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Complex Insight  - Understanding our world
Latest news on complex systems in life sciences, engineering, education and government
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Robot hand ties shoelaces and deals cards | EarthSky.org

Robot hand ties shoelaces and deals cards | EarthSky.org | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it
In this video, Nigel Ackland demonstrates how his new robotic hand allows him to do ordinary things with extraordinary technology.
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Having once worked on a project for very early stage robotic prosthetics this is incredibly impressive and useful. Great find by 4DPipeline.  Nigel Ackland lost his arm in a car accident. He shows what he is learning to do with it and the improvement in quality of life by making a myriad of small things that we do with two hands and often take for granted every day achievable again. The arm is manufactured by RSL STeeper and is the bebionic 3 model .For more info see http://bebionic.com/

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'Visionary' leadership needed on TB

'Visionary' leadership needed on TB | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it
Plans to tackle tuberculosis are failing and a new visionary approach is needed, according to an international group of doctors and scientists.
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In Eastern europe up to a third of TB ccases are multi-drug resitant and a more extensively drug resistant form of tuberculosis has now been found in 84 countries. Scary set of implications given rate of evolution of multiresistant strains.

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Bad sleep 'dramatically' alters body

Bad sleep 'dramatically' alters body | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it
A run of poor sleep can have a dramatic effect on the internal workings of the human body, say UK researchers.
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Good article on BBC health:Researchers at the University of Surrey analysed the blood of 26 people after they had had plenty of sleep, up to 10 hours each night for a week, and compared the results with samples after a week of fewer than six hours a night. More than 700 genes were altered by the sleep shift. Each contains the instructions for building a protein, so those that became more active produced more proteins - changing body chemistry in response to reduced sleep. These results help indicate the role of sleep in regulating body chemistry and how regular sleep is important to maintain body functions such as replenishing and replacing cells. 

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New nerve cells found in the brain

New nerve cells found in the brain | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it
Scientists have identified a previously unknown group of never cells in the brain which regulate cardiovascular functions.
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Scientists at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, in collaboration with colleagues in Germany and the Netherlands, have identified a previously unknown group of nerve cells in the brain. The nerve cells regulate cardiovascular functions such as heart rhythm and blood pressure. It is hoped that the discovery, which is published in theJournal of Clinical Investigation, will be significant in the long term in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases in humans

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MaaS applied to Healthcare – Use Case Practice

MaaS applied to Healthcare – Use Case Practice | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it
MaaS (Model as a Service) might allow building and controlling shared healthcare Cloud-ready data, affording agile data design, economies of scale and maintaining a trusted environment and scaling ...
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PLOS ONE: Metagenomic Exploration of Viruses throughout the Indian Ocean

PLOS ONE: Metagenomic Exploration of Viruses throughout the Indian Ocean | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

The characterization of global marine microbial taxonomic and functional diversity is a primary goal of the Global Ocean Sampling Expedition. As part of this study, 19 water samples were collected aboard the Sorcerer II sailing vessel from the southern Indian Ocean in an effort to more thoroughly understand the lifestyle strategies of the microbial inhabitants of this ultra-oligotrophic region. No investigations of whole virioplankton assemblages have been conducted on waters collected from the Indian Ocean or across multiple size fractions thus far. Therefore, the goals of this study were to examine the effect of size fractionation on viral consortia structure and function and understand the diversity and functional potential of the Indian Ocean virome. Interesting paper - find more info on the findings of the study by clicking on the image or title.

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Virus exploitscellular waste disposal system

Virus exploitscellular waste disposal system | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

Over the years, researchers in the laboratory of ETH-professor Ari Helenius have elucidated the tricks and tactics viruses use to enter human cells and exploit them for their own multiplication and spread. Jason Mercer, in a collaboration with Berend Snijder and colleagues from the Universtiy of Zürich  have just released a publication which puts forward new insights into how viruses enter human cells. "For the first time we were able to demonstrate a mechanism by which a virus uses the cellular waste-disposal system to facilitate release of the viral DNA, which is subsequently multiplied, and used for the formation of new virus particles" he says. In addition, the researchers were able to block the release of viral DNA – using a drug which is already approved for human use. Complete protein inventory During infection, viruses communicate with the host cell and they "abuse" a specific set of host proteins to assist them during their life-cycle. In collaboration with the group of University Professor Lukas Pelkmans, Jason Mercer set out to identify the cellular proteins which the vaccinia virus requires. The idea being that this knowledge may be helpful when developing new strategies to stop infection

Click on the image, or the title or read more at: http://phys.org/news/2012-10-virus-exploitscellular-disposal.html#jCp

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Paging Dr. Watson: Artificial Intelligence As a Prescription for Health Care | Wired Science | Wired.com

Paging Dr. Watson: Artificial Intelligence As a Prescription for Health Care | Wired Science | Wired.com | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

Health care in the United States certainly needs an overhaul. The question is whether that overhaul will come from artificially intelligent doctors. IBM  has launched partnerships with insurance giant WellPoint and the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York and is expected offer Watson commercially to hospitals within the next few years. Wired article discusses the approach and pros and cons as seen by some doctors. Worth a read for a quick intro to modern AI comprising data mining and big data topics as an approach to treatment diagnostics in healthcare. Click on the image or the title to learn more.

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Futurity.org – Imaging combo spots infection in 3D

Futurity.org – Imaging combo spots infection in 3D | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

Scientists have combined MRI and imaging mass spectrometry to visualize the body’s inflammatory response to a bacterial infection in 3D. The techniques, described in Cell Host & Microbe, offer opportunities for discovering proteins not previously implicated in the inflammatory response. Eric Skaar, chair in pathology at Vanderbilt University and his team were interested in imaging infection in three dimensions—in the whole animal—while also being able to identify the proteins that are produced at sites of infection.Click on the image or title to learn more.

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Why health IT systems integrate poorly today, and what future EHRs can do about it - O'Reilly Radar

Why health IT systems integrate poorly today, and what future EHRs can do about it - O'Reilly Radar | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

New Internet-centric approaches to health IT systems are needed, and the government should be mandating a more modern open style of data exchange that breaks through monolithic systems. Worth reading - the challenge of proprietary vendors versus open systems is going to be a central theme in healthcare, smart cities, and internet of things. This article explains the healthcare IT situation in the US. Worth reading...

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Meet Basit Chaudhry, M.D., Ph.D. « A Smarter Planet Blog

Meet Basit Chaudhry, M.D., Ph.D. « A Smarter Planet Blog | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

interesting blog from the IBM smarter plant folks. As a medical student in a large public hospital in New York City, Basit Chaudhry, M.D., first experienced one of the most vexing problems facing doctors today: How do you discover and deal with all the information that’s required to provide optimal care? Learn more...

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DNA test reveals cancer risk markers

DNA test reveals cancer risk markers | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it
More than 80 genetic markers that can increase the risk of developing breast, prostate or ovarian cancer have been found in the largest study of its kind.
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 UK scientists at the University of Cambridge and the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in London and funded by Cancer Research UK (CRUK) and the Wellcome Trust tested 200,000 people - half of them with cancer and half without identifing 80 genetic markers for a variety of cancers. The test looked for single nucleotide polymorphisms linked to breat, ovarian and prostate cancer. The results help bring the promise of improved screening methods for  inherited likelyhood to develop cancer and improve our understanding of how cancers develop.

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Do Cats With FIV Foretell HIV’s Future? | PLOS Blogs Network

Do Cats With FIV Foretell HIV’s Future? | PLOS Blogs Network | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it
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Interesting article by Rick Lewis on PLOS comparing evolution of CAT Feline, Simian and Human immunodeficiency virus oras they are better known FIV, SIV and HIV. SIV no longer sickens most wild primates because they’ve had 12 million years to adapt. Cat species around for a long time, like lions, are less likely to get sick from FIV than their more modern relatives, such as our domesticated friends. These trends give an interesting view of HIV evolution i terms of its long term possible pathways and how that relates to potential treatments and health policy. Worth reading and thinking about. Click on title or image to learn more.

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PLOS Pathogens: Phylogeny and Origins of Hantaviruses Harbored by Bats, Insectivores, and Rodents

PLOS Pathogens: Phylogeny and Origins of Hantaviruses Harbored by Bats, Insectivores, and Rodents | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it
From molecules to physiology

Via burkesquires
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Hantaviruses are among the most important zoonotic pathogens of humans and the subject of heightened global attention. Despite the importance of hantaviruses for public health, there is no consensus on their evolutionary history and especially the frequency of virus-host co-divergence versus cross-species virus transmission. Documenting the extent of hantavirus biodiversity, and particularly their range of mammalian hosts, is critical to resolving this issue and something this paper focuses on. Well worth reading in relation to public health planning and disease modeling and understanding how interconnected our health biome actually is.

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Will 'big data' prevent disease?

Will 'big data' prevent disease? | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it
How the blistering pace of technological change could have a profound impact on healthcare.
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Good article from the BBC Future health series. Video is worth watching if you want an insight into how new technologies will impact healthcare.

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US Doctor Data to be “Open Eventually” | Open Knowledge Foundation Blog

US Doctor Data to be “Open Eventually” | Open Knowledge Foundation Blog | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

Here’s an interesting project using slightly unorthodox means to get data out into the open: crowdfunding the purchase of US healthcare data for subsequent open release.

The company behind the project is NotOnly Dev, a Health IT software incubator who describe themselves as a “not-only-for-profit” company. Earlier this year they released a Doctor Social Graph, which displays the connections between doctors, hospitals and other healthcare organizations in the US. The dataset used is billed as “THE data set that any academic, scientist, or health policy junkie could ever want to conduct almost any study.” Scroll down the page to see Fred Trotter talking about the idea.

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Where Will The Next Pandemic Come From? And How Can We Stop It?

Where Will The Next Pandemic Come From? And How Can We Stop It? | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

Very interesting article on filoviruses in Popular Science from David Quammen's new book, Spillover  . Style of the article reminded me a lot of Richard Preston's  excellent The Hot Zone (1994) and covers similar territory with more upto date insight, information and examples including the background to the 2008 CCD, WHO amd NICD paper on discovery of Marbug virus reservour n a large fruit bat Colony in Uganda. 

 

The dangers presented by zoonoses (transferance of animal disease to humans) are real and severe, but the degree of uncertainties is also high. Too many factors vary randomly, or almost randomly, in that system. Prediction, in general, so far as all these diseases are concerned, is a tenuous proposition, more likely to yield false confidence than actionable intelligence. The practical alternative to soothsaying, as one expert put it, is “improving the scientific basis to improve readiness.” By “the scientific basis” he meant the understanding of which virus groups to watch, the field capabilities to detect spillovers in remote places before they become regional outbreaks, the organizational capacities to control outbreaks before they become pandemics, plus the laboratory tools and skills to recognize known viruses speedily, to characterize new viruses almost as fast, and to create vaccines and therapies without much delay. If we can’t predict a forthcoming influenza pandemic or any other newly emergent virus, we can at least be vigilant; we can be well prepared and quick to respond; we can be ingenious and scientifically sophisticated in the forms of our response. Good article and Quammen's book is on the must read list for this year. Learn more by clicking on the image or the title for more information.

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WHO | Scientists embrace the “One World” approach

WHO | Scientists embrace the “One World” approach | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

From the World Health Organization Health Bulletin: As public and political awareness of emerging infectious diseases is growing, as animal and human health specialists work closer together to avert potential outbreaks.  More than 30 new human infectious diseases have emerged over the past three decades, most of them originating in the animal world. The “One Health” movement is about preventing situations such as deforestation and certain agricultural practices that encourage their emergence, and it advocates for early detection.There are still huge gaps in our knowledge, we need a better understanding of the wildlife hosts of pathogens, otherwise we will not be able to prevent future outbreaks,”  says Linfa Wang who heads the emerging virus research team at the CSIRO Australian Animal Health Laboratory. In 2009, the United States government launched the Emerging Pandemic Threats programme to “preempt or combat diseases that could cause future pandemics”. It works in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) to help develop laboratory networks and strengthen diagnostic capacities in the places where new diseases occur.  “If we’d had these systems 50 years ago, perhaps we could have detected HIV (the virus that causes AIDS) and averted the pandemic that has killed millions of people.”  says Pierre Formenty, who leads the Emerging and Dangerous Pathogens team at the World Health Organization in Geneva Switzerland. To learn more - click on the image or the title.

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MIT researchers find new MRI tool for drug discovery - Mass High Tech Business News

MIT researchers find new MRI tool for drug discovery - Mass High Tech Business News | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it
Researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have devised a new way to combine information from two different kinds of MRI scans, allowing drug developers to map which regions of the brain are affected by certain neurological disorders.

Neurological diseases, such as schizophrenia, are known to affect certain regions of the brain. Likewise, most drugs made to treat such diseases are made to act upon certain regions. The complication comes because those regions connect to other regions in way that no single brain scan can easily show. Polina Golland, an associate professor of computer science at MIT, has come up with an algorithm, or formula, which uses the information on the connections between them to map those regions. The algorithm is applied to two types of MRIs, both of which have been in use for at least 20 years: Diffusion MRIs, which look at the substance of the brain, as compared to functional MRIs, which look at brain activity. Golland said both types of scans are “very noisy,” and traditional analysis of them has focused on comparing hundreds of scans from different patients, rather than on extracting more information from different views of a single brain.. Click on the image or title to learn more.

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Danny Hillis talks Proteomics & Personalized Medicine

Danny Hillis talks Proteomics & Personalized Medicine

During his lecture at Singularity University, Hillis explained how scientific medicine is beginning to revert back to more ancient, ayurvedic lessons about healthcare. The approach is to treat the body as a system, where balance is the foundation for good health and disease and sickness are the externalities of imbalance. With advancements in proteomics and computing we can begin creating models of what a healthy bodily state looks like. In the same way we might use environmental models to analyze the global climate, we can isolate specific variables that can inform the larger picture. As the data piles up, preventative medicine will become a quantitative endeavour.  Danny HIllis is always worth listening too. Click on the image or headline for more.


Via Gerd Moe-Behrens
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HHS harnesses the power of health data to improve health

HHS harnesses the power of health data to improve health | Complex Insight  - Understanding our world | Scoop.it

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), along with the Institute of Medicine (IoM) and other members of the Health Data Consortium, are co-hosting the third annual "Datapalooza" focusing on innovative applications and services that harness the power of open data from HHS and other sources to help improve health and health care. Learn more...

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