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This AI-powered app aims to help people with autism improve their social skills

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For those with autism, new technologies may offer help to achieve their full potential at school as well as assessing data and improving research into their condition. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that one in 160 children has an autism spectrum disorder, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the figure is around one in 59 in the US.


JOHN NAISH: China's Frankenstein babies and new genetic experiment

Daily Mail

This is the Frankenstein breakthrough that the medical world has long been dreading. A Chinese scientist yesterday declared that he has changed the fundamental genetic code of human babies, using methods that are banned in most of the world. The potential consequences are as alarming as they are unpredictable. No less an authority than Professor Stephen Hawking feared such experiments would one day create a race of'super-humans', ending mankind as we know it. Researchers have already discovered that gene editing may cause a host of cancers as a result of interfering in a genetic code so complex we will perhaps never be capable of understanding it fully.


From Gene Editing to A.I., How Will Technology Transform Humanity?

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That could be the setup for a very bad joke -- or a tremendously fascinating conversation. Fortunately for us, it was the latter. On a blustery evening in late September, in a private room at a bar near Times Square, the magazine gathered five brilliant scientists and thinkers around a table for a three-hour dinner. In the (edited) transcript below -- moderated by Mark Jannot, a story editor at the magazine and a former editor in chief of Popular Science -- you can see what they had to say about the future of medicine, health care and humanity. MARK JANNOT: For years, many pregnant women have undergone amniocentesis to test for rare metabolic disorders and other fetal issues. And couples who use in vitro fertilization can screen the embryos for genetic abnormalities. What sorts of advances in genetic screening and manipulation are coming, and where do you see that taking us? CATHERINE MOHR: When I was pregnant with my daughter, my husband and I were joking, "Well, if she gets the best of both of us, she'll be a superhero, and if she gets the worst of both of us, she's not going to make it out of first grade." And so we were rolling the genetic dice, which you do when you choose to have a child. It's not totally random, of course; there's all kinds of great things about your mate -- that's why you chose them -- and hopefully there's some pretty good things about you, too. But the temptation to engineer what you think of as the best combination, as we become more capable of doing it, I think it's going to be irresistible for a lot of people. You're investing so much of your life into this little being, and you're going to love this child, and you want to give them every advantage in life. We are already screening for diseases to avoid passing on our "bad" genes, but this same technology will let us start screening for our "best" genes -- the ones we really want to pass on.


Autism is an 'extreme version' of the male brain

Daily Mail

Men and women really do think differently, according to the world's largest study of sex differences in the brain. Scientists found men are typically less good with feelings and more likely to want to know how things work. While women are more interested in people and emotions. The study also compared autism with male personality traits and uncovered striking similarities. On the back of their findings, the researchers said autism is an extreme version of the'male brain' which makes it harder to read others' emotions.


The Amazing Ways Artificial Intelligence Is Transforming Genomics and Gene Editing

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By 2021, consultant firm Frost & Sullivan expects that artificial intelligence (AI) systems will generate $6.7 billion in revenue from healthcare globally. One area that machine learning is significantly evolving is genomics--the study of the complete set of genes within an organism. While much attention has been paid to the implications for human health, genetic sequencing and analysis could also be ground-breaking for agriculture and animal husbandry. When researchers can sequence and analyze DNA, something that artificial intelligence systems make faster, cheaper and more accurate, they gain perspective on the particular genetic blueprint that orchestrates all activities of that organism. With this insight, they can make decisions about care, what an organism might be susceptible to in the future, what mutations might cause different diseases and how to prepare for the future.


Farm animals may soon get new features through gene editing, stoking ethics debate

The Japan Times

OAKFIELD, NEW YORK – Cows that can withstand hotter temperatures. Cows born without pesky horns. Pigs that never reach puberty. A company wants to alter farm animals by adding and subtracting genetic traits in a lab. It sounds like science fiction, but Recombinetics sees opportunity for its technology in the livestock industry.


Artificial intelligence in medicine: The computer knows what you need DW 12.11.2018

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But in some work environments, like medicine, mistakes can be deadly. That's why more and more medical personnel are turning to artificial intelligence (AI) to help reduce the rate of error. Although, many experienced doctors are skeptical about using AI in medicine, researchers around the globe are working on new ways to apply it. The options are diverse -- and in some cases rather peculiar. The AI technology is a lot more precise than the human nose in analyzing a person's breath Human breath contains numerous chemicals that can be helpful in the diagnosis of different diseases.


Rise of gene-edited livestock, including hornless cows and pigs that never hit puberty

Daily Mail

Cows that can withstand hotter temperatures. Cows born without pesky horns. Pigs that never reach puberty. A company wants to alter farm animals by adding and subtracting genetic traits in a lab. It sounds like science fiction, but Recombinetics sees opportunity for its technology in the livestock industry.


Autism is an 'extreme version' of the male brain

Daily Mail

Autism is an extreme version of the'male brain' which makes it harder to read others' emotions, a major study suggests. The world's largest study comparing autism with male personality traits has found striking similarities. Men, like people with autism, are typically less good with feelings and more likely to want to know how things work. The world's largest study comparing autism with male personality traits has found striking similarities (stock) Compared to women, they tend to be more uneasy in social situations, less socially perceptive and may fail to understand why they have caused offence. Researchers at the University of Cambridge, who analysed personality tests for more than half a million men and women, found both men and autistic people were more'systematic' than'empathetic'.


Machine-learning algorithm predicts how cells repair broken DNA

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The human genome has its own proofreaders and editors, and their handiwork is not as haphazard as once thought. When DNA's double helix is broken after damage from, say, exposure to X-rays, molecular machines perform a kind of genetic "auto-correction" to put the genome back together -- but those repairs are often imperfect. Just as your smartphone might amend a misspelled text message into an incoherent phrase, the cell's natural DNA repair process can add or remove bits of DNA at the break site in a seemingly random and unpredictable manner. Editing genes with CRISPR-Cas9 allows scientists to break DNA at specific locations, but this can create "spelling errors" that alter the function of genes. This response to CRISPR-induced damage, called "end joining," is useful for disabling a gene, but researchers have deemed it too error-prone to exploit for therapeutic purposes.