Health Life

New tool exploring different paths the corona pandemic may take

Frank Dignum, professor of computer science specialising in artificial intelligence at Umeå University in Sweden. Credit: Virginia Dignum

Umeå University in Sweden is leading a team of researchers across Europe in the development of a coronavirus simulation framework that can support decision makers to experiment and evaluate possible interventions and their combined effects, in a simulated controlled world.

“No one can predict the future but with the ASSOCC you can accurately explore a wide range of possible scenarios, gain an understanding of the connections between health, economy and well-being, and therefore be better prepared to take decisions on the policies to implement,” says Frank Dignum, team leader and professor at the Department of Computing science at Umeå University in Sweden.

The pandemic is the biggest crisis of our time. In their efforts to limit the spread of the virus, are struggling to balance their responses to the health situation with the needs of societies and economies. The interactions are complex and contextual and short-term steps can have large long-term consequences.

“We have developed a few initial scenarios based on theoretical models of epidemics, and economics as an illustration of the framework. We invite decision makers and researchers to apply ASSOCC to their specific questions and empirical data,” says Frank Dignum.

“We have gathered a group of experienced researchers from all over Europe to work on this project. All are contributing their time and expertise voluntarily and without any funding. It is heart-warming to see the commitment and results from all who are working day and night since two weeks,” continues Frank Dignum.

At this moment, the team is already applying the framework to specific questions from the UK, Australia and the Netherlands. At the same time, they are working on the release

Health article

NIMH » Bipolar Disorder in Teens and Young Adults: Know the Signs

Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, marked by episodes of mania and depression.

Common Signs & Symptoms of Mania

  • Showing intense happiness or silliness for a long time
  • Having a very short temper or seeming extremely irritable
  • Talking very fast or having racing thoughts
  • Having an inflated sense of ability, knowledge, and power
  • Doing reckless things that show poor judgment

Common Signs & Symptoms of Depression

  • Feeling very sad or hopeless
  • Feeling lonely or isolating themselves from others
  • Eating too much or too little
  • Having little energy and no interest in usual activities
  • Sleeping too much

Teens and young adults with bipolar disorder symptoms may think and talk about self-harm or suicide. If someone you know is expressing these thoughts, seek help immediately.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Crisis Text Line
Text HELLO to 741741

National Institutes of Health
National Institute of Mental Health
NIMH Identification No. OM 20-4318

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Health Life

Machine learning helps doctors diagnose severity of brain tumors

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

An estimated 18,000 people in the United States will die of brain and spinal cord tumors in 2020. To help doctors differentiate between the severity of cancers in the brain, an international team of researchers led by Dr. Murat Günel, Chair of Neurosurgery at Yale School of Medicine, and Nixdorff-German Professor of Neurosurgery, built a machine learning model that uses complex mathematics to learn how various types of brain tumors look in the brain. The model is designed to “learn” from this gathered data to make predictions and help doctors diagnose the stage of brain cancers faster and more accurately.

To test their artificial learning method, the team used 229 patients with brain tumors along a spectrum of how likely they are to become malignant from lower-grade gliomas, which are relatively slow-growing tumors that originate from glial cells of the brain—to glioblastomas, the highly aggressive counterpart to gliomas.

“Our machine learning models used to differentiate the tumor types were very accurate,” said Hang Cao, a from Xiangya Hospital working with Dr. Gunel, and the lead author of the study published in European Radiology.

The researchers compiled data from a public tumor machine resonance imaging (MRI) database called The Cancer Imaging Archive. Board-certified neuro-radiologists then identified and selected glioma cases, which the researchers used for their model.

The team found significant differences in how the cancers looked, their volumes in various regions of the brain, and their locations. When taken together, the model could predict which tumors were lower-grade gliomas or glioblastomas with a high degree of accuracy.

The timeline for using such a model in a is not known at this time. Although it would be possible to implement now as a stand-alone evaluation, the process is not yet integrated into

Health article

Strep B Test: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information

What happens during a group B strep test?

If you are pregnant, your health care provider may order a swab test or a urine test.

For a swab test, you will lie on your back on an exam table. Your health care provider will use a
small cotton swab to take a sample of cells and fluids from your vagina and rectum.

For a urine test, you will most likely be told to use the “clean catch method” to ensure your sample is sterile. It includes the following steps.

  • Wash your hands.
  • Clean your genital area with a cleansing pad given to you by your provider. To clean, open your labia and wipe from front to back.
  • Start to urinate into the toilet.
  • Move the collection container under your urine stream.
  • Collect at least an ounce or two of urine into the container, which should have markings to indicate the amounts.
  • Finish urinating into the toilet.
  • Return the sample container as instructed by your health care provider.

If your baby needs testing, a provider may do a blood test or a spinal tap.

For a blood test, a health care professional will use a small needle to take a blood sample from your baby’s heel. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. Your baby may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out.

A spinal tap, also known as a lumbar puncture, is a test that collects and looks at spinal fluid, the clear liquid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. During the procedure:

  • A nurse or other health care provider will hold your baby in a curled-up position.
  • A health care provider will clean your baby’s back and inject