Week Ending Nov 17, 2017

A.I., Imaging Tech Create ‘Brain Atlas’
Laboratoryequipment.com – 11/13/17
With the help of artificial intelligence, a team of researchers at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Research Campus has taken another step in the pursuit to answer a fundamental question: how do nervous systems generate behavior? To find that answer, scientists first need to identify which neurons form the circuits that bring about particular behaviors. Now, an interdisciplinary team has created detailed maps showing specific regions of the fruit fly brain associated with actions like walking, jumping and backing up. Those maps were developed with the assistance of a machine-learning program that made 100 billion annotations of fruit fly behavior in more than 225 days of videos of flies, a daunting endeavour that would have taken humans thousands of years to manually complete.

Organized hospitals save lives, researchers say
Yale Daily News – 11/13/17
Improving the organizational culture of hospitals may decrease heart attack mortality rates, Yale researchers have found. Researchers in the School of Public Health conducted a two-year intervention at 10 hospitals around the country with the hopes of improving hospital culture and decreasing the number of deaths due to heart attacks. The team published a paper detailing their efforts in the journal BMJ Quality & Safety on Nov. 3.  For their intervention, the research team instructed 10 hospitals to create an interdisciplinary coalition of approximately 15 to 25 people involved in the treatment of heart attacks, including doctors, nurses and administrators. The coalitions then participated in on-site workshops that guided their efforts to change hospital culture and to implement new evidence-based practices. “For most hospitals, this was the first time they had brought together a coalition that spanned across multiple disciplines, reached outside of the hospital walls and cut across layers of the hierarchy,” co-author Erika Linnander said.

Can a Mathematical Model Detect Fake News? Two Penn State Professors Want to Find Out
EdSurge – 11/10/17
Penn State professors Dongwon Lee and S. Shyam Sundar initially wanted to know more about the fake news epidemic. Now, with $300,000 in funding from the National Science Foundation, the duo is working to build a model that could be used to detect fake news before it hits social media newsfeeds. As part of their interdisciplinary research project, the Penn State professors will use a dataset of news stories that have been verified as either legitimate or fake. Lee says he and Sundar assume stories that have been debunked by sites such as Snopes and Politifact are fake, while stories from major outlets such as the New York Times and the Washington Post are considered legitimate.

An Academic and a Drag Performer Dialogue Through Dance
KQED Arts – 11/9/17
Hope Mohr Dance’s 2017 Bridge Project opens with an unexpected scene: Monique Jenkinson, the first cisgender female to win a major drag pageant, dancing alongside acclaimed gender theorist Judith Butler as they share an “embodied conversation” beneath disco lights. Since 2010, Hope Mohr — the program’s artistic director — has organized the Bridge Project to interrogate a particular topic. This year, two weeks of interdisciplinary conversations, performances, and workshops will explore the idea of gender in movement and what it means to have a radical body.

Improving understanding of flooding and resilience in the Terai, Nepal
reliefweb – 11/9/17
Rivers sourced from the Himalaya irrigate the Indo-Gangetic Plain via major river networks that support approximately 10% of the global population and their livelihoods. However, many of these rivers are also the source of devastating floods. The collaboration was between an interdisciplinary team of geoscientists, engineers, social scientists and architects from the University of Edinburgh alongside practitioners from the NGO Practical Action and the Nepal Department of Hydrology and Meteorology. The teams applied new science and appropriate technology, and conducted research with communities to better understand flood risk in the Karnali river basin, Western Nepal from an interdisciplinary perspective.