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Artificial intelligence gears up to fight a future coronavirus

first_imgDisease outbreaks like the coronavirus often unfold too quickly for scientists to find a cure. But in the future, artificial intelligence could help researchers do a better job.While it’s probably too late for the fledgling technology to play a major role in the current epidemic, there’s hope for the next outbreaks. AI is good at combing through mounds of data to find connections that make it easier to determine what kinds of treatments could work or which experiments to pursue next.The question is what Big Data will come up with when it only gets meager scraps of information on a newly emerged illness like Covid-19, which first emerged late last year in China and has sickened more than 75,000 people in about two months.The fact that researchers managed to produce the gene sequencing of the new virus within weeks of the first reported cases is promising, since it shows there’s far more immediate data available now when outbreaks happen.Andrew Hopkins, chief executive officer of Oxford, England-based startup Exscientia Ltd. is among those working to help train artificial intelligence for drug discovery. He figures new treatments could go from conception to clinical testing in as little as 18 to 24 months within the next decade, thanks to AI.Exscientia designed a new compound for treating obsessive-compulsive disorder that’s ready to be tested in the lab after less than a year in the initial research phase. That’s about five times faster than average, according to the company.Cambridge-based Healx has a similar approach, but it uses machine learning to find new uses for existing drugs. Both companies feed their algorithms with information — gleaned from sources such as journals, biomedical databases and clinical trials — to help suggest new treatments for diseases.Human SupervisionThe two companies each use a team of human researchers to work alongside the AI to help guide the process. In Exscientia’s approach, dubbed the Centaur Chemist, drug designers help teach the algorithms strategies for searching for compounds. Healx puts the AI’s predictions to researchers who analyze the results and decide what to pursue.Neil Thompson, Healx’s chief science officer, said the technique could be deployed against an outbreak like the coronavirus as long as it had enough data on the new disease. Healx isn’t working on tackling the coronavirus or tweaking its technology for outbreaks, but it wouldn’t be a stretch.“We’re quite close,” Thompson said in an interview. “We wouldn’t need to change much about the AI algorithms we use. We look at matching drug properties to disease features.”One catch for all these technologies is clinical testing. Even drugs already safe for use to cure one ailment should be tested again before they’re prescribed for another. The process of showing they are safe and effective on a large number of people can take years before going to regulators for review.To be effective, AI-based drug developers would have to plan ahead of time, picking out a virus genome likely to cause problems in the future and targeting it when there are few incentives to do so.Read more about how drugmakers are hunting for ways to halt the coronavirus.Another obstacle is finding qualified staff.“It’s hard to find people who can operate at the intersection of AI and biology, and it’s difficult for big companies to make quick decisions on technology like this,” said Irina Haivas, a partner at venture capital firm Atomico and former surgeon who sits on the board of Healx. “It’s not enough to be an AI engineer, you have to understand and get into the applications of biology.”Topics :last_img read more

Two OA Seniors Named National Merit Semifinalists

first_imgSeniors Brian Ulrich (left) and Luke Wukusick (right) have been named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists.OLDENBURG, Ind. – Two Oldenburg Academy seniors have been named semifinalists in the 2015 National Merit Scholarship Program.Seniors Brian Ulrich, of Sunman, and Luke Wukusick, of Batesville, are among 16,000 nationally recognized students. The nomination allows the students to continue in the competition for scholarships and advancement to the final level next semester.Oldenburg Academy is a Franciscan Catholic co-ed college preparatory high school sponsored by the Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg.last_img

Bowl Mania

first_imgWith the 40+ college football bowls we had this year, preliminary numbers indicate that fewer people watched most of the bowls this year than they have in the past.  With so many bowls, most of the scores were very lopsided.  Even the bowl games on New Years Eve and New Years Day were lopsided.  These were supposed to be the major match ups.When you put teams with losing records (or barely above 500 records) in a bowl, it is hard to anticipate good match ups.  I don’t advocate going back to just 5 major bowls, but how about cutting this year’s number in half?  Maybe then people would start watching them again and colleges would actually make a profit by getting into a bowl game.  As it is now, only television is assured of making money.You can bet that the powers to be will not do this.  Every college president wants to brag to his friends that his school was in a bowl game.  Every coach who goes out to recruit wants to say “we were in a bowl”.  Next year we will probably see more bowl games, more blow outs, and poor TV ratings.last_img read more

Chelsea join Man Utd interest in Leicester keeper Schmeichel

first_img read also:Chelsea target Leicester City goalkeeper Schmeichel While they may want to go for someone like Jan Oblak, someone like Schmeichel is a more affordable option. Manchester United have also been linked with the 33-year-old. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Chelsea are the latest big club to show an interest in Leicester City star Kasper Schmeichel. The goalkeeper is willing to leave this summer as he chases Champions League football. The Times says the Blues are considering Schmeichel to replace Kepa Arrizabalaga.Advertisement Loading… center_img Promoted ContentFantastic-Looking (and Probably Delicious) Bread ArtBest & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever MadeWhat Are The Most Delicious Foods Out There?8 Superfoods For Growing Hair Back And Stimulating Its Growth10 Hyper-Realistic 3D Street Art By OdeithBest Car Manufacturers In The WorldIs Cristiano Ronaldo Converting His Hotels To Hospitals?11 Most Immersive Game To Play On Your Table TopWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?10 Risky Jobs Some Women DoWorld’s Most Delicious Foods7 Universities Where Getting An Education Costs A Hefty Pennylast_img read more

2015 season is second in five-year pact with Mach-1 as title sponsor for IMCA Sport Compacts

first_imgABBOTT, Texas (Feb. 4) – The 2015 race season is the second in a five-year agreement making Mach-1 of Abbott, Texas, title sponsor of IMCA’s Sport Compact division.Mach-1 will provide a portion of the $1,000 point fund to be paid to top 10 drivers in final national standings for the 4-cylinder class in 2015. The Gary Mach-owned company began giving Sport Compact contingencies in 2009, first put its name on the division in 2011 and inked the new five-year contract in 2014. Sport Compact champions were crowned at 41 tracks in 10 states in last year. One hundred and nineteen different drivers have now won one or more of the 200 track or special series titles awarded since IMCA began sanctioning the division in 2006. More information about Mach-1 support and consulting services is available by calling 254 826-5848.All drivers in the division are required to display two Mach-1 decals on their race car to be eligible. “The Mach-1 program is crucial for our Sport Compact members because it puts cash in their pocket not only at our national banquet, but during the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s as well,” pointed out IMCA Marketing Director Kevin Yoder. “They’ve been the only title sponsor this division has ever known and we are pleased to be able to market that well into the foreseeable future.”last_img read more

Remy reminder for Mourinho

first_img “The fans want me to score, the players want me to score. I scored a good goal and helped the team to win the game. “We were in control. We created a lot of chances. We gave nothing away. Our team was very good.” It was a fourth successive clean sheet for Chelsea ahead of Saturday’s trip to Newcastle, with Hazard praising the collective contribution. “Defensively we are very strong,” he said. “All the players want to defend for the team, even the attacking players, even me. We are very strong and it’s important. “It was important to win because we lost two points last week against Sunderland. “We scored three beautiful goals. We are six points in front and we want to stay there.” Harry Kane might have put Tottenham in front, but hit the bar with a header before firing wide across goal. The striker, who was not even born when Spurs last won at Stamford Bridge in February 1990, insists his side cannot dwell on the result, with another derby coming up this weekend, against Crystal Palace. “We started very well, we created a few chances and hit the bar with a header,” Kane said in the London Evening Standard. “On another day it could have dropped in. We created a couple of others, too. They didn’t go in, either, and Chelsea punished us for it. “They’re a good side and it’s something we have to learn from. They were just more ruthless than us. “But we have to dust ourselves down because we have a big game coming up at the weekend. “We can’t dwell on it too much. There are too many important games coming up that we have to win, starting this weekend. We have to keep up the intensity in games and do well. “Everton (a 2-1 win last Sunday) was the benchmark of how we have to play this season and hopefully we can go beyond that and keep improving.” “The opportunity was there because Diego wasn’t involved. Didier played well again. “For me it’s important. I took my chance and scored this goal. I can give him (Mourinho) another opportunity and he can count on me any time he wants.” Chelsea, who failed to score for the first time this season at Sunderland last Saturday, began on the defensive as Spurs chased a first win at Stamford Bridge in almost 25 years, before Mourinho’s men stepped up. “We know that we can score any time,” Remy added. “The squad is really strong and that makes the difference between us and the other teams. “We will keep going to try and keep the distance from our closest opponent. It’s six points and that’s really good. We try to continue in this way.” Eden Hazard opened the scoring after a one-two with Drogba, exploiting Aaron Lennon’s failure to track back. Hazard, who struck his fifth Premier League goal of the season, told Chelsea TV: “I try every game to score. If it’s not a penalty, another goal. Remy scored Chelsea’s third in Wednesday night’s 3-0 defeat of Tottenham after Drogba, starting in place of the suspended Costa, had made one and scored another in the Barclays Premier League leaders’ comfortable win. The France striker, who has recovered from a niggling groin problem, told Chelsea TV: “I felt very happy after this goal. When you’re a striker you want to score every game. Press Association After Didier Drogba impressed in the absence of Diego Costa, Loic Remy reminded Jose Mourinho that he is ready, willing and able to provide Chelsea with clinical finishes too. last_img read more

Apache on Punchestown trail

first_img The seven-year-old faces another clash with impressive RSA winner Don Poli in the Growise Novice Chase over an extended three miles. Apache Stronghold was beaten three lengths by Don Poli when they met at Christmas over three miles so Meade brought his stable star back down in trip and it paid off when he beat Valseur Lido in the Flogas Novice Chase. Press Association He confirmed form with that rival at Cheltenham but both were blown away behind Vautour. Apache Stronghold then ran in the Ryanair Gold Cup at Fairyhouse but he fell before the race began in earnest. “Apache Stronghold is OK after Fairyhouse and he’s going to run in the Growise Champion Novice Chase – he’s a good horse who has never disgraced himself yet,” said Meade. A total of 12 novices stood their ground with no major withdrawals. Gilgamboa and Vroum Vroum Mag were two who did not go to Cheltenham and may take the plunge. center_img Noel Meade has given Apache Stronghold the green light for the Punchestown Festival.last_img read more

Playing in qualifying tournament not an embarrassment for Windies – Holder

first_imgBELFAST, Ireland (CMC) – Captain Jason Holder does not believe West Indies having to play in a qualifying tournament to reach the 2019 World Cup in England, is an embarrassment for the Caribbean side.Hosts England and the remaining top seven teams in the ICC rankings at the September 30 cut-off date will earn direct qualification to the showpiece.But with the Windies languishing ninth, they face the increasing likelihood of having to contest a 10-nation qualifier – comprising ICC associate nations like the Netherlands and Scotland – in order to secure one of the last two World Cup spots.“I don’t think it is embarrassing,” Holder said following Wednesday’s rained out One-Day International against Ireland.“The World Cup is of such that teams like Ireland have come into world events and done really well and beat big teams before, as well as other smaller teams, so I don’t think it’s embarrassing.“We are where we are and if we do have to play in them (qualifiers), we will take it one step at a time.”The abandoned ODI at Stormont saw the Windies hopes of direct qualification suffer yet another blow. They needed to beat the Irish as well as also defeat England at least 4-1 in the upcoming five-match series starting next week.However, the Windies can now ill-afford to lose any of the contests against England, leaving them with little margin of error.Holder, who also led the Windies at the last World Cup in 2015 in Australia and New Zealand, said their ultimate goal was to qualify for the tournament regardless of the route.“We’re at the stage where we are looking to turn a corner and qualify for the World Cup, whether we have to go through the qualifiers or qualify automatically,” he pointed out.“We’re excited for the (England) series and hopefully we can play some good cricket.”West Indies received a major boost for the series with the return of leading players Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels, after Cricket West Indies relaxed its stringent eligibility rules, allowing the duo to be in line for selection.Several other players like brothers Darren and Dwayne Bravo, along with Sunil Narine, could also still make a return next year and Holder hopes the added experience coupled with the side’s young talent, can lead to positive results.“We are still a work in progress and hopefully more players are coming back,” Holder said.“Meantime, we have a young group of players challenging for places and hopefully they can come in and make their presence felt and feel more comfortable in the international arena.”The first ODI against England bowls off at Old Trafford next Tuesday.last_img read more

Ronaldo Claims New UEFA Champions League Record

first_imgThe 32-year-old’s effort that flew into the top corner also drew the Portuguese forward level with his Barcelona rival Lionel Messi on 60 group-stage goals in total. It was his ninth this season.Real, bidding for a third straight Champions League title, led Dortmund 2-1 at halftime, but eventually won the game 3-2 to guarantee qualification for the last 16 from Group H as runners-up to Tottenham Hotspur who defeated APOEL Nicosia 3-0 in the other match.WEDNESDAY RESULTSLiverpool 7-0 SpartakMaribor 1-1 SevillaFeyenoord 2-1 NapoliShakhtar 2-1 Man CityPorto 5-2 MonacoLeipzig 1-2 BesiktasR’Madrid 3-2 DortmundTottenham 3-0 APOELShare this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram CHAMPIONS LEAGUECristiano Ronaldo became the first player to score in all six Champions League group-stage matches in a season on Wednesday with a first-half strike for Real Madrid against Borussia Dortmund.last_img read more

Socially acceptable: NCAA rules changes give coaches new way to connect to recruits

first_img Published on January 30, 2013 at 12:31 am Contact Phil: pmdabbra@syr.edu | @PhilDAbb College coaches love the new recruiting rule. High school coaches don’t.In June, the NCAA approved a rule that permits Division-I men’s basketball coaches to send unlimited text messages and make unlimited phone calls to recruits who have finished their sophomore year of high school. The rule also allows college coaches to send private messages to their prospects via Facebook and Twitter. Any public messages about a team’s recruiting efforts are still prohibited.“I think it’s been a great change in the fact that it allows us as coaches and also the prospects to further develop a relationship,” said Matthew Graves, associate head coach at Butler. “It’s been a big positive, especially being able to text a recruit after he’s had a big game. It’s more of an immediate response.”Previously, the NCAA limited the coaches’ ability to contact players to just one phone call per month. The NCAA approved the deregulation as part of a new recruiting model intended to help develop stronger relationships between coaches and recruits while limiting the influence of third parties. On Aug. 1, a similar rule will be applied to NCAA football recruiters.Six months after the rule was put into effect in basketball, coaches at the college level are pleased with the outcome of the rule and how the recruiting process has evolved.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBefore the NCAA altered the rules, recruiters’ options were limited to sending emails, a hand-written note or relaying a message through a high school or AAU coach, Graves said. Now, recruiters can receive feedback from a player much more quickly after a notable performance by either the recruit or the college team.Some recruiters use direct messages on Twitter to interact with players, but Graves and Syracuse assistant coach Mike Hopkins said they use Twitter to follow recruits and keep themselves informed of the recruiting spectrum.Twitter is also useful to build hype around a program, Hopkins said. He pointed to how Kentucky head coach John Calipari has tweeted about his interactions with celebrities such as Jay-Z and Charlie Sheen, tweets that could catch the eyes of a potential Wildcat.But for one-on-one communication, Graves and Hopkins don’t use Twitter or Facebook. They instead use phone calls and text messaging, two methods that Syracuse commit Ron Patterson said he preferred to be contacted by during his recruiting period.Hopkins said face-to-face exchanges are optimal, but being able to respond to texts at his convenience makes texting a valuable tool as well. The ability to text more than one recruit at a time is another perk of texting for Hopkins. Even 68-year-old Jim Boeheim texts, Hopkins said.“I’m telling you, it’s about texting. It’s awesome,” Hopkins said. “It’s a form of communication where they know you’re still actively recruiting them.”Hopkins doesn’t like to be an “overbearing” recruiter, which he thinks can be a positive and negative mentality. When building a relationship with a recruit, he said, it’s important to gauge just how frequently the recruiter should speak with the player.Graves said text messages have become so popular among recruiters because of the very prospects with which they interact.“Let’s face it, that’s the way kids like to communicate, via text, and they can do it on their own time,” Graves said. “And you’re not being overly intrusive and it’s just been a great way to open up another way to communicate.”The best recruiters, Graves said, will find the best ways to recruit, whether they use hand-written notes or adapt to new technology to communicate. A younger coach doesn’t necessarily have an edge over an older coach, said Jon Boon, the head coach at Bishop Kearney High School in Rochester, N.Y.Boeheim still lands good recruits, Boon said, and so does Duke’s 65-year-old head coach Mike Krzyzewski. Age isn’t a big factor in how recruiting is communicated, Boon said.“To be honest with you, it doesn’t really change a whole lot because they don’t contact the high school coaches very much anyway,” said Boon. “… They have too much direct contact, in my opinion.”Boon said recruiting violations and ongoing investigations across the country are the results of players and recruiters directly communicating with each other. Nobody is required to inform a high school coach when recruiters contact his players, he said.Since June, the NCAA has investigated UCLA – owner of the No. 2 recruiting class in the country – Central Florida, Tennessee and Saint Mary’s for potential violations.Cheaters will cheat, Boon said, regardless of how the process works. But violators now have an easier path to do so, since they aren’t required to communicate through anybody else.Boon said a third person needs to oversee the recruiter-recruit interaction. The procedure would improve for everyone, he said, if it returned to the way it used to operate, when recruiters contacted recruits through the high school.“I don’t know if there’s a right answer to the whole situation,” Boon said. “I just think there’s too much direct contact with the kids.”Recently, there was a football player at Bishop Kearney, Boon recalled, who was overwhelmed by the 30-40 phone calls he received each night from college coaches who were permitted to contact him directly – there was a brief period where the rule fluctuated.“He hastily made a decision to go to a school and by his own account, he made the wrong decision. And he had no one to kind of help him,” Boon said. “But the way the system is set up, it’s not done that way.”He has issues with the new rules, but Boon admitted he would recruit the same way if he were in that position.Carl Arrigale, the head basketball coach at Neumann-Goretti High School in Philadelphia, has an issue with college coaches texting players during school hours, distracting them from their classes. It takes away from the recruits’ high school experience, he believes.Still, he recognizes the complexity of the situation.“To be honest with you, I’m saying there should be restrictions on what you can do, (but) who’s going to know? It’s such a hard thing to monitor,” Arrigale said. “I mean, coaches get fired when they don’t have winning seasons anymore, so you almost can’t blame them for wanting an advantage. They need players to survive. It’s a catch-22.”Graves agreed the system isn’t fair, but believes it’s because of a “staff-to-staff issue,” not an issue with the rules. When Butler’s coaches recruit, Graves said, they keep the high school coaches as involved and informed as possible because they feel it’s the proper way to communicate.Regardless of whether the NCAA’s rules are flawed, Graves said it’s imperative that recruiters obey them and uphold the standards of the NCAA as they compete against each other for the next generation of student-athletes.“I think it’s our job as coaches to be responsible,” Graves said. “To utilize it in a way that will help enhance the process and getting to know not only the recruit, but their whole situation.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more