Health Life

New AI tool is a potential timesaver for COVID-19 researchers

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Northwestern University computer scientists are aiming to speed up treatments and vaccines for COVID-19—by making researchers’ jobs easier.

The team has developed a new tool that searches through , predicting the most useful results for each user. After pulling documents of interest, the tool then uses to generate a short, easy-to-skim summary of each .

“Researchers can spend hours combing through documents and reading peer-reviewed papers,” said Ning Wang, a who developed the tool. “Our tool provides the most salient details for academic articles rather than simply retrieving them. We hope this will be a time saver for researchers, guiding them to key information.”

Wang worked on the project with Diego Klabjan, a professor of industrial engineering and in Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering, and is advised by Han Liu, an associate professor of computer science in McCormick and of statistics in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.

Wang initially developed the tool, now called CAVIDOTS (short for Coronavirus Document Text Summarization), to sift through and analyze financial news. But after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Wang shifted his focus.

“When COVID-19 broke out, we noticed a large body of research papers related to the illness,” he said. “We thought we could apply our algorithm to this challenge and see if we could get meaningful results.”

To use CAVIDOTS, users can visit a web-based application and enter search terms. They can first enter large categories and then more specific keywords. The then searches through 30,000 documents in the COVID-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19), a free database housing scholarly articles related to the novel coronavirus.

CAVIDOTS merges similar results to save researchers time from sorting through redundant papers. Then it generates a summary for each

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How to Safely Use Nail Care Products

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Manicures and pedicures can be pretty. The cosmetic products used, such as nail polishes and nail polish removers, also must be safe—and are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The FDA also regulates devices used to dry (or “cure”) artificial nails or gel nail polish as electronic products because they emit radiation.

You can do your part to stay safe (and look polished, too) by following all labeled directions and paying attention to any warning statements listed on these products.

Cosmetic Nail Care Products: Ingredients and Warnings

Cosmetic ingredients (except most color additives) and products, including nail products, do not need FDA approval before they go on the market.

But these products are required to be safe when used as intended. (Note that nail products intended to treat medical problems are classified as drugs and do require FDA approval.)

Cosmetic nail care products also must include any instructions or warnings needed to use them safely. For example:

  • Some nail products can catch fire easily so you should not expose them to flames (such as from a lit cigarette) or heat sources (such as a curling iron).
  • Some can injure your eyes, so you should avoid this exposure.
  • Some should only be used in areas with good air circulation (ventilation).
  • Some ingredients can be harmful if swallowed, so these products should never be consumed by any person or pet.

Also know that retail cosmetics such as those sold in stores or online must list ingredients in the order of decreasing amounts. If you’re concerned about certain ingredients, you can check the label and avoid using products with those ingredients.

For example, some nail hardeners and nail polishes may contain formaldehyde, which can cause skin irritation or an allergic reaction. And acrylics, used in some artificial nails and sometimes