Sunday, May 20, 2018

Cuba aircraft accident, over 100 dead

A terrible incident occurred in Cuba. An aircraft immediately after launching from Havana crashed into the ground. This accident killed more than 100 people, almost all passengers, and crews.

The Washington Post: More than 100 people dead after airliner crashes in Cuba on domestic flight

The cause of the accident is still unclear. It is unlikely someone deliberately did this tragedy, I guess.

The crashed airplane, a Boeing 737-200, was leased by state airline Cubana de Aviación from a small Mexican carrier. This carrier was 38 years old but had passed the latest safety examination.

According to the media, there are some aircraft accident cases occurred in Cuba in recent years. But it is unsure there are structural issues in this case. I pray for the victims.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

The egg is healthy, the final answer

One of the victims mostly disgraced in the last century may be the egg. We had been told not to eat too many eggs for protecting our health. It was for an egg contains rich cholesterol.

However, recent studies suggest the safety of eating many eggs. A couple of years ago, authorities amended the statement about the risk of eggs. It was the most surprising change in the modern nutrition.

And also, there is an interventional study about the effect of eggs. In this study, participants with diabetes or the risk of it were encouraged to eat many eggs or fewer eggs according to the group assigned. As a result, members of both groups accomplished the reduced body weight with maintaining the metabolic status. No significance was observed between groups.

Hindustan Times: Eggs are good for you. Yes, even the yolk, says this study

This result itself is not surprising. But, it is splendid that an interventional study for a year was conducted to prove a hypothesis.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Spider guardian

There are species most people hate. Insects are good examples, as well as spiders.

But it is better not kill the spider found in your house. One of the reasons is that spiders eat other insects which are more harmful to you. In Japan, the gecko is known as a guardian of the house for the similar reason.

The Conversation: Should I kill spiders in my home? An entomologist explains why not to

I know the fact the article above describes. Therefore, I never kill the spiders at home.

However, I see mini-spiders almost every day in recent. I wonder where they live.

The other day, I saw a huge spider. Its shape was bigger than my hand!  Maybe it was a cellar spider.

By the way, it is said that spider tastes like chocolate. You can eat it after getting rid of the legs. I dare not to try, of course.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Medical AI challenges

Yesterday, I attended a lecture regarding medical AI.

The speaker was the CEO of a startup engaged in this topic. He has medical doctor license. But immediately after graduating the medical school, he began to develop a company. The reason was that he noticed the situation of the IT around medical practice was too outdated to carry out satisfactory care for patients.

Now, he gathered a large amount of money through ICO, and attempts several projects for better solutions in medical science.

For example, his company is developing a system of automated construction of the medical record. In general, a medical doctor makes a consult with the patient for diagnosing him or her. After listening to the patient's complaints, the doctor has to take a note of the finding to construct the medical record. The system under developing will enable this process to be automated. If this system is complete, the doctor can focus on considering proper treatment with saving the time for typing the words on the PC.

There are several challenges to be overcome in the medical practice, according to the CEO. It was impressive that he thought the modern medical AI is far from satisfactory so that the outcome of engineers' work is no more beneficial to our society. Indeed, it is not easy to replace human doctors with an AI. Even if realized, an AI would not take a responsibility of decision making for medical practices.

The CEO also told us about blockchain. It is no doubt that blockchain is an innovative technology. He would like to utilize blockchain for sharing medical records of many patients. But there are some barriers before realizing it, such as the block size, security, and the switching cost.

To be honest, I am a shareholder of his company. Of course, I strongly believe he will be successful.

I hardly imagine the true impact of the AI on the medical practice. I am also engaged in a study regarding the utilization of medical AI. But the outcome is unsure so far. In my guess, AI will not replace human doctors. Rather, AI will support, or hopefully enhance, the doctor's treatment in the near future.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Low income makes you dull?

It is well known about the positive association between the level of intelligence and income. But how do you feel about the causality?

Generally speaking, highly intellect persons are likely to gain more money. In contrast, people with intellectual disability are difficult to keep adequate income for satisfactory life. Therefore, financial aids for people with disabilities are necessary. It is a principle of the modern welfare-oriented states.

On the other hand, there is a hypothesis that low income does damage your brain activity. In a recent study, people with high socioeconomic status had more segregated brain structure. This result remained after the status in their childhood and other potential confounding factors were adjusted.

The Atlantic: How Income Affects the Brain

Since I have not read the manuscript thoroughly, I cannot evaluate the validity of the conclusion. But, it is possible that longitudinal exposure to financial difficulty causes irreversible damage to the brain. There is a hypothesis that chronic inflammation in the brain leads to depression, and poverty is one of the triggers of the onset of depression. As well, oxidative stress is suspected as a dominant cause of dementia. To sum up, some factors such as oxidative stress, inflammation, or depression as a clinical symptom mediate the link between poverty and chronic cognitive dysfunction.

Accepting this trajectory indicated above, what should we do? Improved social security is crucial for preventing people from further suffering. But it is not easy to deliver adequate wealth to everyone. "Free rider" issue should be discussed when giving money to many people equally. To begin with, proof of the causality between poverty and impaired cognitive function is not enough because there are no interventional studies.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Stabbing case occurred in Chiba

In Chiba prefecture, near to Tokyo in Japan, an assault case occurred all at sudden.

The suspect, who was proven to be an ex-member of Chiba city assembly, intruded into a restaurant with a knife. He stubbed a family composed of father, mother, and a girl. Unfortunately, the girl was killed by him. Her parents got injured but not fatal.

South East Morning Post: Japanese ex-politician stabs family of four in restaurant near Tokyo, killing little girl

According to the media, the suspect is an uncle of the victimized girl. Some Japanese media reported his criminal history in which he has stricken his father in the past but not being prosecuted. The suspect seems to have admitted that he had done it.

Mr. Yoshihito Kumagai, the Mayor of Chiba city, tweeted for expressing regret to this tragedy. Due to the uniqueness of the suspect, Japanese media are willing to report the case in detail. But I have no words about this case at present because the information is limited. Pray for the victim.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Crypto jacking

Since the internet emerged in the late 20th century, malware has risen to the mainstream of the internet security. There are several types of malware developed by malicious crackers; computer virus, trojan horse, and phishing sights in recent. And the latest tool is crypto jacking.

The Conversation: Cryptojacking spreads across the web

The scheme of cryptocurrencies is supported by many miners. Miners use their computer to confirm each transaction to be rewarded. Thus, they get crypto coins in exchange for providing electric power.

Crypto jacker is so-called a free rider of miners. If you unconsciously install a crypto jacking application, your computer will be misused to make crypto coins. Of course, the reward is paid to the cracker.

Crypto jacking is less harmful than typical malware for the owner of the computer. Nonetheless, the affected machine consumes an excessive charge.

According to the article above, crypto jacking also can be utilized properly. People visiting a website are asked to donate the organizer with mining. It looks a cool idea.

Anyway, malware will rise one after another. We should be always aware of their risk.