Curating the Internet: Science and technology digest for February 29, 2020

in STEMGeeks2 years ago (edited)

Artificial intelligence predicts heart attacks, strokes, and even deaths better than doctors with traditional techniques; Unisys CEO predicts a year of transition, and also a possible return of acquisition activities; Freeman Dyson was almost certainly my favorite science & technology writer. He died on Friday (Feb 28); Texas wind-power is driving a Bitcoin mining expansion in the state; and a Steem essay describing new research into leptoquarks at the Large Hadron Collider

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First posted on my Steem blog: SteemIt, SteemPeak*, StemGeeks.


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  1. AI helps predict heart attacks and stroke - Researchers from the "University College London (UCL) and the Barts Health National Health Service Trust in the U.K." recently led a study that was the first ever to use measurements of blood flow for artificial intelligence (AI) prediction of heart attack, stroke, and death. By analyzing Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance images from more than 1,00 participants, the AI system was able to precisely quantify the blood flow to the heart muscle, and to transmit that information to medical teams. By comparing the calculated blood flow against eventual medical outcomes, it was observed that patients with the lowest blood flows were more likely to have the worst outcomes. In fact,
    The AI technique was therefore shown for the first time to be able to predict which patients might die or suffer major adverse events, better than a doctor could on their own with traditional approaches.
    Team members, Professor James Moon and Dr. Kristopher Knott are quoted as saying that the predictive power was impressive, the technique is easy to implement as part of routine care, and that this is part of a larger trend with AI moving out of the computer labs and into medical practices. -h/t Communications of the ACM: Artificial Intelligence

  2. Unisys CEO expects 2020 to be a 'year of transition' - Following the sale of the Unisys Federal division to Science Applications International Corp, CEO Peter Altabef says that 2020 is expected to be a "reset year". The remarks came on the heels of an announcement that the firm lost $10.8 million, or $0.17 per share in the fourth quarter of 2019. For the year, however, the firm reported 4.4% growth, which represents the second consecutive year of growth after more than a decade of losses. Altabef also notes that the firm has not made any acquisitions in 15 years, but this is something that might change (at a manageable scale).

  3. Freeman Dyson, Visionary Technologist, Is Dead at 96 - Freeman Dyson, one of my favorite science and technology writers, died today (Feb 28). It is a sad day. Dyson was a mathematical prodigy and made contributions to the understanding of interactions between light and matter, a field known as quantum electrodynamics. He is the namesake of the Dyson Sphere, and described himself as a scientific heretic. I highly recommend his books, Infinite in all directions, and The scientist as rebel.

  4. How Texas’s wind boom has spawned a Bitcoin mining rush - Layer1 Technology has raised $50 million from a group of investors that includes Peter Thiel. The company is betting on Texas' friendly regulatory environment and low cost of energy, due to its rising deployment of wind power generation in order to ramp up to a 100 megawatts (MW) of electricity that will be devoted to Bitcoin mining. In addition to Layer1, Bitmain also announced a 50MW facility last year, with plans to scale up to 300 MW (covered in Curating the Internet: Business and leadership micro-summaries for October 23, 2019), and the German firm, Northern data plans to launch a facility with a full gigawatt (1,000 MW) of power behind it. Texas has had large-scale wind power for a substantial period of time, but miners have avoided the state in the past because of its heat. Now, however, Jesse Peltan says that they know how to use evaporative cooling to keep the equipment cooled at a manageable cost.

  5. Steem @lemouth: My own research on Steem: leptoquarks at the Large Hadron Collider - In this post, the author is locked down due to coronavirus concerns, but this gave him time to discuss his own primary research on the topic of leptoquarks. This Steem post opens by describing the way that the need for leptoquarks emerges from the Standard Model of Particle Physics. In short, the standard model describes atomic nuclei as being comprised of neutrons and protons. Those, in turn, are comprised of quarks and anti-quarks. In this model, quarks and anti-quarks can interact with each other, and leptons can interact with other leptons. However, a single lepton cannot interact with a single (anti)quark. As a result, researchers have theorized the existence of leptoquarks, which provide a bridge because they can interact with a single lepton and a single quark. In addition to providing these needed interactions in the theory, experimental results have also yielded discrepancies that could be resolved by the existence of leptoquarks. The latest research by the author identifies interactions that were ignored by earlier predictions, which enables the authors to make more precise predictions for the production of leptoquarks. Here's the summary from the article:
    In my latest research article, we have achieved the most precise predictions for their production at the LHC, fixing issues ignored up to now. This will yield a better exploitation of LHC data, allowing for the extraction of more robust conclusions from the corresponding experimental searches.
    Please join me in wishing @lemouth a quick release from coronavirus-induced isolation. (A 10% beneficiary setting has been applied to this post for @lemouth.)

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