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'Never Complete'

Big data sets can prove to be a great tool for researchers, but a new paper warns that researchers should use the information carefully, reports Technology Review's Erica Naone. The paper, written by University of South Wales professor Kate Crawford and Microsoft researcher Danah Boyd, suggests that the data in these sets can often be "distorted," Naone says, and Crawford tells Naone that "big data sets are never complete." In addition, Naone says, "Crawford notes that many big data sets — particularly social data — come from companies that have no obligation to support scientific inquiry. Getting access to the data might mean paying for it, or keeping the company happy by not performing certain types of studies." Crawford and Boyd's paper also says that big data sets can raise ethical concerns, as researchers have previously shown that it's not hard to identify individuals from the data sets, even after they've been anonymized.

The Scan

Fertility Fraud Found

Consumer genetic testing has uncovered cases of fertility fraud that are leading to lawsuits, according to USA Today.

Ties Between Vigorous Exercise, ALS in Genetically At-Risk People

Regular strenuous exercise could contribute to motor neuron disease development among those already at genetic risk, Sky News reports.

Test Warning

The Guardian writes that the US regulators have warned against using a rapid COVID-19 test that is a key part of mass testing in the UK.

Science Papers Examine Feedback Mechanism Affecting Xist, Continuous Health Monitoring for Precision Medicine

In Science this week: analysis of cis confinement of the X-inactive specific transcript, and more.