Jul 31, 2017

AI program can diagnose skin cancer "as well as doctors"

An AI algorithm can diagnose malignant skin lesions "as accurately as a group of 21 certified dermatologists," per Bloomberg.

  • How it works: Researchers at Stanford used an algorithm already developed by Google, but trained it to "visually diagnose potential cancer" from almost 13,000 images of skin disease, per a Stanford news report. To test the algorithm, 21 dermatologists were shown over 370 images of skin lesions and asked if "they would proceed with biopsy or treatment, or reassure the patient." The algorithm performed as successfully as the dermatologists.
  • Why it matters: Early detection of skin cancer is important in reducing health risks, and Bloomberg reports that the AI may be able reduce how many surgeries patients need.
  • Biopsies, however, are still the most reliable "means of detection," and real-life doctors and nurses "outperform AI" in assigning treatments and spotting symptoms.

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South Korea and Italy see spikes in coronavirus cases

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus has spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting these are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the United States.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,446 people and infected almost 79,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel and Lebanon, while Iran reported its sixth death from the virus. South Korea's confirmed cases jumped from 204 Friday to 433 on Saturday and Italy's case count rose from 3 to 62 by Saturday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 51 mins ago - Health

Bernie Sanders wins Nevada caucus

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders waves to supporters at a campaign rally on Friday in Las Vegas. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders is projected to handily win the Nevada Democratic primary caucus, becoming the clear frontrunner among 2020 Democratic presidential primary election candidates.

Why it matters: Nevada is the first state with a diverse population to hold a nominating contest, highlighting candidates' abilities to connect with voters of color — particularly Latino voters.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Heat wave melts 20% of snow cover from Antarctic island in days

The effects of February's record heat wave on Eagle Island in Antarctica. Photo: NASA

Antarctica's Eagle Island now has a side that's almost ice-free following this month's searing heat wave in the region, images released by NASA show.

Why it maters: "The warm spell caused widespread melting on nearby glaciers," NASA said in its report. It's the third major melt event of the 2019-2020 Southern Hemisphere summer, following warm spells in January and last November, according to the United Nation's World Meteorological Organization (WMO).