research

Artificial intelligence used to detect very early signs of autism in infants

Artificial intelligence used to detect very early signs of autism in infants

It’s difficult to diagnose infants with autism due to trouble determining whether any behavioral traits common to autism are present. This difficulty is most pronounced before the age of two, and especially before the age of one, resulting in delayed diagnoses. All that may be changing, though, thanks to artificial intelligence and its ability to predict with high accuracy which infants will be diagnosed with autism by their second year.

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Study: Neanderthal genes are still affecting humans

Study: Neanderthal genes are still affecting humans

Neanderthals haven’t existed for the better part of 40,000 years, but their genes continue to affect present day humans in important ways. According to a new study, Neanderthal DNA resulting from the mating of Neanderthals with humans is still active in 52 varieties of human tissue, influencing gene expression. This influence includes things like making people taller and reducing one’s odds of developing schizophrenia.

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Birth Control pills saved 200k lives in 10 years, say scientists

Birth Control pills saved 200k lives in 10 years, say scientists

A study conducted by a group at Oxford showed that 200,000 lives have been saved from endometrial cancer over a 9-year period. This group, known better as the Collaborative Group on Epidemiological Studies on Endometrial Cancer (Oxford), showed that "about 400 000 cases of endometrial cancer before the age of 75 years have been prevented over the past 50 years (1965–2014) by oral contraceptives." Their conclusion, based on this study, is that use of oral contraceptives (birth control pills), confers long-term protection against edometrial cancer.

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Super-early Alzheimer’s detection may hinge on speech patterns

Super-early Alzheimer’s detection may hinge on speech patterns

Detecting dementia and Alzheimer's early is tricky and that's a problem, as early detection -- and thusly early treatment -- is thought to be a very important factor in possibly slowing down the disease's progression. Thanks to studies analyzing the speech and language patterns of individuals eventually diagnosed with these disease, however, researchers may have identified a method for detecting Alzheimer's disease several years or more than a decade earlier than using other methods.

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Google tries to remove VR headsets without removing them

Google tries to remove VR headsets without removing them

Virtual reality, and really even augmented reality, is a very personal experience in the sense that only the one wearing it can really appreciate what’s happening. In fact, only the one wearing it can actually see what’s going on, with spectators left imagining. With some age-old “green screen” Hollywood magic, some 3D modeling, and eye tracking, Google has devised a way to give viewers a better sense of the virtual world and, in a way, makes it actually easier to sell the idea of VR to them.

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This AI turns your cat sketches into trippy cat photos

This AI turns your cat sketches into trippy cat photos

A new Tensorflow port of pix2pix is able to take your crude cat sketches and transform them into photo-realistic cat abominations — that is, photos that look like cats at first, but upon closer inspection are instead trippy piecemeal simulated versions of real cats. The system is also able to generate fairly realistic building facades, shoes, and bags using both preexisting sketches and ones you create yourself.

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Tiny sea snail venom found to contain powerful non-opioid painkiller

Tiny sea snail venom found to contain powerful non-opioid painkiller

Opioid painkillers are up to the task of tackling pain, but they also come with a terrible side effect: a very high potential for severe addition that can be hard to break. The medical community has long sought alternatives to opioids that would be as effective while eliminating or reducing the addiction potential, and now researchers may have found that alternative. It comes, oddly enough, from the venom of a tiny sea snail.

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Penny-size frog found in India

Penny-size frog found in India

A 12-millimeter-long frog has been found in India amongst a total of 7 new species reported by scientists. Four of the new species of frog can fit comfortably on a penny. All seven of the new frog species are part of a group that live only in the Western Ghats mountain range in western India. This group of animals are collectively called Night Frogs.

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New map shows US bee decline is happening in vital growing zones

New map shows US bee decline is happening in vital growing zones

The bee population is declining, and it has scientists concerned. This isn’t a new revelation, and indeed conservation efforts have been underway to increase wild populations. The latest bit of research on this issue, though, highlights how troublesome the matter is: it comes in the form of a map, the first of its kind, and shows that bee declines are happening primarily in the nation’s most vital agricultural zones, putting necessary crops at risk.

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Lab-made wooly mammoth embryos are only two years away

Lab-made wooly mammoth embryos are only two years away

A couple years ago, it was revealed that scientists had sequenced the wooly mammoth’s genome, and now researchers have revealed that a ‘de-extinction’ of the beast may be only two years away. Scientists aim to create a sort of hybrid wooly mammoth that will be part Asian elephant, the by-product of which will be a so-called ‘mammophant’ with many of the same characteristics of long-extinct wooly mammoths.

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Bacterial DNA reveals salmonella may have wiped out the Aztecs

Bacterial DNA reveals salmonella may have wiped out the Aztecs

A couple of new studies reveal that salmonella may have been the cause of mass devastation to the Aztec civilization, at least according to the DNA of bacterium pulled from burial locations in Mexico. The nation’s native inhabitants were hit with a severe pestilence of some sort, one powerful enough to have wiped out as much as 80-percent of the population. The exact cause of that devastation has been a source of mystery.

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Study: schizophrenia symptoms ‘significantly reduced’ by B vitamins

Study: schizophrenia symptoms ‘significantly reduced’ by B vitamins

A new study funded by the University of Manchester and The Medical Research Council reveals that B vitamins may ‘significantly reduce’ schizophrenic symptoms in afflicted individuals. Those B vitamins include the most common ones like B6 and B12, and may greatly aid standard treatments for schizophrenia to improve the outcome for patients. The finding were recently published in the Psychological Medicine journal.

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