the last week of February…. The collection is additionally expanding its online catalogue of instruments. Timothy Feil, who currently works at the collection, noted that the catalogue will provide information for visitors who want to know more about the showcased instruments.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

Neowin: YouTube Music’s restrictions on kids’ content leads to quirks with many Disney tracks. “Google found itself in trouble with the law last year due to YouTube’s and its own privacy policies pertaining to minors. The search giant was slapped with a multi-million dollar fine as it was found to be in violation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The company, however, began bringing a slew of changes to the platform ahead of the ruling, followed by official announcements later. As part of those changes and feature additions, the firm brought about certain restrictions on content that creators label as being made for kids. Those very changes, however, might be resulting in some annoying issues on YouTube Music for such content, especially for those from Disney Music.”

Techdirt: CBS Gets Angry Joe’s YouTube Review Of ‘Picard’ Taken Down For Using 26 Seconds Of The Show’s Trailer. “Joe Vargas, who makes the fantastic The Angry Joe Show on YouTube, isn’t a complete stranger to Techdirt’s pages. You may recall that this angry reviewer of all things pop culture swore off doing reviews of Nintendo products a while back after Nintendo prevented Vargas from monetizing a review of a a game…. CBS recently got Angry Joe’s YouTube review of ‘Picard’ taken down, claiming copyright on the 2 thirteen-second videos of the show’s publicly available trailer that Vargas used in the review.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

Mashable: Self-driving Waymo minivans will assist UPS with deliveries. “On Wednesday, Google spin-off company Waymo announced a partnership with UPS, the package delivery service. Soon, Waymo’s self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivans will be moving packages around instead of humans.”

EurekAlert: DNA extracted in museum samples can reveal genetic secrets. “Researchers have used a vortex fluidic device (VFD) to speed up DNA extraction from an American lobster preserved in formaldehyde – with the results providing a roadmap for exploring DNA from millions of valuable and even extinct species in museums worldwide.”

9News Australia: World-first 3D map shows smoke plumes from Australian bushfires as captured from space. “In a world-first, an interactive map depicting the height of smoke plumes from bushfires during the peak of Australia’s bushfire crisis has been released. It is hoped that the new tool will improve the Bureau of Meteorology’s ability to predict where potentially dangerous smoke haze will move, as well as provide crucial ‘big picture’ information to disaster management agencies.” Good morning, Internet…

Do you like ResearchBuzz? Does it help you out? Please consider supporting it on Patreon. Not interested in commitment? Perhaps you’d buy me an iced tea. I love your comments, I love your site suggestions, and I love you. Feel free to comment on the blog, or @ResearchBuzz on Twitter. Thanks!

NGS 2017 Conference Pre-Registration Ends Today – #NGS2017GEN

Still need convincing? Pre-registration for the 2017 National Genealogical Society Conference ends today (27 April 2017), so you need to get on the stick. NGS has put together a heck of a program. NGS has loosely organized sessions into 10 tracks each day:

Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
BCG Skillbuilding BCG Skillbuilding BCG Skillbuilding BCG Skillbuilding
DNA DNA DNA DNA
Research Planning Solving Problems Records & Repositories Research in the States
North Carolina Historical Context Methodology North Carolina
Historical Context Religion Military Records & Repositories
Working with Records North Carolina African American Family Stories
Tips & Techniques Records & Repositories Historical Context Methodology
Military Technology Technology Records & Repositories
Records & Repositories Organizing Research Native American Religion
Methodology Beyond the Borders Methodology Solving Problems

NGS 2017 Family History Conference - 10-13 May, Raleigh, NCPretty much every speaker is a nationally known expert or an expert in subjects in and around North Carolina. You may know these names (in no particular order):

From Ancestry:

From FamilySearch:

To see the program online, go to http://conference.ngsgenealogy.org/program.

To see the PDF registration brochure, click here.

The National Genealogical Society 2017 Family History Conference is being held 10-13 May 2017 at the Raleigh, North Carolina convention center.

NGS: Online Course – Understanding and Using DNA Test Results

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was received from our friends at the National Genealogical Society.


FALLS CHURCH, VA, 10 DECEMBER 2019—The National Genealogical Society (NGS) unveiled the newest course in its Continuing Genealogical Studies series, Understanding and Using DNA Test Results. The course is designed to help the millions of individuals, who have taken a DNA test to learn more about their family tree, get the most out of their test results. Students learn at their own pace, in their own home, on any tablet or computer.
“Taking a DNA test is easy,” noted NGS Education Director, Angela McGhie, CG. “Understanding the results and knowing how to use the data to identify your ancestors is more challenging. We are pleased to be able to offer a new course that will teach family historians about patterns of genetic inheritance and how their DNA matches can lead to building a broader family tree.
In a step-by-step format, expert genetic genealogist, Angie Bush, MS, teaches the basic types of DNA tests and the value and limitations of their results. The course also explains how to read and interpret DNA charts and cousin match pages; how to apply test results to traditional genealogical research; and much more. To learn more about Understanding and Using DNA Test Results, visit the NGS website.
ABOUT
Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogical education, exemplary standards of research, and the preservation of genealogical records. The Falls Church, Virginia, based nonprofit is the premier national society for everyone, from the beginner to the most advanced family historian, seeking excellence in publications, educational offerings, and guidance in research. It also offers many opportunities to interact with other genealogists.
###
The words Certified Genealogist and its acronym, CG, are a registered certification mark, and the designations Certified Genealogical Lecturer and its acronym, CGL, are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists®, used under license by board certificants after periodic evaluation

AncestryDNA Whips Past 4 Million Samples

AncestryDNA Reaches 4 Million Customers in DNA Database.Four million. It’s staggering, really. AncestryDNA has exceeded four million samples in its DNA database!

It took AncestryDNA three years to get the first million samples. (See “AncestryDNA Exceeds Million Mark” on my blog on 22 July 2015.)

It took them 11 months to reach two million. (See “AncestryDNA Database Reaches Two Million” on 28 June 2016.)

It took just seven months to get to the three million mark. (See “AncestryDNA Zips Past 3 Million Samples” on 19 January 2017.)

Less than 4 months later, AncestryDNA has reached four million persons in the DNA database. (See “AncestryDNA Reaches 4 Million Customers in DNA Database” on the Ancestry blog, 27 April 2017.) AncestryDNA must be selling over 8,000 kits a day to grow that fast. Ancestry says as many people took their DNA test during that period as got married in the United States. They said “that’s about as fast as babies are born in the United States.”

That’s astonishing.

Twitter, Sidewalk Labs, Google Hardware, More: Sunday ResearchBuzz, October 27, 2019

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

TechCrunch: Twitter Q3 misses big on revenues of $824M and EPS of $0.05 on the back of adtech glitches. “Twitter… reported its earnings for the quarter that ended September 30, and the numbers delivered a big surprise, falling on both sales and earnings per share. Revenues came in at $824 million, and EPS at $0.05. That represents sales up 9% year-over-year but far below what analysts had been expecting: (non-GAAP, diluted) EPS of 20 cents per share and revenues of $874.03 million (or higher, $883 million, depending on which group of analysts you’re following).”

BNN Bloomberg: Google parent is closer to a deal on Toronto’s Sidewalk Labs. “Sidewalk Labs LLC, the urban innovation unit of Alphabet Inc. and Waterfront Toronto, the public corporation in charge of the development, are finding common ground on a majority of contentious issues, according to people familiar with the discussions. The parties have been meeting ahead of an Oct. 31 deadline set by Waterfront to reach agreement on topics such as data privacy, land values and geographical boundaries, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private.”

CNET: Google is replacing Home devices bricked by firmware update. “Google has said it’ll replace any of its Home smart speakers that have stopped working after a firmware update, as reported earlier Thursday by 9to5Google. It comes after customers complained online about their Google Home devices being bricked following a recent automatic update, the report said.”

USEFUL STUFF

BoingBoing: Get 35 free audio books from Tor’s new horror imprint. “Renowned sci-fi and fantasy publisher Tor just launched a new book imprint called Nightfire, focusing on new horror fiction. And to celebrate, they’re giving away 35 free short horror stories as audiobooks. The list includes stories by Alyssa Wong, Chuck Wendig, China Miéville, Carmen Maria Machado, and more.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Motherboard: How Facebook Bought a Police Force. “The Bay Area has long been a sandbox for technology giants who are no longer merely occupying communities, but building and reshaping them. In Menlo Park, an affluent, mostly white city of 35,000, Facebook at one point paid workers not to live in lower-income neighborhoods near the company’s headquarters. And now, there’s a police unit that is funded by Facebook to patrol the area surrounding its campus. The bill comes in at over $2 million annually—big money in a small city.”

BBC: How a social network could save democracy from deadlock. “Whether it is the daily Brexit face-offs, the endless scandals on Capitol Hill or the yellow vests of France, the space for meaningful compromise has dramatically shrunk. Instead, it’s a time of digging in, fighting your corner, staying the course. No surrender. It signals a deeper malaise – as electorates become more polarised, democracies become more paralysed. Yet what if it doesn’t need to be this way? What if new ways can be found to break deadlocks and bring electorates back together?”

SECURITY & LEGAL

The Register: Time to check who left their database open and leaked 7.5m customer records: Hi there, Adobe Creative Cloud!. “Adobe has pulled offline a public-facing poorly secured Elasticsearch database containing information on 7.5 million Creative Cloud customers. The cloud-based silo was uncovered by infosec detective Bob Diachenko, who reported it to Adobe last week.”

Route Fifty: Ohio Establishes ‘Cyber Reserve’ to Combat Ransomware. “At least three local governments in Ohio and the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport have all been hit with ransomware attacks in the last year alone. The next time hackers go after a local government in Ohio, however, the state will have a new weapon to deploy: the Ohio Cyber Reserve.”

Techdirt: Whirlpool Left Appliance Data, User Emails Exposed Online. “Another day, another shining example of why connecting everything from your Barbie dolls to tea kettles to the internet was a bad idea. This week it’s Whirlpool that’s under fire after a researcher discovered that the company had failed to secure a database containing 28 million records collected from the company’s ‘smart’ appliances. The database contained user email addresses, model names and numbers, unique appliance identifiers, and data collected from routine analysis of the appliances’ condition, including how often the appliance is used, when its off or on, and whether it had any issues.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

Mongabay: Holding social media companies accountable for facilitating illegal wildlife trade (commentary). “Facebook, and other social media firms, mainly rely on algorithms and artificial intelligence to moderate harmful content. But investigations by the Alliance to Counter Crime Online (ACCO) show time and again how these algorithms actually connect traffickers faster than moderators can remove them. They suggest friends and recommend groups, putting illicit actors in touch with one another, continually expanding networks of users engaging in similar illegal activities.”

Phys .org: Researchers make neural networks successfully detect DNA damage caused by UV radiation. “Researchers at Tomsk Polytechnic University jointly with the University of Chemistry and Technology (Prague) conducted a series of experiments which proved that artificial neural networks can accurately identify DNA damage caused by UV radiation. In the future, this approach can be used in modern medical diagnostics. An article, dedicated to those studies, was published in the Biosensors and Bioelectronics journal.”

ZDNet: AI can now read the thoughts of paralysed patients as they imagine they are writing. “Handwriting is becoming a rare skill in the digital age. But researchers have now discovered a new application that could significantly improve the way tetraplegic people, who are often also unable to speak, communicate with the outside world.” Good morning, Internet…

Do you like ResearchBuzz? Does it help you out? Please consider supporting it on Patreon. Not interested in commitment? Perhaps you’d buy me an iced tea. I love your comments, I love your site suggestions, and I love you. Feel free to comment on the blog, or @ResearchBuzz on Twitter. Thanks!

NGS Live Streaming – #NGS2017GEN

Live stream NGS 2017 Family History Conference sessions.If you can’t make it to the 2017 National Genealogical Society Conference, all is not lost. NGS is offering select sessions via live streaming or for three-month’s later viewing. You can purchase five sessions for Thursday, 11 May 2017 and five sessions for Friday, 12 May 2017.

  • Thursday: Viewers will be able to stream five lectures on DNA from 8:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. These lectures will demonstrate how DNA has revolutionized genealogy problem solving, clarified contradictions in records, and found female ancestors without a known maiden name. They will also offer advice on the best practices for analyzing autosomal DNA. $95 member, $115 non-member.

image image image image image

  • Friday: View five “BCG Skillbuilding” lectures by the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) from 8:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. This set of lectures will teach how to probe documents beyond the obvious, find rich evidence in deeds, use an ancestors’ neighbors, prepare a Genealogical Proof Summary, and build a solid conclusion from disparate evidence. $95 member, $115 non-member.

ximage image image image image

All ten sessions can be purchased for $150 member, $185 non-member, if purchased before midnight, 10 May 2017. After 14 May 2017, the price jumps to $175 member, $215 non-member.

Sessions can be viewed for three months following the conference. All packages include a full, electronic conference syllabus.

For more information, or to purchase sessions, visit http://www.playbackngs.com/7770.

Monday Genea-Pourri – Week Ending 20 October 2019

Here are the highlights of my family history and genealogy related activities over the past week:

1)  Moderated the Chula Vista Genealogical Society (CVGS) DNA Interest Group Meeting  on Wednesday with 12 attendees.  I reported on the Ancestry Health announcement, the FamilyTreeDNA health announcement, the 23andMe updated ethnicity and family tree, the MyHeritagwe Live 2019 DNA videos, the RootsTech London livestreams and handouts, and my Newton/Brigham DNA matches.  The attendees reported on the status of their DNA test results and analyses.  

2)  Participated in Mondays With Myrt today.  The panel discussed the Zoom webinar and meetings features, RootsTech London, the Society of Genealogists, the Irish Genealogy site with free BMD records, removal of FamilySearch records, and the Newspapers.com obituary hints.  

3)  Finished up my new presentation on “Researching in Historical Newspapers” which I will give at the 30 October CVGS general meeting.  I still need to do the syllabus.

3)  Watched one MyHeritage Live 2019 video –  The Worldwide DNA Web by Alon Diament Carmel. 

4)  Wrote and posted a biographical sketch of 6th great-grandmother #511 Sarah (Campbell) Rolfe (1746-1838) for my 52 Ancestors biographical sketch on Friday.  This completes my known 6th great-grandparents and closer ancestors.


6)  Ancestry added about 4,000 record hints for the Newspapers.com Obituary Index and I started resolving them, adding content and sources to my RootsMagic tree.  I used the mining tool for a specific Ancestry record collection.
7) There were several sessions working in the RootsMagic software program to match with and update FamilySearch Family Tree profiles for Seaver families and my ancestral families, with occasional additions to the RootsMagic profiles. I have matched 33,163 of my RootsMagic persons with FSFT.

8)  Used Web Hints and Record Matches from Ancestry, MyHeritage, Findmypast and FamilySearch to add content and sources to my RootsMagic profiles.  I now have 55,167 persons in my RootsMagic file, and 111,073 source citations.   I TreeShared thrice this week updating 276 profiles, and I resolved 1105 Ancestry Hints.  I’ve fallen behind on the Ancestry Record Hints with 120,220 to be resolved, but I work on them weekly.

9)  Added several more ThruLines to DNA matches to my RootsMagic file.  Added Notes to about 5 AncestryDNA matches.   Downloaded  new MyHeritageDNA shared cM match list and got it into a spreadsheet, hoping to find common ancestors for my matches.  Tried to obtain the Auto cluster analysis but it failed for some reason.


10) Wrote 17 Genea-Musings blog posts last week, of which two were a press release.  The most popular post last week was 
New Collection on Ancestry.com – Newspapers.com Obituary Index, 1800s to Current  
with over 472 views.

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