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But Is It a "Google-Killer"?

Wolfram Alpha launched on Monday and tech-loving people have taken the time this week to check it out. Prior to the launch, CNET wrote about the hardware that the "computational knowledge engine" is built on, namely a system made by R Systems from Dell hardware, called R Smarr, that can perform 39.6 trillion mathematical operations per second. After the launch, CNET's Matt Asay didn't seem too impressed, saying that "the best software strategies are those that encourage outside contributions, rather than discourage it." Omics Omics' Keith Robison says he is "underwhelmed." Robison puts the engine through its paces, searching for trains between New York and Chicago, for the KRAS gene, for panda taxonomy, and more and he concludes, "I've thrown a bunch of queries at it, and have yet to find something really cool." The Financial Times' tech blog is similarly unimpressed, adding that "Google has nothing to be worried about."

The Scan

Genetic Tests Lead to Potential Prognostic Variants in Dutch Children With Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Researchers in Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine found that the presence of pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants was linked to increased risk of death and poorer outcomes in children with pediatric dilated cardiomyopathy.

Fragile X Syndrome Mutations Found With Comprehensive Testing Method

Researchers in Clinical Chemistry found fragile X syndrome expansions and other FMR1 mutations with ties to the intellectual disability condition using a long-range PCR and long-read sequencing approach.

Team Presents Strategy for Speedy Species Detection in Metagenomic Sequence Data

A computational approach presented in PLOS Computational Biology produced fewer false-positive species identifications in simulated and authentic metagenomic sequences.

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.