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CategoryMedicine and Health

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Coronavirus market crash and financial crisis

COVID-19: When 900 Bytes Shut Down the World

A great physicist warned us, information precedes matter and energy: Bit before it

The COVID-19 virus contains about as much information as a sticker in WhatsApp. Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. Marks and Dr. Daniel Andrés Díaz-Pachón  explore a dreadful truth:  “Human biology is so finely tuned that less than a kilobyte of information can stop the world.”

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COVID-19 coronavirus in China, renminbi yuan money bill with face mask. COVID global stock market. World economy hit by corona virus outbreak. Financial crisis and coronavirus pandemic concept.

COVID-19: Getting to the Bottom of What Happened in China

China knowingly violated the terms of a World Health Organization (WHO) disclosure agreement

It is widely recognized that medical professionals and journalists in China are being silenced if they publish any information about COVID-19 that contradicts the ruling Chinese Communist Party’s official narrative. But now mainland Chinese scientists must ensure that their research publications also toe the CCP party line. If we sift carefully, however, we can uncover real information.

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Sick girl lying on the hospital bed and her mom kiss to support.

Can People in Comas Have Abstract Thoughts?

Neurosurgeon Michael Egnor discusses how we might test for that ability

In the recent podcast, “Michael Egnor on Whether People in Comas Can Think,” Robert J. Marks raised an interesting point with Egnor: Can people in comas think abstractly or do they form thoughts only at a much more basic level, given how physically distressed they are? The answer might surprise you.

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Sick mature woman lying in bed

Can Loved Ones in a Coma Hear Us?

Modern brain imaging studies show that very often they can. And, with help from new technology, they can answer us too

Pioneering research using brain imaging (fMRI) over the last fifteen years has shown that, even in deep coma, people can hear, understand, and respond. It’s no longer just anecdotes from caregivers. The controversial Terri Schiavo case might be decided very differently today.

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Asian Doctor with the stethoscope equipment hand holding the Artificial intelligence of brain technology over Abstract photo blurred of hospital background, AI and physician concept

Why Depend on Only One Source for Modeling AI in Healthcare?

We may be missing many of the ways AI can help us

As we struggle with the COVID-19 crisis, many are beginning to ask hard questions about how our system works, its strengths, weaknesses, and vulnerabilities. One vulnerability might be too heavy reliance on a single source for data modeling and predictions. Considering all the uses to which AI may be put in health care, getting our guidance exclusively from the Institute for Health and Metric Evaluation for modeling is reckless.

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Two female women medical doctors looking at x-rays in a hospital.

Is AI really better than physicians at diagnosis?

The British Medical Journal found a serious problem with the studies

Of 83 studies of the performance of the Deep Learning algorithm on diagnostic images, only two had been randomized, as is recommended, to prevent bias in interpretation.

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If Your Brain Were Cut in Half, Would You Still Be One Person?

Yes, with minor disabilities. Roger Sperry’s split-brain research convinced him that the mind and free will are real

The true significance of the split-brain experiments goes far beyond the significance of the lateralization of the brain; your essential unity also points to the immaterial nature of the mind.

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Coronavirus fine della pandemia, successo. Virus definitivamente debellato.

COVID-19: Remembering Dr. Jim Goodrich, 73, Pediatric Neurosurgeon

Born wealthy, he spent his life working 80-hour weeks, operating on poor kids in the Bronx

His specialty was reconstruction of the skulls of children born with horrendous skull deformities, and he pioneered the surgery of separation of craniopagus (Siamese) twins.

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Molecule model of Chloroquine, a medication used to treat malaria, maybe also able to calm the symptoms of Covid 19 virus. White is Hydrogen, black is Carbon, blue is Nitrgen, and green is Chlorine.

Is Chloroquine really a “Game Changer” for COVID-19?

Test it, but don’t bet on it

When a field is hot, there is a race to publish. With a large number of researchers trying a wide variety of treatments, it’s almost certain that that someone will find a coincidental pattern that is statistically significant but meaningless. The only solution, alas, is further testing.

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Photo by Fusion Medical Animation

Was the COVID-19 Virus Designed? The Computer Doesn’t Know

Some researchers confuse not finding a particular type of design with ruling out design

The authors of the paper saying that the virus could not have been designed base their findings on the fact that current software would not have predicted this result. I am not claiming that the virus was designed, only that a researcher need not have relied on this software to design a virus. The paper makes a faulty assumption.

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Woman in medical protective mask applying an antibacterial antiseptic gel for hands disinfection and health protection during during flu virus outbreak. Coronavirus quarantine and novel covid ncov

AI Is Not Ready to Moderate Content!

In the face of COVID-19 quarantines for human moderators, some look to AI to keep the bad stuff off social media

Big social media companies have long wanted to replace human content moderators with AI. COVID-19 quarantines have only intensified that discussion. But AI is far, far from ready to successfully moderate content in an age of where virtual monopolies make single point failure a frequent risk.

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Coronavirus pandemic - Cleaning and Disinfection. Professional teams for disinfection efforts. Infection prevention and control of epidemic. Protective suit and mask

China: Rewriting the History of COVID-19

Making the government the improbable hero of the tale

Chinese scientists worked together swiftly and seamlessly to sequence the virus, (completed February 25), even as the government was downplaying the extent of the problem and silencing doctors who attempted to warn colleagues and the public. The Wuhan public erupted in anger when the government demanded a show of gratitude for its efforts rather than theirs.

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COVID-19: Do Quarantine Rules Apply to Mega-Geniuses?

How did Elon Musk, who has a cozy relationship with China, get his upscale car factory classified as an essential business during the pandemic?

If we are going to hold some people up as business icons, why should it be those who—in the present COVID-19 troubles—have relations with China that necessarily raise questions?

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Jerry Coyne Hasn’t Got a Prayer

He understands neither natural theology nor natural science

We are more scientifically certain of God’s existence than we are of quantum mechanics or Newtonian or relativistic gravitation. The logic is rigorous.

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CloseUp Shot Of Man With a prosthetic limb Holding Hands With Female Partner

Prosthetic Hand Controlled by Thoughts Alone? It’s Here.

Decades ago, no one could control a prosthesis only by thought. There is lots of room for the field to grow still

A key problem for amputees is that the nerves in the remaining part of a limb used to control a prosthesis usually produce only tiny signals. They are often hard for the nervous system to distinguish from mere noise. So, to control the limb by thoughts, the signals must be amplified. A new technique uses muscle grafts to amplify the signals.

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Female surgeon praying in operation theater

Why prayer is wise during a pandemic

Evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne thinks that only fools would pray about coronavirus. He is wrong and here is why

If God is real, then prayer is probably the first thing you want to do in a crisis. A plea to the Boss is a fine preamble to the grunt work of managing a crisis. I’m a neurosurgeon, and I pray before each operation. It really helps.

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Asian Doctor with the stethoscope equipment hand holding the Artificial intelligence of brain technology over Abstract photo blurred of hospital background, AI and physician concept

How AI Can Make Medicine Better—or Not

Experts offer some real-world cautions about powerful new AI tools

Medicine involves many risks, benefits, and tradeoffs. Early diagnosis, for example, can certainly be defended and promoted on a right-to-know basis. But that is not the same thing as saying that it reliably improves outcomes or even enjoyment of life. If a powerful AI method reliably detected the very early onset of Alzheimer, it might ruin a senior's early retirement years without changing the outcome much. Getting the most from AI will include determining the relationship between what it can potentially do and what will provide a medical benefit.

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Middle aged Asian man wearing glasses and medical face mask on public train, Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, air pollution and health concept

Coronavirus in a World Without Trust

In China, medical heroism thrives despite both paranoia and justified mistrust of authorities

While China’s citizens are living in an information vacuum, the government has stepped up its surveillance strategies in order to track people who have been near someone infected with the coronavirus. Some commentators consider these measures disproportionate to the actual risk posed to others and in violation of human rights. Others see them as necessary.

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Two female women medical doctors looking at x-rays in a hospital.

AI Can Help Spot Cancers—But It’s No Magic Wand

When I spoke last month about how AI can help with cancer diagnoses, I failed to appreciate some of the complexities of medical diagnosis

As a lawyer with medical training reminded us recently, any one image is a snapshot in time, a brief part of the patient’s whole story. And it’s the whole story that matters, not a single image, perhaps taken out of context.

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Rest in Peace Posters of Dr Li Wenliang, who warned authorities about the coronovirus outbreak seen at Hosier Lane in Melbourne, Australia. Hosier Lane is known for its street art.

Censorship? But Coronavirus Doesn’t Care!

Back when SARS was a threat, social media wasn’t the giant it is today. Censorship, secrecy, and detention are less effective tools of control now

Coronavirus provides a test. The Chinese Communist Party offers mainland Chinese people security and prosperity in exchange for the sacrifice of personal freedom. But when the government cannot uphold its end of the agreement—security—the people may become less tolerant of the human rights violations. And the age of information makes it much easier to discover them.

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