In many field beyond Science we could see a huge editorial crisis. A comprehensive study by the University of Bristol and the journalism school of Cardiff University shows that Politics, Economy, Science, Environmental issues and Religion, are some of the topics that general audience have difficulties to understand.
The research - by means of special algorithms - was made by examining two and a half million articles from nearly 500 different sources in the English language, and comparing them between the major U.S. newspapers (printed and online).
The results disassemble part of the myth of "quality journalism" that alone would be enough to survive in the newspapers in this time of transition. It's not surprising the confirmation of the more readability of online newspapers rather than the one of tabloid journals, at least it's worrying to discover that the hottest issues are even less comprehensible to the average reader.... Read more »
Researchers have estimated that the Microsoft Kinect game controller could save $30 billion of U.S. healthcare by increasing the remote interaction of the physicians and other healthcare staff with the patients.
This report has been published in the International Journal of Electronic Finance.
In the study, researchers noted that the patients’ transport costs living at considerable distances from suitable hospitals and health centers could be reduced by using their proposed Kinect system. Moreover, the chances of hospital-acquired infections could also be reduced.
Researchers proposed that a laptop, a $150 Kinect, an Azure connection, and an Office 365 account, all costing a few hundred dollars could easily become the good substitute of the present telemedicine system costing tens of thousands of dollars. "The Kinect allows doctors to control the system without breaking the sterile field via hand gestures and voice commands with a goal of reducing the direct cost of healthcare associated infections to hospitals and patients," the research team explained.
This proposed system has an additional benefit of the availability even in low-bandwidth and unreliable connectivity. Researchers Kinect system, referred to as Collaboration and Annotation of Medical Images (CAMI) is, the team said, "Not anticipated to be a panacea to the telemedicine environment but it is a powerful tool that can be affordable in virtually any community that has existing technology and communication infrastructure."
Bailey, J., & Jensen, B. (2013). Telementoring: using the Kinect and Microsoft Azure to save lives International Journal of Electronic Finance, 7 (1) DOI: 10.1504/IJEF.2013.051755... Read more »
Bailey, J., & Jensen, B. (2013) Telementoring: using the Kinect and Microsoft Azure to save lives. International Journal of Electronic Finance, 7(1), 33. DOI: 10.1504/IJEF.2013.051755
Diving into that title, online means that we're using information from every movement as it's gathered to improve our control, as opposed to 'batch' where learning only occurs every so-many trials. Bootstrapping is the process of bringing a system up to a functionally useful level. High dimensions then refers to the complexity of the system being controlled, where every component that requires a control signal is another dimension. Humans, for example, require extremely high dimensional control signals. Inverse models refer to a type of internal model, which 'describe relations between motor commands and their consequences'. Forward models predict the results of a movement, and inverse models allow suggest a motor command that can be used to achieve a desired consequence, such as 'the ball falls on the floor' or 'my hand touches the red balloon'.... Read more »
Rolf, Matthias. (2011) Online Goal Babbling for rapid bootstrapping of inverse models in high dimensions. Development and Learning (ICDL), 2011 IEEE. DOI: 10.1109/DEVLRN.2011.6037368
MIT engineers have created genetic circuits in bacterial cells that not only perform logic functions, but also remember the results, which are encoded in the cell’s DNA and passed on for dozens of generations. The circuits, described in the Feb. 10 online edition of Nature Biotechnology (citation below), could be used as long-term environmental sensors, efficient controls [...]... Read more »
Siuti, P., Yazbek, J., & Lu, T. (2013) Synthetic circuits integrating logic and memory in living cells. Nature Biotechnology. DOI: 10.1038/nbt.2510
Just to complement my answer to a blog post, where I maintain that the Nearest-Neighbor Interchange (NNI) distance is not equivalent to the Robinson-Foulds (RF) distance, a simple example:Where we can see that trees T1 and T2 differ only in the location of nodes A and B -- on these trees, we can naturally think of the nodes A, B, 1,..., 6 as representing leaves, but they might also be large subtrees.The RF distance is the number of edges (=branches) that are unique to each tree (that's why it's also called the symmetric difference), and it may be normalized to one. If we highlight the unique edges on trees T1 and T2We see that the (unnormalized) RF distance is 10. For dichotomic trees, the number of unique edges is the same on both trees.The NNI distance is the minimum number of NNIs that must be applied to one tree such that it becomes equal to the other. One NNI branch swap will change exactly one edge, thus is very tempting to assume that the NNI distance can be found by looking at the distinct edges.But the problem is when the same branch is involved in more than one path of the "NNI walk". The RF distance (divided by two, for fully resolved trees) is then a lower bound on the minimum number of NNIs. In our example:The NNI distance between T1 and T2 is 6, one more than the RF distance since the edge splitting (1,2,3) and (4,5,6) is used twice in the NNI computation. The problem, as explained by Liam, is that simulating trees with a specified distance is hard, and the solution of using very large trees masks the cases where the distances disagree...Reference:Bryant D. (2004). The Splits in the Neighborhood of a Tree, Annals of Combinatorics, 8 (1) 1-11. DOI: 10.1007/s00026-004-0200-z (Crossposted from Bioinformatics News and Reviews, my personal blog)... Read more »
Since 2007 when terahertz pulsed imaging (TPI) was first developed to non-destructively measure the coating thickness of pharmaceutical tablets there has been intense research in the PSSRC into how this technique can help improve the quality of pharmaceutical coatings and thus make controlled release technology based on coatings of single dosage forms attractive to industry.... Read more »
Zeitler, J., Shen, Y., Baker, C., Taday, P., Pepper, M., & Rades, T. (2007) Analysis of coating structures and interfaces in solid oral dosage forms by three dimensional terahertz pulsed imaging. Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 96(2), 330-340. DOI: 10.1002/jps.20789
Brock, D., Zeitler, J., Funke, A., Knop, K., & Kleinebudde, P. (2012) A comparison of quality control methods for active coating processes. International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 439(1-2), 289-295. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2012.09.021
Researchers have converted the dream of a huge amount of DNA storage and its accurate retrieval into reality.
This research has been published online in the journal Nature.
In this research, scientists have successfully stored an audio file of 26 seconds from the Martin Luther King's 1963 "I have a dream" speech on the adenine, thymine, cytosine and guanine components of synthesized DNA. Not only had this but they also stored all 154 of Shakespeare's sonnets, a digital photo of their laboratory and the famous paper of James Watson and Francis Crick about the description of double-stranded DNA on DNA. This research presented the storage of huge amount of 2.2 petabytes of data per gram of DNA.
"We already know that DNA is a robust way to store information because we can extract it from wooly mammoth bones, which date back tens of thousands of years, and make sense of it,” Dr Nick Goldman of EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), said in a statement. “It’s also incredibly small, dense and does not need any power for storage, so shipping and keeping it is easy.”
Previously scientists from Harvard University reported the storage of 704 terabytes of data in a gram of DNA and the research was published in the journal Science.
Scientists, in this study, also corrected the errors on previous DNA-encoding techniques and accurately regained 100% information. In order to do this, scientists reserved one of the letters to break up the long runs of any of the other three bases.
Generalized approach to the storage of the data on DNA (Credit: Goldman et al., Nature)
DNA storage is highly anticipated because memory in DNA could be stored for thousands of years without special storage requirements such as cold, dark and/or dry. It is proposed that one gram of single-stranded DNA can store nearly 100 billion DVDs of data that can help to store a huge amount of data by large organizations such as CERN in a small place.
“We’ve created a code that's error tolerant using a molecular form we know will last in the right conditions for 10 000 years, or possibly longer,” Nick said. “As long as someone knows what the code is, you will be able to read it back if you have a machine that can read DNA.”
Although, this storage technique is highly efficient but is also very much costly.
Goldman, N., Bertone, P., Chen, S., Dessimoz, C., LeProust, E., Sipos, B., & Birney, E. (2013). Towards practical, high-capacity, low-maintenance information storage in synthesized DNA Nature DOI: 10.1038/nature11875... Read more »
Goldman, N., Bertone, P., Chen, S., Dessimoz, C., LeProust, E., Sipos, B., & Birney, E. (2013) Towards practical, high-capacity, low-maintenance information storage in synthesized DNA. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature11875
Research into cybernetic organs has been largely focused on replacements for disabled individuals who have lost a limb. Electronic noses and tongues are designed for a radically different purpose. Humans perceive different chemicals as various tastes and odors. Many types of additives are industrially manufactured to replicate certain flavors or scents. Electronic noses and tongues [...]... Read more »
Fujioka K, Arakawa E, Kita J, Aoyama Y, Manome Y, Ikeda K, & Yamamoto K. (2013) Detection of Aeromonas hydrophila in Liquid Media by Volatile Production Similarity Patterns, Using a FF-2A Electronic Nose. Sensors (Basel, Switzerland), 13(1), 736-45. PMID: 23296330
Ciosek, P., & Wróblewski, W. (2007) Sensor arrays for liquid sensing – electronic tongue systems. The Analyst, 132(10), 963. DOI: 10.1039/b705107g
Zakaria A, Shakaff AY, Masnan MJ, Ahmad MN, Adom AH, Jaafar MN, Ghani SA, Abdullah AH, Aziz AH, Kamarudin LM.... (2011) A biomimetic sensor for the classification of honeys of different floral origin and the detection of adulteration. Sensors (Basel, Switzerland), 11(8), 7799-822. PMID: 22164046
Super nasty genome hacking I CANT BELIEVE IT!!... Read more »
Gymrek M, McGuire AL, Golan D, Halperin E, & Erlich Y. (2013) Identifying personal genomes by surname inference. Science (New York, N.Y.), 339(6117), 321-4. PMID: 23329047
Before I moved to my current position in Maastricht, I had the great pleasure to work with Prof. Roland Grafström (check his pathway bioinformatics done with his then PhD Rebecca) and Prof. Bengt Fadeel at the Karolinska Institutet. During this year I part-time worked on ToxBank and part-time on nano-QSAR, and worked on semantics, predictive toxicology, and Open Data. This blog post is about the ToxBank work.
I promised firework, and the first rockets are heading upwards: a key ToxBank paper has now been published in Molecular Informatics. Pekka Kohonen wrote up a nice overview of the ToxBank project, the current platform (based on RDF, REST, ISATab, and OpenTox (my archives)), and the test compounds that the SEURAT-1 cluster identified. Various bioinformatics approaches were used to visualize the diversity of the selected compounds. The idea is that the all EU FP7 projects in the SEURAT-1 cluster (consisting of six consortia) will test at least these compounds, creating a rich data set of toxicology-related data for these compounds.
As a temporary, quick solution I proposed the Semantic MediaWiki to create a semantic knowledge base, which was extensively and very productively continued by David from Leadscope. This way, we could easily list all compounds, by doing a search, rather than manually adding them:
Each compound has extensive information on the mode of action, physicochemical properties and more (such as here for acetaminophen):
All this information is available as semantic data. For example, check this link. Network and Gene Ontology analyses on these compounds have been performed, and presented in the paper, further confirming the diversity of the compound set. This leads to possible integration of their work with WikPathways and PathVisio, and I will do my best to get the right people talking to each other.
The ToxBank project further develops Open Source software for an online data warehouse for hosting experimental data on these compounds. A mix of approaches is used here to base their warehouse on, including OpenTox (RDF and REST(-like)-based), ISATab, and various ontologies.
In designing their software, they use a pretty unique approach for EU projects, based on formal requirement analyses protocols, resulting in a user-oriented platform. Now, there is much to say about who the user is, and in fact, there are multiple user types, called personas, and ToxBank takes that idea into account.
Therefore, in many ways, ToxBank is, in my humble but somewhat biased opinion, a project that leads the (predictive) toxicology community into a new era. Congratulations to the full ToxBank consortium! It was great being part of it!
Kohonen, P., Benfenati, E., Bower, D., Ceder, R., Crump, M., Cross, K., Grafström, R., Healy, L., Helma, C., Jeliazkova, N., Jeliazkov, V., Maggioni, S., Miller, S., Myatt, G., Rautenberg, M., Stacey, G., Willighagen, E., Wiseman, J., & Hardy, B. (2013). The ToxBank Data Warehouse: Supporting the Replacement of In Vivo Repeated Dose Systemic Toxicity Testing Molecular Informatics DOI: 10.1002/minf.201200114... Read more »
Kohonen, P., Benfenati, E., Bower, D., Ceder, R., Crump, M., Cross, K., Grafström, R., Healy, L., Helma, C., Jeliazkova, N.... (2013) The ToxBank Data Warehouse: Supporting the Replacement of In Vivo Repeated Dose Systemic Toxicity Testing. Molecular Informatics. DOI: 10.1002/minf.201200114
Rice University’s latest nanotechnology breakthrough was more than 10 years in the making, but it still came with a shock. Scientists from Rice, the Dutch firm Teijin Aramid, the U.S. Air Force and Israel’s Technion Institute this week unveiled a new carbon nanotube (CNT) fiber that looks and acts like textile thread and conducts electricity and heat like a metal wire. In this week’s issue of Science, the researchers describe an industrially scalable process for making the threadlike fibers, which outperform commercially available high-performance materials in a number of ways.... Read more »
Jade Boyd. (2013) New nanotech fiber: Robust handling, shocking performance. Rice University News. info:/
I'm totally supporting this potential system theorized some days ago by Micah Allen and his friend Hauke on Allen's Neuroconscience blog . They discuss a quick and reliable strategy to share papers behind a paywall.
The proposed system is really easy and accessible by everyone, since it uses particular twitter's #hashtags for query and response.
I strongly believe that what started after Aaron Swartz's dead with #pdftribute, and continued with #sharecredentials (unfortunately and strangely still not so shared on twitter), and now followed by #icanhazpdf / #papester will quickly lead to a massive weaken of paywall systems. Therefore, this will push people to understand and to propose alternative ways that are more ethically correct and also apt to current science needs.... Read more »
Cook, J., & Attari, S. (2012) Paying for What Was Free: Lessons from the Paywall . Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 15(12), 682-687. DOI: 10.1089/cyber.2012.0251
News that Reed Elsevier is in talks to buy Mendeley.com will have many scientists reaching for their “delete account” button. Mendeley has built an impressive user-base of scientists and other academics since they started, but the possibility of an Elsevier takeover has worried some of its users. Elsevier has a strained relationship with some groups in the scientific community , so it will be interesting to see how this plays out.
If you’ve built a personal library of scientific papers in Mendeley, you won’t just want to delete all the data, you’ll need to export your library first, delete your account and then import it into a different tool.
Disclaimer: I’m not advocating that you delete your account, just that if you do decide to, here’s how to do it, and some alternatives to consider.... Read more »
Hull, D., Pettifer, S., & Kell, D. (2008) Defrosting the Digital Library: Bibliographic Tools for the Next Generation Web. PLoS Computational Biology, 4(10). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000204
Attwood, T., Kell, D., McDermott, P., Marsh, J., Pettifer, S., & Thorne, D. (2010) Utopia documents: linking scholarly literature with research data. Bioinformatics, 26(18). DOI: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btq383
Barbara Capone of the Computational Physics Group of the University of Vienna has developed a new method for the construction of building blocks at the nanoscale. The researcher in Soft Matter Physics, who works at the group of Christos Likos, Professor for Multiscale Computational Physics, is specialized on topics of self-assembly of materials at the [...]... Read more »
Capone, B., Coluzza, I., LoVerso, F., Likos, C., & Blaak, R. (2012) Telechelic Star Polymers as Self-Assembling Units from the Molecular to the Macroscopic Scale. Physical Review Letters, 109(23). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.109.238301
Top honour for ETH-Zurich professor and Disney director Markus Gross: he is to receive a “Tech Oscar” from the Academy of Motion and Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) along with three other computer scientists for a procedure they developed which leading special effects studios now use to simulate smoke and explosions in Hollywood films.... Read more »
Peter Rüegg. (2013) Oscar-worthy smoke signals. ETH Life. info:/
Data Gloves (or wired gloves or cybergloves), as the name implies, are computer input devices that are worn on the hand like a glove. They utilize motion trackers to translate finger manipulations into electrical signals. In the near future, this technology might revolutionize the way that disabled people are able to access computer resources. For [...]... Read more »
Fahn, C., & Sun, H. (2010) Development of a Fingertip Glove Equipped with Magnetic Tracking Sensors. Sensors, 10(2), 1119-1140. DOI: 10.3390/s100201119
Yamaura H, Matsushita K, Kato R, & Yokoi H. (2009) Development of hand rehabilitation system for paralysis patient - universal design using wire-driven mechanism. Conference proceedings : .. Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Conference, 7122-5. PMID: 19963950
HOSHINO, K. (2006) Dexterous Robot Hand Control with Data Glove by Human Imitation. IEICE Transactions on Information and Systems, E89-D(6), 1820-1825. DOI: 10.1093/ietisy/e89-d.6.1820
Dalley, S., Varol, H., & Goldfarb, M. (2012) A Method for the Control of Multigrasp Myoelectric Prosthetic Hands. IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, 20(1), 58-67. DOI: 10.1109/TNSRE.2011.2175488
A team of researchers from Belgium, Canada, and France have developed a more efficient gallium nitride (GaN)-based LED using a design inspired by the firefly. The design, fabrication, and characterization of this [...]... Read more »
Bay, A., André, N., Sarrazin, M., Belarouci, A., Aimez, V., Francis, L., & Vigneron, J. (2013) Optimal overlayer inspired by Photuris firefly improves light-extraction efficiency of existing light-emitting diodes. Optics Express, 21(S1). DOI: 10.1364/OE.21.00A179
Bay, A., Cloetens, P., Suhonen, H., & Vigneron, J. (2013) Improved light extraction in the bioluminescent lantern of a Photuris firefly (Lampyridae). Optics Express, 21(1), 764. DOI: 10.1364/OE.21.000764
What is the difference between primary, secondary and higher education?... Read more »
Martin, F. (2012) Will massive open online courses change how we teach?. Communications of the ACM, 55(8), 26. DOI: 10.1145/2240236.2240246
Dr. Terry Sanger has a series of papers that have come out in the last few years describing what he has named ‘likelihood calculus’. The goal of these papers is to develop a ‘a theory of optimal control for variable, uncertain, and noisy systems that nevertheless accomplish real-world tasks reliably.’ The idea being that successful performance can be thought of as modulating variance of movement, allocating resources to tightly control motions when required and allowing variability in task-irrelevant dimensions. To perform variability modulation, we first need a means of capturing mathematically how the features of an uncertain controller operating affect variability in system movement. Defining terms quickly, the features of a controller are the different components that produce signals resulting in movement, variability is taken here to be the trial-to-trial variation in movements, and uncertainty means that the available sensory feedback does not uniquely determine the true state of the world, where uncertainty can arise from noise on sensory feedback signals, unmodeled dynamics, and/or quantitization of sensory feedback. To capture all this uncertainty and variability, probability theory will naturally be employed. In this post I will review the paper ‘Controlling variability’ (2010) by Dr. Sanger, which sets up the framework for describing the time course of uncertainty during movement.... Read more »
Think Quick Response (QR) codes are just for advertising products or transferring addresses and contact information between smartphones? Well, it turns out they can also be used to prevent drug [...]... Read more »
Han, S., Bae, H., Kim, J., Shin, S., Choi, S., Lee, S., Kwon, S., & Park, W. (2012) Lithographically Encoded Polymer Microtaggant Using High-Capacity and Error-Correctable QR Code for Anti-Counterfeiting of Drugs. Advanced Materials, 24(44), 5924-5929. DOI: 10.1002/adma.201201486
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