Quick mapping of our microbiomes and metabolomes

Science Daily - Tue, 26/04/2016 - 6:44pm
While technological advances have made it easier to map our microbiomes and metabolomes, these studies typically take too long for that data to be medically useful. Researchers have now used the 2016 San Diego Fermentation Festival as a test case for a novel rapid response system. The team collected samples, analyzed data and reported conclusions in an unprecedented 48 hours.
Categories: Science

A fatty liver may result in a broken heart

Science Daily - Tue, 26/04/2016 - 6:44pm
The extent to which NAFLD itself, rather than associated conditions such as diabetes, obesity, or atherogenic dyslipidemia, is responsible for increased cardiovascular death has been a matter of debate. In a new study conclude that NAFLD is an independent risk factor for atherosclerosis and therefore CVD. Their findings recommend strict monitoring of cardiovascular health and metabolic complications in patients with NAFLD.
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Child homicide: Speaking of the unspeakable

Science Daily - Tue, 26/04/2016 - 6:44pm
New estimates suggest that homicide could be responsible for just over 1 percent of all neonatal deaths in South Africa. Together with other studies reporting on child homicide from other countries, these findings emphasize the importance of child protection, and highlight a need for cross-sector services to support vulnerable mothers.
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New hepatocellular carcinoma prognostic model improves prediction of patient survival

Science Daily - Tue, 26/04/2016 - 6:44pm
The ITA.LI.CA prognostic system, a model integrating tumor staging, liver function, functional status, and alpha-fetoprotein level, builds on previous models of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) prognosis and shows superior survival prediction in Italian and Taiwanese cohorts, according to a new study.
Categories: Science

Do you trust robots?

Kurzweil AI - Tue, 26/04/2016 - 6:36pm

Would you trust this robot? (credit: Rethink Robotics)

Trust in robots is a critical component in safety that requires study, says MIT Professor Emeritus Thomas B. Sheridan in an open-access study published in Human Factors journal.

For decades, he has studied humans and automation and in each case, he noted significant human factors challenges — particularly concerning safety. He looked at self-driving cars and highly automated transit systems; routine tasks such as the delivery of packages in Amazon warehouses; devices that handle tasks in hazardous or inaccessible environments, such as the Fukushima nuclear plant; and robots that engage in social interaction (Barbies).

For example, no human driver, he claims, will stay alert to take over control of a self-driving car quickly enough should the automation fail. Nor does self-driving car technology consider the value of social interaction between drivers such as eye contact and hand signals. And would airline passengers be happy if computerized monitoring replaced the second pilot?

Designing a robot to move an elderly person in and out of bed would potentially reduce back injuries among human caregivers, but questions abound as to what physical form that robot should take, and hospital patients may be alienated by robots delivering their food trays. The ability of robots to learn from human feedback is an area that demands human factors research, as is understanding how people of different ages and abilities best learn from robots.

Sheridan also challenges the human factors community to address the inevitable trade-offs: the possibility of robots providing jobs rather than taking them away, robots as assistants that can enhance human self-worth instead of diminishing it, and the role of robots to improve rather than jeopardize security.

Abstract of Human–Robot Interaction: Status and Challenges

Objective: The current status of human–robot interaction (HRI) is reviewed, and key current research challenges for the human factors community are described.

Background: Robots have evolved from continuous human-controlled master–slave servomechanisms for handling nuclear waste to a broad range of robots incorporating artificial intelligence for many applications and under human supervisory control.

Methods: This mini-review describes HRI developments in four application areas and what are the challenges for human factors research.

Results: In addition to a plethora of research papers, evidence of success is manifest in live demonstrations of robot capability under various forms of human control.

Conclusions: HRI is a rapidly evolving field. Specialized robots under human teleoperation have proven successful in hazardous environments and medical application, as have specialized telerobots under human supervisory control for space and repetitive industrial tasks. Research in areas of self-driving cars, intimate collaboration with humans in manipulation tasks, human control of humanoid robots for hazardous environments, and social interaction with robots is at initial stages. The efficacy of humanoid general-purpose robots has yet to be proven.

Applications: HRI is now applied in almost all robot tasks, including manufacturing, space, aviation, undersea, surgery, rehabilitation, agriculture, education, package fetch and delivery, policing, and military operations.

Categories: Science

Apple Is Outdated, Says Chinese Conglomerate LeEco CEO

Slashdot - Tue, 26/04/2016 - 6:30pm
An anonymous reader shares an article on CNBC: Apple is "outdated" and losing momentum in China, billionaire entrepreneur Jia Yueting told CNBC in his first international television interview. "Apple only has individual apps. This was the right choice during the first generation of mobile net, when CPUs [central processing units] and the mobile network speeds were not fast enough," Jia said. "However now we're moving into the next era of mobile internet, these problems no longer exist. Moreover, having separate apps just means great obstacles in the user experience. We hope to break down these obstacles. One of the most important reasons [for slowing sales] is that Apple's innovation has become extremely slow," he said. "For example, a month ago Apple launched the iPhone SE. From an industry insider's perspective, this is a product with a very low level of technology... We think this is something they just shouldn't have done. [...] The Watch hasn't cut it. And they're looking at content on the services side, on the iTunes side. We'll see how that works out. But definitely they need something to drive the next leg of growth." In some other Apple news, the company is expected to announce its first quarterly year-over-year revenue decline since 2003 later today.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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What It’s like to Fly a Solar Plane With a Coffin-Sized Cockpit

Wired News - Tue, 26/04/2016 - 6:14pm
Pilots Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg show off the massive solar panel-covered wings of the Solar Impulse 2 plane and inside its cramped cockpit. The post What It's like to Fly a Solar Plane With a Coffin-Sized Cockpit appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Surprise! Donald Trump Is the Newest Bernie Bro

Wired News - Tue, 26/04/2016 - 6:10pm
Something about the enemy of my enemy. The post Surprise! Donald Trump Is the Newest Bernie Bro appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Your Media Business Will Not Be Saved

Slashdot - Tue, 26/04/2016 - 5:50pm
Joshua Topolsky, co-founder of The Verge and Vox Media, and formerly Editor-in-chief of Engadget, has published an article on Medium wherein he analyzes the ongoing and long-term issues with digital media businesses and their increasingly growing thirst for more and more clicks. Topolsky says that the rate at which media outlets are adopting the new technologies and platforms (such as video, "bots, newsletters, a morning briefing app, a lean back iPad experience, Slack integration, a Snapchat channel, or a great partnership with Twitter") in an attempt to capture more audience -- and save its receding loyal reader base -- isn't going to fix the problem. Topolsky, who left Bloomberg news outlet last year amid his disagreement with Michael Bloomberg himself, writes: The Problem is that we used to have a really neat and tidy version of a media business where very large interests controlled vast swaths of the things we read, watched, and listened to. Because that system was built on the concept of scarcity and locality -- the limits of what was physically possible -- it was very easy to keep the gates and fill the coffers. Put simply, there were far fewer players in the game with far fewer outlets for their content, so audiences were easy to sell to and easy to come by. [...] The media industry now largely thinks its only working business model is to reach as many people as possible, and sell -- usually programmatically, but sometimes not -- as many advertisements against that audience as it can. If they tell you otherwise, they are lying. [...] The truth is that the best and most important things the media (let's say specifically the news media) has ever made were not made to reach the most people -- they were made to reach the right people. Because human beings exist, and we are not content consumption machines. What will save the media industry -- or at least the part worth saving -- is when we start making Real Things for people again, instead of programming for algorithms or New Things.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Cassini explores a methane sea on Titan

Science Daily - Tue, 26/04/2016 - 5:46pm
A new study finds that a large sea on Saturn's moon Titan is composed mostly of pure liquid methane, independently confirming an earlier result. The seabed may be covered in a sludge of carbon- and nitrogen-rich material, and its shores may be surrounded by wetlands.
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Yellow Fever’s Comeback Was Utterly Avoidable, But We Blew It

Wired News - Tue, 26/04/2016 - 5:27pm
A yellow fever outbreak in Angola shines a harsh light on the shortage of vaccines. The post Yellow Fever's Comeback Was Utterly Avoidable, But We Blew It appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Google, Ford, Volvo, Lyft and Uber Join Coalition To Further Self-Driving Cars

Slashdot - Tue, 26/04/2016 - 5:10pm
Google, Ford, Volvo, Uber, and Lyft are forming a coalition to help speed self-driving cars to the market. Until now, these five companies have all been working on their own driverless car initiatives. According to a statement, the new effort, dubbed the Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets, "will work with lawmakers, regulators and the public to realize the safety and societal benefits of self-driving vehicles." David Strickland, a former top official of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is coalition's counsel and spokesman.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Providing children with tablets loaded with literacy apps yields positive results

Science Daily - Tue, 26/04/2016 - 5:01pm
Researchers have been conducting a study to determine whether tablet computers loaded with literacy applications could improve the reading preparedness of young children living in economically disadvantaged communities. In all three cases, study participants' performance on standardized tests of reading preparedness indicated that the tablet use was effective.
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Light echoes give clues to planet nursery around star

Science Daily - Tue, 26/04/2016 - 5:01pm
For the first time, astronomers used echoes of light to determine the distance from a star to the inner wall of its surrounding planet-forming disk of dust and gas. Being able to exactly pinpoint the inner edge of such disks is a big step forward in understanding the evolution of planetary systems.
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Scientists reveal secrets of a deadly virus family

Science Daily - Tue, 26/04/2016 - 5:01pm
Scientists have solved the structure of the biological machinery used by a common virus to recognize and attack human host cells. The new structure gives scientists the first view of the glycoprotein of lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV), present on every continent except Antarctica. The research reveals important traits in LCMV and points to possible drug targets on LCMV's close relative: Lassa virus.
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Minimally invasive colitis screening using infrared technology could offer fast, simple test

Science Daily - Tue, 26/04/2016 - 5:01pm
A minimally invasive screening for ulcerative colitis, a debilitating gastrointestinal tract disorder, using emerging infrared technology could be a rapid and cost-effective method for detecting disease that eliminates the need for biopsies and intrusive testing of the human body, according to researchers.
Categories: Science

Study on fragile X syndrome uses fruitfly's point of view to identify new treatments

Science Daily - Tue, 26/04/2016 - 5:01pm
The hormone insulin - usually associated with diabetes -- is involved in the daily activity patterns and cognitive deficits in the fruitfly model of FXS. Results reveal a metabolic pathway that can be targeted by new and already approved drugs to treat fragile X patients. This syndrome is the most common genetically inherited cause of intellectual disability in humans.
Categories: Science

How breast cancer cells slide to metastasis

Science Daily - Tue, 26/04/2016 - 5:01pm
The spreading of cancer cells from one part of the body to another, a process known as metastasis, is the leading cause of death among cancer patients. A study now reveals why some cancer cells may be more metastatic than others. The findings show that breast cancer cells spread to other parts of the body by sliding around other cells blocking their escape route out of the original tumor.
Categories: Science

We’re Drowning in Content. Recommendations Are What We Need

Wired News - Tue, 26/04/2016 - 5:00pm
YouTube (along with everyone else) is trying to make sure it always knows what you want to watch—even when you don't. The post We're Drowning in Content. Recommendations Are What We Need appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Open365 Is An Open Source Alternative to Microsoft Office 365

Slashdot - Tue, 26/04/2016 - 4:30pm
Martin Brinkmann, writing for Ghacks: Open365 is an open source Office 365 alternative that allows you to edit or create documents online, and to sync files with the cloud. The service is in beta currently but you can sign up for it already on the official website. You may use it using a web browser, download clients for Windows, Mac or Linux desktop machines, or for Android. An iOS client is in the making currently and will be made available as well soon. Open 365 offers two main features that you can make use of. First, it enables you to synchronize files between devices you use and the cloud. Second, it allows you to view, edit and create documents in the cloud using the technology provided by the Open Source Office suite LibreOffice Online for that.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science