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2018-06-17 00:13:07 UTC
2018-06-17 01:08:06 UTC
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A woman with late-stage breast cancer went to a hospital, fluids flooding her lungs. She saw two doctors and got a radiology scan. The hospital's computers read her vital signs and estimated a 9.3% chance she would die during her stay.
Then came Google's turn. An new type of algorithm created by the company read up on the woman — 175,639 data points — and rendered its assessment of her death risk: 19.9%. She died in a matter of days.
The harrowing account of the unidentified woman's death was published by Google in May in research highlighting the healthcare potential of neural networks, a form of artificial intelligence software that is particularly good at using data to automatically learn and improve. Google had created a tool that could forecast a host of patient outcomes, including how long people may stay in hospitals, their odds of readmission and chances they will soon die.
What impressed medical experts most was Google's ability to sift through data previously out of reach: notes buried in PDFs or scribbled on old charts. The neural net gobbled up all this unruly information then spat out predictions. And it did so far faster and more accurately than existing techniques. Google's system even showed which records led it to conclusions.
Scalable and accurate deep learning with electronic health records (open, DOI: 10.1038/s41746-018-0029-1) (DX)
We’ve long known that processed sugar is bad for kids. And yet new data presented this week (June 10) at the American Society for Nutrition’s annual meeting show that American infants are consuming excessive amounts of added sugar in their diets, much more than the amounts currently recommended by the American Heart Association (AHA) and other medical organizations.
The study, conducted by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, looked at added sugar consumption—sugars in your diet that are not naturally occurring, like those found in fruit and milk, but rather added into foods during preparation or processing. Researchers used data collected from a nationally representative sample of more than 800 kids between six and 23 months old who participated in the 2011 to 2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Parents were asked to record every item their child ate or drank during a 24-hour period, and the researchers calculated a mean sugar intake based on these testimonies.
The study found that toddlers 12 to 18 months consumed 5.5 teaspoons per day, and that toddlers 19 to 23 months consumed 7.1 teaspoons. This is close to, or more than, the amount of sugar recommended by AHA for adult women (six teaspoons) and men (nine teaspoons). Parents of more than 80% of kids aged six to 23 months reported their children consumed at least some added sugar on a given day.
Agricultural activity by humans more than 2,000 years ago had a more significant and lasting impact on the environment than previously thought. The finding -- discovered by a team of international researchers led by the University of British Columbia -- is reported in a new study published today in the journal Science Advances.
The researchers found that an increase in deforestation and agricultural activity during the Bronze Age in Ireland reached a tipping point that affected Earth's nitrogen cycle -- the process that keeps nitrogen, a critical element necessary for life, circulating between the atmosphere, land and oceans.
"Scientists are increasingly recognizing that humans have always impacted their ecosystems, but finding early evidence of significant and lasting changes is rare," said Eric Guiry, the study's lead author and a postdoctoral research fellow in UBC's department of anthropology. "By looking at when and how ancient societies began to change soil nutrients at a molecular level, we now have a deeper understanding of the turning point at which humans first began to cause environmental change."
U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday said he was ordering the creation of a sixth branch of the military to focus on space, a move critics said could harm the Air Force.
"It is not enough to merely have an American presence in space. We must have American dominance in space," Trump said before a meeting of his National Space Council. "We are going to have the Air Force and we're going to have the 'Space Force.' Separate but equal. It is going to be something," he said later.
The United States is a member of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, which bars the stationing of weapons of mass destruction in space and only allows for the use of the moon and other celestial bodies for peaceful purposes.
The idea of a Space Force has been raised before, by Trump and previous administrations, with proponents saying it would make the Pentagon more efficient. It has also faced criticism from senior military officials. Air Force Chief of Staff General David Goldfein told a 2017 congressional hearing that creating a new space branch would "move us in the wrong direction." The Air Force oversees most of the nation's space-related military activity.
The move would require the budgetary approval of the U.S. Congress, which has been divided on the idea.
President Trump orders the creation of new Starship Troopers/Space Marines memes.
We should have a separate "Space" topic on SoylentNews at this point. We are all going to be drafted to fight aliens eventually.
At Computex 2018, Intel officially announced it was releasing the Core i7-8086K, a special edition processor that commemorates the 40th anniversary of the 8086, which debuted as the first x86 processor on June 8, 1978. As part of the special-edition release, Intel opened up a sweepstakes to give away 8,086 of the six-core 12-thread processors. Intel also made the processors available at retail, and though the company doesn't have an official MSRP, you can find the chips at several retailers for ~$425.
Now AMD is offering to replace 40 of the winners' chips with its own 16-core 32-thread $799 Threadripper processors, thus throwing a marketing wrench into Intel's 40th-anniversary celebration.
See also: The Intel Core i7-8086K Review
Google Maps can no longer be used to book an Uber on Android. It brings the app in line with the iOS version, which lost the feature last summer, as noted by Android Police.
Google has had the ability to show price estimates and pickup wait times for ride-sharing apps for a while. Back in January 2017, Uber alone gained the ability to actually book rides in the Google Maps app by pulling up your account window and hailing your ride without ever leaving the app.
[...] It's not entirely clear why Google is removing the feature. For what it's worth, Alphabet's venture capital business has made a large investment in Lyft.
Submitted via IRC for Runaway1956
French police have arrested a couple 31 years after their daughter was found dead, in a cold case revived through DNA evidence. The mutilated body of the child, named by police as Inass, was found by a motorway in central France in 1987. The parents were traced after the DNA of their son, tested in an unrelated case, was matched with that of the girl, French media report.
[...] In 2008, her DNA was formally identified, and the related information registered in a national genetic prints database. However no identification was made at that stage. The case was reopened in 2012 when a call for witnesses was released with a picture of the dead girl's face and the caption: "Who is she?"
The apparent breakthrough in the case happened when a man was arrested over a violent incident in 2016. His DNA reportedly identified him as the victim's brother. Months of investigation then led police to the parents.
Related: DNA From Genealogy Site Led to Capture of Golden State Killer Suspect
GEDmatch: "What If It Was Called Police Genealogy?"
DNA Collected from Golden State Killer Suspect's Car, Leading to Arrest
Another Alleged Murderer Shaken Out of the Family Tree
German authorities arrested the head of Volkswagen's luxury arm Audi on Monday, the most senior company official so far to be detained over the carmaker's emissions test cheating scandal.
Munich prosecutors, who earlier this month widened their probe into Audi, said Rupert Stadler was being held due to fears he might hinder their investigation into the scandal, plunging Volkswagen into a leadership crisis.
News of the arrest comes as Volkswagen's (VW) new group CEO Herbert Diess is trying to introduce a new leadership structure, which includes Stadler, to speed up a shift toward electric vehicles in the wake of its "dieselgate" troubles.
The World Health Organization (WHO) will officially classify "gaming disorder" as a mental health condition:
The World Health Organization is set to announce "gaming disorder" as a new mental health condition to be included in the 11th edition of its International Classification of Diseases, set to release Monday.
"I'm not creating a precedent," said Dr. Vladimir Poznyak, a member of WHO's Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, which proposed the new diagnosis to WHO's decision-making body, the World Health Assembly. Instead, he said, WHO has followed "the trends, the developments, which have taken place in populations and in the professional field."
However, not all psychologists agree that gaming disorder is worthy of inclusion in the International Classification of Diseases, known as the ICD.
What are the characteristics of gaming disorder?
"One is that the gaming behavior takes precedence over other activities to the extent that other activities are taken to the periphery," he said. The second feature is "impaired control of these behaviors," Poznyak said. "Even when the negative consequences occur, this behavior continues or escalates." A diagnosis of gaming disorder, then, means that a "persistent or recurrent" behavior pattern of "sufficient severity" has emerged, according to the ICD. A third feature is that the condition leads to significant distress and impairment in personal, family, social, educational or occupational functioning, Poznyak said. The impact is real, he said, and may include "disturbed sleep patterns, like diet problems, like a deficiency in the physical activity."
Overall, the main characteristics are "very similar" to the diagnostic features of substance use disorders and gambling disorder, he said. Gambling disorder "is another category of clinical conditions which are not associated with a psychoactive substance use but at the same time being considered as addictive as addictions."
Also at NYT.
The goal of an opioid is to reduce pain, but the addictive drugs are creating pain for millions of families suffering through the crisis. Deaths from opioid overdoses number at least 42,000 a year in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control.
"This is an epidemic that's been getting worse over 10 to 20 years," Caleb Alexander, co-director of Johns Hopkins Center for Drug Safety, told CNBC's "On The Money" in a recent interview. "I think it's important that we have realistic expectations about the amount of work that it will take and the amount of coordination to turn this steamship around," Alexander added.
[...] Alexander added: "The statistics are stunning. More than 2.1 million Americans have an opioid use disorder or opioid addiction" and he says the country needs to "invest tens of billions or hundreds of billions of dollars" to shore up the treatment system. He said patients should be able to access medications that "we know work to help reduce the cravings for further opioids."
Don't mention the Portugal model!
Meanwhile, the Massachusetts Attorney General is suing members of the family that runs Purdue Pharma:
Their family name graces some of the nation's most prestigious bastions of culture and learning — the Sackler Center for Arts Education at the Guggenheim Museum, the Sackler Lefcourt Center for Child Development in Manhattan and the Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology at Columbia University, to name a few.
Now the Sackler name is front and center in a lawsuit accusing the family and the company they own and run, Purdue Pharma, of helping to fuel the deadly opioid crisis that has killed thousands of Americans. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey took the unusual step of naming eight members of the Sackler family this week in an 80-page complaint that accused Purdue Pharma of spinning a "web of illegal deceit" to boost profits.
While prosecutors in more than a dozen other states hit hard by the opioid epidemic have sued Purdue Pharma, Healey is the first to name individual Sackler family members, along with eight company executives.
The vast majority of life on Earth uses visible red light in the process of photosynthesis, but the new type uses near-infrared light instead. It was detected in a wide range of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) when they grow in near-infrared light, found in shaded conditions like bacterial mats in Yellowstone and in beach rock in Australia. As scientists have now discovered, it also occurs in a cupboard fitted with infrared LEDs in Imperial College London.
The standard, near-universal type of photosynthesis uses the green pigment, chlorophyll-a, both to collect light and use its energy to make useful biochemicals and oxygen. The way chlorophyll-a absorbs light means only the energy from red light can be used for photosynthesis.
Since chlorophyll-a is present in all plants, algae and cyanobacteria that we know of, it was considered that the energy of red light set the 'red limit' for photosynthesis; that is, the minimum amount of energy needed to do the demanding chemistry that produces oxygen. The red limit is used in astrobiology to judge whether complex life could have evolved on planets in other solar systems.
However, when some cyanobacteria are grown under near-infrared light, the standard chlorophyll-a-containing systems shut down and different systems containing a different kind of chlorophyll, chlorophyll-f, takes over.
Also at ScienceAlert.
Photochemistry beyond the red limit in chlorophyll f–containing photosystems (DOI: 10.1126/science.aar8313) (DX)
Submitted via IRC for BoyceMagooglyMonkey
Tommy Refenes' life is about to change dramatically. He's turning 37 in a few days and his first child, a boy, is expected to arrive just a few weeks later. On top of this perfect storm of personal anxiety, he's preparing to launch his second major video game, Super Meat Boy Forever, later this year on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC.
Unlike in parenthood, Refenes has experience in the video game industry. He's famous in the world of independent development for his programming work on Super Meat Boy, a legendary 2010 platformer that helped usher in the modern marketplace for indie games. He's also a film star: Refenes and game designer Edmund McMillen were the focus of the 2012 documentary Indie Game: The Movie, which tracked the development and surprisingly successful launch of Super Meat Boy. The movie was a critical and commercial hit, picking up an award for documentary editing at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.
The Japanese asteroid sampling mission Hayabusa2, launched on December 3, 2014 aboard an H-IIA rocket from Tanegashima, Japan, has nearly completed its long flight to asteroid Ryugu (formerly 1999 JU3) after a five year mission and an Earth flyby.
[...] The Hayabusa2 follow-on has one more reaction wheel (to make four) and improved, higher thrust ion engines, along with a backup asteroid sampling system, and the spacecraft is in good health so far. Hayabusa2 is a 600 kilogram (1300 pound) spacecraft that is based on the Hayabusa craft, with some improvements. It is powered by two solar panels and uses an ion engine with xenon propellant as its main propulsion source. The ion engine technology was first used in the Deep Space One experimental spacecraft in the late 1990's and also has been successfully used in the Dawn asteroid probe as well.
[...] Besides the primary and backup sample collectors, the mission includes three MINERVA "hoppers" similar to the one used on the original Hayabusa mission that will land at several locations on the surface to study these locations with cameras and thermometers. [...] International contributions include a small robotic lander (10 kilograms or 20 pounds) called MASCOT that is a joint venture of DLR (Germany) and CNES (France), while NASA is providing communications through the Deep Space Network.
[...] Its arrival at Ryugu is set for June 27th, and Hayabusa2 will be 20 km (12 miles) above the surface on that date, as things currently stand. The arrival will be followed by a press conference in Sagamihara, Japan.
Also at NHK.
The Australian Government believes that it needs a golden key to backdoor encryption within Australia via legislation. The Brits and the Yanks have both already had a nudge at this and both have conceded that requiring a backdoor to encryption is not viable but this will not stop the Australian Liberal Party from trying.
Digital rights experts have described the proposal as "ludicrous" as Cyber security minister Angus Taylor stating that the legislation would be presented for public comment within the next quarter. While the Australian Government has not detailed how it expects to gain access to encrypted data, companies may be penalized if they don't kowtow to the new laws. There is nothing to be discussed here that hasn't been said before other than the Australian Government sincerely believes it can force companies to divulge encrypted data to authorities on demand.
Submitted via IRC for BoyceMagooglyMonkey
Fitbit's and Jawbone's trade secret theft saga apparently didn't end when they reached a settlement in court back in December. According to Reuters, six former and current Fitbit employees have been charged in a federal indictment for being in possession of trade secrets stolen from the company's once-staunch rival Jawbone. All six worked for Jawbone for at least a year between May 2011 and April 2015. If you'll recall, the fallen wearables giant filed a lawsuit against Fitbit back in 2015 for "systematically plundering" insider information.
At the time, Jawbone said some of its employees sent over 300,000 confidential files to its rival, including outlines of future products, manufacturing prices and schedules. Jawbone even said that some of the products Fitbit released in recent years use tech stolen from the company. Fitbit, however, denied using Jawbone trade secrets in any product, feature or technology.
[...] Update: A Fitbit spokesperson offered the following statement: "In a trade secret misappropriation case brought by Jawbone in the International Trade Commission in 2016 that involved these same individuals, a federal administrative law judge during a nine-day trial on the merits found that no Jawbone trade secrets were misappropriated or used in any Fitbit product, feature or technology."