Month: June 2020

An ethical eye on AI – new mathematical idea reins in AI bias towards making unethical and costly commercial choices

Researchers from the University of Warwick, Imperial College London, EPFL (Lausanne) and Sciteb Ltd have found a mathematical means of helping regulators and business manage and police Artificial Intelligence systems’ biases towards making unethical, and potentially very costly and damaging commercial choices – an ethical eye on AI.

Springer named director of UA Little Rock Emerging Analytics Center

Dr. Jan P. Springer, associate professor in the Department of Computer Science, has been named the new director of the George W. Donaghey Emerging Analytics Center at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.The Emerging Analytics Center (EAC) is a research center that is home to an energetic group of researchers, faculty, and students performing innovative research and development in technology, infrastructure, and applications for virtual and augmented realities, immersive visualization, interactive technologies, as well as cybersecurity and the Internet of Things.

UTEP Research Reveals More About Path Bacterial Pathogen Travels to Cause Tuberculosis

Jianjun Sun, Ph.D., associate professor in UTEP’s Department of Biological Sciences, led the research on Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb). Sun’s lab has been investigating the mechanisms of Mtb pathogenesis for more than 10 years at UTEP with a specific focus on EsxA, which is a virulence factor essential for Mtb virulence and a preferred target for developing novel anti-TB drugs and vaccines.

The Magnetic History of Ice

The Weizmann Institute’s Prof. Oded Aharonson found that ancient ice holds magnetic particles. The finding could shed greater light on the Earth’s magnetic field reversals, supplement magnetic field data from rocks and sediment, and identify field reversals on other bodies in our Solar System, such as Mars.

COVID-19: Study Shows Virus Can Infect Heart Cells in Lab Dish

A new study shows that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 (coronavirus), can infect heart cells in a lab dish, indicating it may be possible for heart cells in COVID-19 patients to be directly infected by the virus. The discovery, published today in the journal Cell Reports Medicine, was made using heart muscle cells that were produced by stem cell technology.

The Impact Factor of AACC’s Clinical Chemistry Journal Increases to 7.292

AACC, a global scientific and medical professional organization dedicated to better health through laboratory medicine, is pleased to announce that the impact factor of its journal, Clinical Chemistry, has risen to 7.292 in the 2019 Clarivate Analytics Journal Citation Reports. This impact factor places Clinical Chemistry in the top 4.2% of 12,838 ranked academic journals and speaks to the significant influence of the science it publishes on laboratory medicine and patient care.

How Hospitality Industry Should Address Discrimination

After the worldwide protests that erupted over the killing of George Floyd, it is hard for me to imagine any person, company, or institution, continuing to discount the role that racism plays in our society. People all over are demanding an end to racial discrimination that is embedded in our social systems.  In hospitality, emerging research has shined light on the perception of discrimination among industry workers, but personally, it comes as no surprise to me.

COVID-19 Causes ‘Hyperactivity’ in Blood-Clotting Cells

Changes in blood platelets triggered by COVID-19 could contribute to the onset of heart attacks, strokes, and other serious complications in some patients who have the disease, according to University of Utah Health scientists. The researchers found that inflammatory proteins produced during infection significantly alter the function of platelets, making them “hyperactive” and more prone to form dangerous and potentially deadly blood clots.

For Cardiac Rehab Patients, In-Home Portable Air Cleaners Lower Fine-Particle Pollutant Exposure

Using an in-home portable air cleaner (PAC) can significantly reduce exposure to fine-particle air pollutants – a major risk factor for cardiovascular events in people with pre-existing heart disease, reports a pilot study in the July issue of Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention. The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.

Face Mask Construction, Materials Matter for Containing Coughing, Sneezing Droplets

While the use of face masks in public has been widely recommended by health officials during the current COVID-19 pandemic, there are relatively few specific guidelines pertaining to mask materials and designs. A study in Physics of Fluids looks to better understand which types are best for controlling respiratory droplets that could contain viruses. The team experimented with different choices in material and design to determine how well face masks block droplets as they exit the mouth.

Countries Group into Clusters as COVID-19 Outbreak Spreads

Mathematicians based in Australia and China have developed a method to analyze the large amount of data accumulated during the COVID-19 pandemic. The technique, described in the journal Chaos, can identify anomalous countries — those that are more successful than expected at responding to the pandemic and those that are particularly unsuccessful. The investigators analyzed the data with a variation of a statistical technique known as a cluster analysis.

Spider Silk Can Create Lenses Useful for Biological Imaging

Spider silk is useful for a variety of biomedical applications: It exhibits mechanical properties superior to synthetic fibers for tissue engineering, and it is not toxic or harmful to living cells. One unexpected application for spider silk is its use in the creation of biocompatible lenses for biological imaging applications. Researchers describe the feasibility of creating lenses capitalizing on the properties of natural spider silk material in the Journal of Applied Physics.

Respiratory Droplet Motion, Evaporation and Spread of COVID-19-Type Pandemics

It is well established the COVID-19 virus is transmitted via respiratory droplets. Consequently, much research targets better understanding droplet motion and evaporation. In Physics of Fluids, researchers developed a mathematical model for the early phases of a COVID-19-like pandemic using the aerodynamics and evaporation characteristics of respiratory droplets. The researchers modeled the pandemic dynamics with a reaction mechanism and then compared the droplet cloud ejected by an infected person versus one by a healthy person.

Seeing is Believing: Effectiveness of Facemasks

Using flow visualization of emulated coughs and sneezes, researchers assessed the efficacy of facemasks in obstructing droplets. Loosely folded facemasks and bandana-style coverings provide minimal stopping-capability for the smallest aerosolized respiratory droplets. Well-fitted homemade masks with multiple layers of quilting fabric, and off-the-shelf cone style masks, proved to be the most effective in reducing droplet dispersal. Importantly, uncovered coughs were able to travel noticeably farther than the currently recommended 6-foot distancing guideline. Without a mask, droplets traveled more than 8 feet.

WHAT TO WEAR TO PROTECT YOUR SKIN FROM THE SUN

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S., and nearly 20 Americans die from melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, every day. As more Americans prepare to head outdoors for the 4th of July holiday, dermatologists from the American Academy of Dermatology have an important reminder: dress to protect yourself from the sun. In addition to seeking shade and applying sunscreen, wearing protective clothing goes a long way in protecting you from the sun’s harmful UV rays, which can increase your risk of skin cancer. However, not all clothing is created equal when it comes to sun protection, say dermatologists. Some garments provide better UV protection than others.

Using your phone’s microphone to track possible COVID-19 exposure

Signals sent and received from cell phone microphones and speakers could help warn people when they have been near someone who has contracted COVID-19, researchers say.
In a new paper, researchers described a system that would generate random, anonymous IDs for each phone, automatically send ultrasonic signals between microphones and speakers of phones within a certain radius, and use the information exchanged through this acoustic channel for contact tracing.

Mayo Clinic experts to help guide Delta Air Lines COVID-19 safety measures

Delta Air Lines and Mayo Clinic, a global leader in serious and complex medical care, are deepening their relationship to provide additional safety and COVID-19 infection control measures for customers and employees. The collaboration is another significant step in Delta’s efforts to build upon its foundation of care and cleanliness, known as the Delta CareStandard, to mitigate the risk of transmitting COVID-19 during travel.