Riviste scientifiche

Possessor review: One of the best and smartest films of the decade

New Scientist - Gi, 26/11/2020 - 11:22
Possessor follows an assassin who can weaponise the minds and bodies of other people. It is extremely gruesome, but if you can stomach it, it is an excellent film, says Linda Marric

Endangered animals threatened by pandemic as ecotourists stay home

New Scientist - Gi, 26/11/2020 - 10:00
The ecotourism that funds many conservation programmes has largely stopped during the covid-19 pandemic, which could lead to losses of endangered animals

Birds that rapidly moult feathers are more likely to become flightless

New Scientist - Gi, 26/11/2020 - 09:00
When birds moult feathers on both wings at once, they must find food and avoid being hunted without flying – which could make them prone to becoming flightless

[Comment] Physical activity guidelines 2020: comprehensive and inclusive recommendations to activate populations

The Lancet - Gi, 26/11/2020 - 00:30
The new WHO 2020 Guidelines on Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour1 provide recommendations on the amount and types of physical activity for various age groups, pregnant and post-partum women, and people living with chronic conditions or disabilities. The 2020 WHO guidelines are built on a much larger evidence base than the 2010 guidelines,2 and include some major developments. First, evidence for additional health benefits, such as improved cognitive health, health-related quality of life, mental health, and sleep, is reported, over and above what was included in the 2010 WHO guidelines—ie, cancer, cardiorespiratory, metabolic, musculoskeletal, and functional health.

Assessment of deep neural networks for the diagnosis of benign and malignant skin neoplasms in comparison with dermatologists: A retrospective validation study

PLoS Medicine - Me, 25/11/2020 - 23:00

by Seung Seog Han, Ik Jun Moon, Seong Hwan Kim, Jung-Im Na, Myoung Shin Kim, Gyeong Hun Park, Ilwoo Park, Keewon Kim, Woohyung Lim, Ju Hee Lee, Sung Eun Chang


The diagnostic performance of convolutional neural networks (CNNs) for diagnosing several types of skin neoplasms has been demonstrated as comparable with that of dermatologists using clinical photography. However, the generalizability should be demonstrated using a large-scale external dataset that includes most types of skin neoplasms. In this study, the performance of a neural network algorithm was compared with that of dermatologists in both real-world practice and experimental settings.

Methods and findings

To demonstrate generalizability, the skin cancer detection algorithm (https://rcnn.modelderm.com) developed in our previous study was used without modification. We conducted a retrospective study with all single lesion biopsied cases (43 disorders; 40,331 clinical images from 10,426 cases: 1,222 malignant cases and 9,204 benign cases); mean age (standard deviation [SD], 52.1 [18.3]; 4,701 men [45.1%]) were obtained from the Department of Dermatology, Severance Hospital in Seoul, Korea between January 1, 2008 and March 31, 2019. Using the external validation dataset, the predictions of the algorithm were compared with the clinical diagnoses of 65 attending physicians who had recorded the clinical diagnoses with thorough examinations in real-world practice.In addition, the results obtained by the algorithm for the data of randomly selected batches of 30 patients were compared with those obtained by 44 dermatologists in experimental settings; the dermatologists were only provided with multiple images of each lesion, without clinical information.With regard to the determination of malignancy, the area under the curve (AUC) achieved by the algorithm was 0.863 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.852–0.875), when unprocessed clinical photographs were used. The sensitivity and specificity of the algorithm at the predefined high-specificity threshold were 62.7% (95% CI 59.9–65.1) and 90.0% (95% CI 89.4–90.6), respectively. Furthermore, the sensitivity and specificity of the first clinical impression of 65 attending physicians were 70.2% and 95.6%, respectively, which were superior to those of the algorithm (McNemar test; p < 0.0001). The positive and negative predictive values of the algorithm were 45.4% (CI 43.7–47.3) and 94.8% (CI 94.4–95.2), respectively, whereas those of the first clinical impression were 68.1% and 96.0%, respectively.In the reader test conducted using images corresponding to batches of 30 patients, the sensitivity and specificity of the algorithm at the predefined threshold were 66.9% (95% CI 57.7–76.0) and 87.4% (95% CI 82.5–92.2), respectively. Furthermore, the sensitivity and specificity derived from the first impression of 44 of the participants were 65.8% (95% CI 55.7–75.9) and 85.7% (95% CI 82.4–88.9), respectively, which are values comparable with those of the algorithm (Wilcoxon signed-rank test; p = 0.607 and 0.097).Limitations of this study include the exclusive use of high-quality clinical photographs taken in hospitals and the lack of ethnic diversity in the study population.


Our algorithm could diagnose skin tumors with nearly the same accuracy as a dermatologist when the diagnosis was performed solely with photographs. However, as a result of limited data relevancy, the performance was inferior to that of actual medical examination. To achieve more accurate predictive diagnoses, clinical information should be integrated with imaging information.

Earth’s early atmosphere may have been toxic like the one on Venus

New Scientist - Me, 25/11/2020 - 20:00
After the moon formed, Earth was probably left with an ocean of molten rock, which may have given the planet a thick atmosphere full of carbon dioxide like the one on Venus

Huge reservoir of fresh water found beneath the sea off Hawaii

New Scientist - Me, 25/11/2020 - 20:00
A huge cache of fresh water found beneath the sea floor off the western coast of Hawaii’s Big Island could lift the threat of drought for people living there

Wasps in Australia are endangering planes by building nests on them

New Scientist - Me, 25/11/2020 - 20:00
Keyhole wasps, notorious for building nests in manufactured structures, have caused aircraft safety incidents by inhabiting crucial plane parts at Brisbane Airport

The fluid in between your cells could help reveal health problems

New Scientist - Me, 25/11/2020 - 20:00
The liquid between your cells accounts for around a quarter of all of your bodily fluids. A patch consisting of tiny needles could monitor this liquid to check for health conditions like diabetes

China's Chang'e 5 probe is the start of a new era of lunar exploration

New Scientist - Me, 25/11/2020 - 19:00
Chang'e 5 is set to bring moon rocks back to Earth for the first time in more than four decades – and China has even more ambitious plans for lunar missions in the coming years

Can a law meant to protect Native American artefacts free an orca?

New Scientist - Me, 25/11/2020 - 19:00
Members of the Native American Lummi Nation consider a captive orca called Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut to be their kin. Now they are using extraordinary means to gain her release

Don't Miss: I Am Greta documentary is the story of a climate crusader

New Scientist - Me, 25/11/2020 - 19:00
New Scientist's weekly round-up of the best books, films, TV series, games and more that you shouldn’t miss

Surreal Californian oilscape wins climate change photography award

New Scientist - Me, 25/11/2020 - 19:00
This unreal landscape captures the environmental price of intensive oil exploitation paid by a desert in Kern County, California. The image was taken by David Gardner and won a prize at the 2020 BarTur Photo Award

Fears about genetically modified foods are cultural not scientific

New Scientist - Me, 25/11/2020 - 19:00
Many people strongly object to genetically modified plants, but foods like sweet potatoes and grapefruits are a reminder that that these concerns are cultural rather than based on science, says James Wong

The race to find and stop viruses that could cause the next pandemic

New Scientist - Me, 25/11/2020 - 19:00
The coronavirus pandemic is still raging, but the clock is ticking towards the next big virus threat – can we track it down before it makes the leap from animals to humans?

Crazy, Not Insane review: Why do people become murderers?

New Scientist - Me, 25/11/2020 - 19:00
True-crime shows focusing on the act of murder are booming. Alex Gibney's new documentary Crazy, Not Insane instead looks at what might spawn a killer

Can mass testing schemes stop the spread of the coronavirus?

New Scientist - Me, 25/11/2020 - 18:25
Widespread testing can help contain the coronavirus, but only when combined with other vital measures

Superintelligence review: A fun take on the AI apocalypse storyline

New Scientist - Me, 25/11/2020 - 18:00
In Superintelligence, Melissa McCarthy plays a character who must show a sentient AI that humanity is worth saving. The film is a strange but captivating mix of rom-com sci-fi and action

Covid-19 news: Third wave is likely after UK Christmas covid-19 plan

New Scientist - Me, 25/11/2020 - 17:57
The latest coronavirus news updated every day including coronavirus cases, the latest news, features and interviews from New Scientist and essential information about the covid-19 pandemic

Tiny toucan-like bird with a single tooth flew during the dinosaur era

New Scientist - Me, 25/11/2020 - 17:00
Bird fossils from the age of the dinosaurs are rare because they are so delicate that they often don’t last, but a recent find reveals an odd ancient bird
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