New AI Tool Rapidly Classifies Brain Tumours in Just Hours

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CANBERRA, May 18 : A team of researchers from the Australian National University (ANU) has developed an artificial intelligence (AI) tool to more quickly and accurately classify brain tumors. In a study published on Friday, the team demonstrated that their deep learning model – Deploy – can accurately classify brain tumors into 10 major subtypes.

The AI tool analyzes microscopic pictures of a patient’s brain tissue to make its classification. Danh-Tai Hoang, the co-lead of the project from the Biological Data Science Institute at ANU, said that the current gold standard for diagnosing and categorizing brain tumors – a process called DNA methylation-based profiling – can take several weeks and is not widely available. By comparison, the AI tool can deliver results within hours. “Remarkably, Deploy achieved an unprecedented accuracy of 95 percent,” Hoang said in a media release.

“Furthermore, when given a subset of 309 particularly difficult to classify samples, Deploy was able to provide a diagnosis that was more clinically relevant than what was initially provided by pathologists.” Deploy was trained and validated on a dataset of approximately 4,000 patients from the United States and Europe. Hoang said it could be used in the future to add to a pathologist’s initial diagnosis or even prompt a re-evaluation when it finds disparities. The researchers believe it could eventually be used to help classify other types of cancer

Disability: China Disabled Persons’ Federation and iFlytek, one of China’s leading AI companies, signed a cooperation agreement in Hefei, capital of east China’s Anhui Province, on Thursday to build a joint laboratory of general artificial intelligence to assist the disabled. According to the agreement, the lab will actively develop human-computer interaction components and intelligent rehabilitation assistive devices for the disabled, carry out multicategory research on intelligent assistance for the disabled, and build application scenarios for the needs of the disabled. “Science and technology are an important support for creating a better life for the disabled and promoting the quality development of the cause of the disabled,” said Zhou Changkui, chairperson of the Board of Executive Directors of the China Disabled Persons’ Federation. This Sunday marks the 34th National Day of Disabled Persons.

Skin cancer: Deaths from melanoma, the most serious skin cancer, have reduced by one third over the past decade in New Zealand despite no overall decrease in new cases, according to a study released on Friday. This is most likely due to increased awareness which leads to earlier diagnosis, as well as more effective diagnostic services and treatments, said an editorial published in the New Zealand Medical Journal. Melanoma usually occurs on the parts of the body that have been overexposed to the sun. Deaths from melanoma at all ages have fallen considerably, said authors from the University of Auckland, University of Waikato and the Clinical Trials New Zealand. There were 333 deaths in 2021, and if the 2012 rates had continued, there would have been 164 more, the editorial said. The favorable mortality trends could be due to reduced deeper, poor prognosis melanoma, it said, adding the reduced mortality may also reflect increased survival rates of patients with advanced melanoma due to new treatments. However, the authors warned melanoma remains a big problem in New Zealand, and the number of new cases has not reduced.

Infections: The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday released consolidated, evidence-based guidance for preventing the spread of infections in schools from kindergarten to the 12th grade. The guidance includes everyday actions that schools can take to prevent and control the spread of respiratory and stomach viruses, such as influenza and norovirus, and bacterial illness, such as strep throat. This guidance is designed to maximize school attendance and its benefits for all students, while preventing the spread of infectious diseases, according to the CDC. The strategies in the new guidance include teaching and reinforcing proper hand washing and respiratory etiquette; taking steps for cleaner air by improving ventilation in schools; promoting vaccinations for students and staff; and suggesting schools to consider ventilation enhancements and design when undergoing remodeling or when undertaking new building construction to optimize clean air. “CDC has updated actions schools can take to prevent germs from spreading and keep kids healthy and learning,” said CDC Director Mandy Cohen. “This update puts lessons learned into actionable steps schools can follow to keep our kids, teachers, and school staff safe.”

Plant cancer: Chinese researchers have developed a novel bio-fungicide to combat root rot disease in cultivating Astragalus membranaceus, commonly known as Huangqi or Astragalus root, according to an article published in Chemical Engineering Journal. The bio-fungicide can suppress the root rot disease and promote the growth metabolism of Astragalus membranaceus, said Gao Wenyuan, a professor at the School of Pharmaceutical Science and Technology, Tianjin University, who led the research team. Root rot disease is a kind of plant cancer and a common disease in Chinese medicinal herb planting areas, caused by a complex of pathogenic fungi. (Xinhua)

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