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New MRI Technology

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan may trigger feelings of discomfort, anxiety and sometimes fear. Now a new kind of coil technology changing the game on this experience, while helping radiologists get clear images for confident diagnoses.

During an MRI scan, technologists use an “RF coil” to capture and listen to the electro-magnetic waves coming from the part of the body radiologists are imaging. This rigid coil acts like an antenna picking up signals from a patient’s body and converting them to images. But they’re usually bulky, heavy and uncomfortable for patients and technologists alike.

AIR Technology Coils are designed to conform to the human body just like a comfortable blanket. It uses innovative conductor material designed for ultra-flexibility, and each coil is lightweight and flexible to closely wrap around patients for incredible image quality.

 

Millionaire Donates 9 Million To Harvard & MIT For Cannabis Science

In the red light of a microscope room, Amanda Vernon, left, reviews an image of cells in a mouse brain with MIT professor Myriam Heiman. The $9 million donation includes about $1 million for work in Heiman's lab. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

 Amanda Vernon, left, reviews an image of cells in a mouse brain with MIT professor Myriam Heiman. The $9 million donation includes about $1 million for work in Heiman’s lab. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

The Manhattan-based donor Bob Broderick made tens of millions of dollars by investing in the legal marijuana industry in Canada. So now he’s funneling some of his money for solid research on how cannabis affects the brain.

Professor John Gabrieli director of the Martinos Imaging Center at MIT says heavy cannabis use is very widespread among people with schizophrenia, and it’s not clear to what extent cannabis is helpful or harmful to them.

“That’s why we need the science,” he says. “Because right now, it’s happening without the science, and it’s likely to happen all the more as marijuana becomes highly available legally in many states.”

Federal science authorities have called for major new research on the potential benefits and harms of cannabis use. The National Institutes of Health are supporting more than $140 million of research on cannabinoids.

But support from private donors has been real slow rolling in. Late last year, Inside Philanthropy, reported on a gift of nearly $5 million to support cannabis research at the University of California San Diego, under the headline “Where Most Donors Fear To Tread.”

Amazon Investigating Anti-Vaccination Leaflet Found Hidden In Children’s Book

An anti-vaccination leaflet that was discovered tucked inside a children’s book by mother Lucy Boyle, who had ordered several books from Amazon for her young son.

Mother became alarmed after anti-vaccination propaganda found inside book she bought for her son, who is about to receive the HPV shot

Concerns have been raised that the anti-vaccination movement is targeting children via Amazon warehouses, after a Hampshire mother found a leaflet condemning the HPV vaccine tucked inside a children’s book she had purchased from the online retailer

Lucy Boyle told the Guardian that she bought Ali Sparkes’ Night Speakers along with several other novels as a birthday present for her 12-year-old son at the start of April. He began reading the novel last week, “got a few pages in, turned over the page and there was the leaflet inside.

The leaflet warns readers that boys and girls are being offered the HPV vaccine in schools, stating that it is “causing injury, infertility, paralysis … ovarian failure and death, among other conditions”. The vaccine protects against human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes most strains of cervical cancer. Since routine HPV vaccination of 12- and 13-year-old girls was introduced in the UK in 2008, there has been a dramatic fall in the cervical disease that can lead to cancer.

Boyle said her son “came downstairs saying: ‘What is this, isn’t this the jab(shot) I’m going to have at school?’ He was worried as he had read the leaflet and knew he was going to have the jab.”

An anti-vaccination leaflet that was discovered tucked inside a children’s book by mother Lucy Boyle, who had ordered several books from Amazon for her young son.
 The reverse of the leaflet. Photograph: Lucy Boyle

She contacted both Amazon and the book’s publisher, Oxford University Press, eventually managing to speak to one of Amazon’s executive customer relations managers on the phone. He apologized, said the retailer would launch an investigation, and offered Boyle a gift card. In an email seen by the Guardian, an Amazon representative wrote to Boyle: “I am very sorry to hear about the negative experience you have had with the order for your son. Especially considering this was a children’s book and he is due to receive the vaccine soon.

Amazon said it had checked all its facilities where the book was available, including where it was delivered from, and found no evidence that the leaflet was inserted at an Amazon site.

OUP also promised Boyle it would look into the situation, and stressed its belief that the leaflet was not inserted at its end, telling Boyle in an email that “this leaflet has not originated from OUP”, and that it considered the situation to be very serious.

A spokesperson for OUP said the leaflet was “not their promotional material, nor was its insertion authorized by OUP. Furthermore, our warehouse staff adhere to the highest levels of security such that they meet the standards set by the aviation industry. We are not aware of any other instances of external leaflets being inserted into our books.”

Boyle said she was concerned that both sides will end up blaming the other without identifying the source. “It may just be one leaflet in one book, or someone may have leafleted that whole batch of books … I don’t see what Amazon can do if a worker goes in with a bunch of leaflets.

Last month, a Guardian investigation revealed that Amazon appears to be helping anti-vaccine not-for-profit organisations in the US through the Amazon Smile Foundation, its charity arm. And in March, Adam Schiff, chair of the House intelligence committee, wrote to Amazon’s chief executive, Jeff Bezos, to express his concern that “Amazon is surfacing and recommending products and content that discourage parents from vaccinating their children”, citing a CNN Business report which found anti-vaccine books dominated Amazon search results for “vaccine”.

 

As A Reminder April Is Autism Awarness Month

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Chester The AI Radiology Assistant Can diagnose Your X Ray

When you upload your own chest X-ray onto this free website, it could diagnose 14 diseases with 80% accuracy–in other words, about as well as a real radiologist.

There’s no co-pay. No prescription. And the consultation is completely private.

The Chester AI radiology assistant was developed in work led by Joseph Paul Cohen, a postdoctoral fellow at Mila (the Quebec AI institute) and the University of Montreal. He used an NIH dataset of chest X-rays and diseases to train software to spot diseases in these scans. Though he is not a clinical doctor, Cohen is focused on the intersection of health and deep learning. Previously, Cohen created an app called BlindTool, which used machine learning to train a phone’s camera to serve as the eyes for someone with vision impairment.

The user interface contains red and green sliders that depict the likelihood that you have each disease. At a glance, you can tell if you have a 7% or 70% chance of having pneumonia. Furthermore, with Chester AI, Cohen has created what he believes to be the first AI that can diagnose diseases in someone’s browser, through an AI run locally on your machine rather than in the cloud.

“This tool is for a second diagnosis. So far our interaction with doctors has been that it is useful if they are in a hurry (like in an ER) and want to have someone run this image to confirm what they think or to help them not miss anything,” says Cohen. “For radiologists in training, this will help them to form a consistent understanding no matter who their teacher is.”

 

Mumps Outbreak @ Temple University

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More than 100 confirmed or probable cases of mumps have been diagnosed at Temple University as an outbreak that began with just a few cases in February continues to spread across the Philadelphia campus.

City Department of Health officials believe that the close quarters in which college students live has accelerated the spread of the disease, and they expect more cases to be diagnosed. Although mumps and other highly contagious viral diseases such as measles have largely been eradicated in the United States, there have been sporadic outbreaks in pockets of the country that have been largely attributed to so-called anti-vaxxers, or parents who refuse to vaccinate their children. College students are generally susceptible to outbreaks of all kinds of contagious diseases, including certain strains of meningitis and the flu.

The university already held a free vaccination clinic, administering booster shots for mumps to nearly 5,000 students and staffers as of last week. Other students and professors were vaccinated at the campus health center, which is still offering shots, said Ray Betzner, a university spokesman.

Mumps is spread through spit and mucus, so college students who are often packed together in classes and dormitories or who share drinks and food are particularly susceptible, said Susan Even, chairwoman of the American College Health Association’s Vaccine.

The outbreak at Temple is believed to have originated with a person who traveled internationally, said Jim Garrow, city health department spokesman. Garrow did not identify whether the person was a student. Mumps is a common disease in other countries such as in Japan, where people are not routinely vaccinated against it.

Baby Born With With Assisted Reproductive Technology To Avoid Inherited Disease

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Ti Gong —Wang (lying on bed) looks at her daughter born with preimplantation genetic-testing technology to avoid inherited Schaaf-Yang syndrome.

A baby girl was born healthy on Thursday in Shanghai with the help of genetic technology to avoid inherited disease.

The birth place of birth was at the International Peace Maternity and Child Health Hospital of the China Welfare Institute.

The child is the first in the world to be born with preimplantation genetic-testing technology to avoid inherited Schaaf-Yang syndrome.

This is a genetic condition that can cause various defects in babies, such as low muscle tone, feeding difficulties, developmental delay, intellectual disability, and autism spectrum disorder. The syndrome is caused by a mutation in the MAGEL2 gene.

Previously, the baby’s mother, surnamed Wang, had been pregnant six times and given birth to three sons by Caesarean section.

But the first and third sons died within two weeks due to collapsed lung and asphyxiation, while the second son has cerebral palsy.

Wang’s brother-in-law also had three sons who died several days after birth.

The couple had given up hope of having another baby until 2016 when Zhang heard from a friend that several babies had been born at the International Peace Maternity and Child Health Hospital with assisted reproductive technology to avoid inherited diseases.

The couple then went to the hospital, where genetic scientists analyzed their genes and diagnosed their son had Schaaf-Yang syndrome.

The president of the hospital Huang Hefeng, and an expert in reproductive medicine, decided to use preimplantation genetic-testing technology. This is a test done in a lab as part of the in vitro fertilization process to screen embryos for specific diseases, and select healthy embryos to transfer to the uterus for potential pregnancy.

Wang and Zhang’s daughter was born with a powerful cry and a florid face on Thursday morning.

The syndrome was first reported and named in 2013 and has very low incidence. The baby is the first in the world to be born with preimplantation genetic-testing technology to avoid the inherited disease.

Besides the Schaaf-Yang syndrome, the hospital has used PGT, the third-generation of IVF technology, to test and analyze 126 genetic mutations.

It has tested over 15,000 embryos and helped more than 150 babies to be born without inherited disease

Ti Gong—Huang Hefeng, president of the hospital and an expert in reproductive medicine, holds Wang’s daughter, the world’s first baby born with preimplantation genetic testing technology to avoid inherited Schaaf-Yang syndrome.

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