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Comparison of Read Mapping and Variant Calling Tools for the Analysis of Plant NGS Data

#artificialintelligence

High-throughput sequencing technologies have rapidly developed during the past years and have become an essential tool in plant sciences. However, the analysis of genomic data remains challenging and relies mostly on the performance of automatic pipelines. Frequently applied pipelines involve the alignment of sequence reads against a reference sequence and the identification of sequence variants. Since most benchmarking studies of bioinformatics tools for this purpose have been conducted on human datasets, there is a lack of benchmarking studies in plant sciences. In this study, we evaluated the performance of 50 different variant calling pipelines, including five read mappers and ten variant callers, on six real plant datasets of the model organism Arabidopsis thaliana. Sets of variants were evaluated based on various parameters including sensitivity and specificity. We found that all investigated tools are suitable for analysis of NGS data in plant research. When looking at different performance metrics, BWA-MEM and Novoalign were the best mappers and GATK returned the best results in the variant calling step.


Technology Is Rapidly Changing Cancer Care

#artificialintelligence

Technology and digital innovation are increasingly becoming the hottest trends in healthcare. The hype is largely well justified, considering the significant strides the field has made in recent years. One of the most significant areas where technology has really made an impact is in the field of cancer care and treatment. Among the most famous examples is IBM Watson, which has made vast inroads in the field of cancer. The Watson platform was developed with a broad vision to bring "data, technology and expertise together to transform health."


Hitting the Books: AI doctors and the dangers tiered medical care

Engadget

Healthcare is a human right, however, nobody said all coverage is created equal. Artificial intelligence and machine learning systems are already making impressive inroads into the myriad fields of medicine -- from IBM's Watson: Hospital Edition and Amazon's AI-generated medical records to machine-formulated medications and AI-enabled diagnoses. But in the excerpt below from Frank Pasquale's New Laws of Robotics we can see how the promise of faster, cheaper, and more efficient medical diagnoses generated by AI/ML systems can also serve as a double-edged sword, potentially cutting off access to cutting-edge, high quality care provided by human doctors. Excerpted from New Laws of Robotics: Defending Human Expertise in the Age of AI by Frank Pasquale, published by The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. We might once have categorized a melanoma simply as a type of skin cancer.


Cancer can be precisely diagnosed using a urine test with artificial intelligence

#artificialintelligence

Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers among men. Patients are determined to have prostate cancer primarily based on PSA, a cancer factor in blood. However, as diagnostic accuracy is as low as 30%, a considerable number of patients undergo additional invasive biopsy and thus suffer from resultant side effects, such as bleeding and pain. The Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) announced that the collaborative research team led by Dr. Kwan Hyi Lee from the Biomaterials Research Center and Professor In Gab Jeong from Asan Medical Center developed a technique for diagnosing prostate cancer from urine within only 20 minutes with almost 100% accuracy. The research team developed this technique by introducing a smart AI analysis method to an electrical-signal-based ultrasensitive biosensor.


How to Get Started With AI to Boost Your Small Business

#artificialintelligence

A short time ago getting started with AI (Artificial Intelligence) was unmanageable for startups and small businesses. It required a highly skilled data scientist and machine learning experts experimenting with algorithms. But in a very short amount of time things have changed. AI that can recognize objects in images, understand documents and texts, and make high accuracy predictions on your user data can now be done in a few hours and without coding. The same thing that happened to making websites. Back in the day you always needed a developer when you needed a website.


Netflix's 'Sir' is essential Indian cinema

Mashable

In the first month of coronavirus lockdowns in the United States, when everyone began constantly screaming "WHAT SHOULD I WATCH" -- and Mashable began our exhaustive and ongoing streaming guides -- someone asked for Bollywood movie recommendations in one of my group chats. "Objective" was a tough enough requirement -- as someone whose job it is to recommend entertainment to people, I know that it makes no difference how critically acclaimed or carefully crafted something is if it doesn't ultimately fit someone's personal preferences. But "wow" absolutely stumped me, so much that I couldn't endorse the rest of the chat's ample suggestions. I never caught the Bahubali hype, I thought Kapoor & Sons was good but not great, and Dangal's climax was too melodramatic. The only suggestion I gave was 2018's Raazi, about a woman undercover during war between India and Pakistan -- a film that stayed with me long after I left the theater.


What's coming for the channel in 2021

ZDNet

For the channel, 2020 was a tale of two cities. On one hand, customers and governments recognized partners as an essential service and central to their ability to rapidly respond to a worsening pandemic. On the other, customer demand shifted to automation, cloud acceleration, customer/employee experience, and e-commerce/marketplaces, where many technology channel parts were left in the cold. The industry experienced a "K-shaped" recovery where partners who had skills, resources, and prebuilt practices around the business needs of their customers excelled with double- (and sometime triple-) digit growth. Yet many smaller VARs and MSPs were down by double digits, relying on government, vendor, and distributor funding to survive.


#NeurIPS2020 invited talks round-up: part two – the real AI revolution, and the future for the invisible workers in AI

AIHub

In this post we continue our summaries of the NeurIPS invited talks from the 2020 meeting. Here, we cover the talks by Chris Bishop (Microsoft Research) and Saiph Savage (Carnegie Mellon University). Chris began his talk by suggesting that now is a particularly exciting time to be involved in AI. What he termed "the real AI revolution" has nothing to do with artificial general intelligence (AGI), but is driven by the way we create software, and hence new technology. Machine learning is becoming ubiquitous and can be used to solve many problems that cannot, yet, be solved using other methods.


This affordable TEMINICE fitness smart watch is getting thousands of rave reviews on Amazon

Daily Mail - Science & tech

If you've made some resolutions to improve your health and fitness for 2021 or want to get the family more active during lockdown 3.0, then a fitness tracker is a brilliant gadget for helping you stay accountable. You may previously have been put off by their high price point, but thousands of Amazon shoppers have discovered an incredibly affordable option - and it's a pretty decent dupe of the more expensive models including the Fitbit Versa. The TEMINICE High-End Fitness Tracker is just £31.44 yet comes with an impressive amount of features including all-day activity tracking like steps, distance, calories burned and active minutes, as well as heart and sleep monitoring. It even receives calls and notifications. The TEMINICE High-End Fitness Tracker is the number one bestselling pedometer on Amazon - and it only costs £31.44 The list of features and the full-touch colour screen has meant it's scored highly with shoppers.


5G, fintech and mega-projects: What 2021 will mean for tech in the Middle East

ZDNet

The MENA region is in the middle of a digital transformation, which 2020 and COVID-19 has only accelerated. I asked five experts to share the tech trends they see influencing the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) this year, with digital payments, greater investment in AI and mobile, coupled with the need for greater focus on cybersecurity, all getting a mention. Among the things to look out for on the Middle East tech scene in 2021 is the Expo 2020 event, which is due to take place in Dubai in the UAE for six months starting from October says Matthew Reed, practice leader, Middle East and Africa & Asia Pacific, at Omdia. "The event, which was postponed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic but will still be known as Expo 2020, is expected to showcase advanced technologies and applications including autonomous vehicles, smart city services, and space exploration, with the latter based on the UAE's launch of an unmanned spacecraft to Mars in July 2020. "Saudi Arabia also has futuristic plans and in early January it unveiled the outlines of a major new city project, The Line, a 170-kilometre urban development that will be entirely powered by renewable energy and will be "hyper-connected though a digital framework incorporating artificial intelligence and robotics, according to the launch website. "The Saudi authorities are also increasingly keen to encourage investment and growth in the country's non-oil business sector, and that is likely to accelerate efforts to upgrade connectivity and technology services for enterprises over the year ahead." The fintech landscape in MENA is rapidly evolving from a focus on digital payments to expanding access to finance, both consumer and SME lending, says Ayman Ismail, Jameel chair of entrepreneurship, The American University in Cairo. "The past three years were mostly about establishing infrastructure for digital payments.