With an increasing older adult population and rapid advancements in technology, it is important that senior citizens learn to use new technologies to remain active in society. A variety of factors on learning were investigated through surveys of senior citizens. Older adults preferred an interactive lesson style, which also seemed to help them retain more course material.
Here the authors investigate the use of social media in adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in affecting their ability and opportunities to interact with others. They found that higher usage of Internet correlated with less severe anxiety symptoms and improved social skills.
Since the discovery that thousands of different bacteria colonize our gut, many of which are important for human wellbeing, understanding the significance of balancing the different species on the human body has been intensely researched. Untangling the complexity of the gut microbiome and establishing the effect of the various strains on human health is a challenge in many circumstances, and the need for simpler systems to improve our basic understanding of microbe-host interactions seems necessary. C. elegans are a well-established laboratory animal that feed on bacteria and can thus serve as a less complex system for studying microbe-host interactions. Here the authors investigate how the choice of bacterial diet affects worm fertility. The same approach could be applied to many different outcomes, and facilitate our understanding of how the microbes colonizing our guts affect various bodily functions.
Osteosarcoma is a type of bone cancer that affects young adults and children. Early diagnosis of osteosarcoma is crucial to successful treatment. The current methods of diagnosis, which include imaging tests and biopsy, are time consuming and prone to human error. Hence, we used deep learning to extract patterns and detect osteosarcoma from histological images. We hypothesized that the combination of two different technologies (transfer learning and data augmentation) would improve the efficacy of osteosarcoma detection in histological images. The dataset used for the study consisted of histological images for osteosarcoma and was quite imbalanced as it contained very few images with tumors. Since transfer learning uses existing knowledge for the purpose of classification and detection, we hypothesized it would be proficient on such an imbalanced dataset. To further improve our learning, we used data augmentation to include variations in the dataset. We further evaluated the efficacy of different convolutional neural network models on this task. We obtained an accuracy of 91.18% using the transfer learning model MobileNetV2 as the base model with various geometric transformations, outperforming the state-of-the-art convolutional neural network based approach.
Stem cells are at the forefront of research in regenerative medicine and cell therapy. Two essential properties of stem cells are self-renewal and potency, having the ability to specialize into different types of cells. Here, Park and Jeong took advantage of previously identified stem cell transcription factors associated with potency to differentiate umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (US-MSCs) from morphologically similar fibroblasts. Western blot analysis of the transcription factors Klf4, Nanog, and Sox2 revealed their expression was unique to US-MSCs providing insight for future methods of differentiating between these cell lines.
The authors created a board game to teach young children about healthy eating habits to see whether an interactive and family-oriented method would be effective at introducing and maintaining a love for fruits and veggies. Results showed that children developed a liking for fruits and vegetables, and none regressed. Half maintained their level of enjoyment for fruits and vegetables during the research period, while the other half had a positive increase. The results show that a simple interactive game can shape how young children relate to food and encourage them to maintain healthy habits.
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease caused by mutations in the CFTR gene. In this paper, the authors attempt to identify variations in stretches of up to 8 nucleotides in the protein-coding portions of the CFTR gene that are associated with disease development. This would allow screening of newborns or even fetuses in utero to determine the likelihood they develop cystic fibrosis.
Wearing face masks has become a common occurrence in everyday life and during athletics due to the spread of diseases. This study tested if masks would affect blood percent saturation of hemoglobin (SpO2) during treadmill exercise. The data analysis showed that mask type, time, and the interaction of mask type and time were significant results, regardless of physical ability. These results may assist athletes in understanding the differences between training and competing with and without a mask.
In this study the authors looked the trajectories of cosmic rays moving through a dipole field. They found that the trajectories of cosmic rays are determined by a particle's energy and interaction with Earth's B field.
The "Uncanny Valley" is a phenomenon in which humans feel discomfort in the presence of objects that are almost, but not quite, human-like. In this study, the authors tested whether this phenomenon could be overcome by sharing a stressful experience with a humanoid robot. They found that human subjects more readily accepted a robot partner that they had previously shared a stressful experience with, suggesting a potential method for increasing the effectiveness of beneficial human-robot interactions by reducing the Uncanny Valley effect.