Brain

Chronic wasting disease has been detected in British Columbia deer, and we need to act now

Retrieved on: 
Friday, February 16, 2024

Since 1996, a deadly neurodegenerative disease of cervids (deer, elk, moose, caribou, reindeer) has been spreading across Canada.

Key Points: 
  • Since 1996, a deadly neurodegenerative disease of cervids (deer, elk, moose, caribou, reindeer) has been spreading across Canada.
  • On Jan. 31, 2024, chronic wasting disease (CWD) was detected for the first time in British Columbia in two deer.

Disease-causing proteins

  • The protein is similar to other normal proteins in the body, except it’s abnormally shaped.
  • The abnormal folding of these disease-causing prion proteins — which are found most abundantly in the brain — leads to brain damage that makes the brain appear like a sponge.
  • Other TSEs include Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in people, bovine-spongiform encephalopathy (“mad cow disease”) in cows, and scrapie in sheep and goats.
  • This means that early detection and management is critical for reducing the impact of this disease.

British Columbia’s preparations

  • has established a surveillance program to detect CWD as soon as possible.
  • Our research suggests that a robust approach to such a difficult disease will require rapid, collective and collaborative action across sectors.
  • This approach must involve wildlife managers, hunters, local communities, First Nations and researchers to integrate a number of approaches.

Surveillance and management

  • Many CWD management programs rely on removing infected animals from the landscape.
  • While it is mandatory to submit the heads from hunted cervids in select management units in B.C., in most regions, submission is voluntary.
  • Hunters can participate in CWD management and surveillance by removing the head of the animal and submitting it to a local testing station or freezer for CWD testing.
  • The public can also participate in CWD surveillance and management by reporting signs of sick animals and vehicle collisions with cervids.
  • This is why testing cervids that have been killed by vehicles is also a critical component of CWD surveillance and management.

Curbing the spread

  • CWD can spread between animals through contact with bodily fluids.
  • Legal restrictions on carcass transport and the use of urine-based scents in hunting can also reduce the unintentional spread of CWD.
  • Research has shown that community-focused communication and engagement are essential for the success of CWD management efforts.
  • In the days ahead, fostering open dialogue and collaboration will be paramount towards an effective and sustainable effort against CWD.


Kaylee Byers is the Regional Deputy Director of the British Columbia Node of the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative and collaborates with the Wildlife Health Program, which leads Chronic Wasting Disease surveillance in British Columbia. Sarah Robinson does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

AI has a large and growing carbon footprint, but there are potential solutions on the horizon

Retrieved on: 
Friday, February 16, 2024

The emissions come from the infrastructure associated with AI, such as building and running the data centres that handle the large amounts of information required to sustain these systems.

Key Points: 
  • The emissions come from the infrastructure associated with AI, such as building and running the data centres that handle the large amounts of information required to sustain these systems.
  • But different technological approaches to how we build AI systems could help reduce its carbon footprint.
  • While large numbers of parameters improve the capabilities of ANNs, they also make training and inference resource-intensive processes.
  • In fact, our current estimates could be lower than AI’s actual carbon footprint due to a lack of standard and accurate techniques for measuring AI-related emissions.

Spiking neural networks

  • The previously mentioned new technologies, spiking neural networks (SNNs) and lifelong learning (L2), have the potential to lower AI’s ever-increasing carbon footprint, with SNNs acting as an energy-efficient alternative to ANNs.
  • To make accurate calculations, especially when multiplying numbers with decimal points together, the computer needs to be very precise.
  • This means ANNs become more energy-intensive as the networks get larger and more complex.
  • The key difference between the two types of neural networks is in the way individual neurons transmit information to each other.

Lifelong learning

  • Training ANNs sequentially (where the systems learn from sequences of data) on new problems causes them to forget their previous knowledge while learning new tasks.
  • ANNs require retraining from scratch when their operating environment changes, further increasing AI-related emissions.
  • L2 is a collection of algorithms that enable AI models to be trained sequentially on multiple tasks with little or no forgetting.


Shirin Dora does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

UiPath Announces New Developer Features at DevCon 2024 to Bring Latest in AI-powered Productivity to Developer Community

Retrieved on: 
Friday, February 16, 2024

Our quest to reimagine DevOps for automation developers with AI led us to the creation of UiPath Autopilot,” said Munil Shah, Chief Technology Officer, UiPath Automation Cloud.

Key Points: 
  • Our quest to reimagine DevOps for automation developers with AI led us to the creation of UiPath Autopilot,” said Munil Shah, Chief Technology Officer, UiPath Automation Cloud.
  • Availability of new India data center: UiPath Automation Cloud expands globally with new data centers, including in India, as of April 2024.
  • To listen to the expert presentations from UiPath DevCon 2024, register for the recorded version of the event here .
  • The UiPath Academic Alliance program is working with FutureSkills Prime, other partners, and UiPath customers to equip 500,000 Indians with AI and automation skills by 2027.

Herbal medicinal product: Agni casti fructusArray, C: ongoing call for scientific data

Retrieved on: 
Friday, February 16, 2024

Herbal medicinal product: Agni casti fructusArray, C: ongoing call for scientific data

Key Points: 


Herbal medicinal product: Agni casti fructusArray, C: ongoing call for scientific data

Encompass Health announces preliminary plans to build a 60-bed inpatient rehabilitation hospital in Avondale, Arizona

Retrieved on: 
Thursday, February 15, 2024

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Feb. 15, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Encompass Health Corp. (NYSE: EHC) today announced preliminary plans to build a freestanding, 60-bed inpatient rehabilitation hospital in Avondale, Arizona.

Key Points: 
  • BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Feb. 15, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Encompass Health Corp. (NYSE: EHC) today announced preliminary plans to build a freestanding, 60-bed inpatient rehabilitation hospital in Avondale, Arizona.
  • The hospital will be located within The District at Crystal Springs development at the southwest corner of Avondale Boulevard and McDowell Road.
  • "We are excited to bring much-needed inpatient rehabilitation services to Maricopa County," said Kim Steward, president of Encompass Health's West region.
  • The hospital will be part of Encompass Health's national network of rehabilitation hospitals, and it will be Encompass Health's seventh hospital in Arizona.

UT Health San Antonio doctors among first to implant rechargeable deep brain stimulation device

Retrieved on: 
Thursday, February 15, 2024

SAN ANTONIO, Feb. 15, 2024 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Doctors at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio) are among the nation's first to implant a newly approved sensing rechargeable deep brain stimulation device with a 15-year battery life allowing more continual treatment of patients with movement disorders.

Key Points: 
  • SAN ANTONIO, Feb. 15, 2024 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Doctors at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio) are among the nation's first to implant a newly approved sensing rechargeable deep brain stimulation device with a 15-year battery life allowing more continual treatment of patients with movement disorders.
  • Deep brain stimulation, known as DBS, is the placement of electrodes in the brain connected to a battery-operated generator in the chest similar to a cardiac pacemaker.
  • Note: Neither UT Health San Antonio nor University Health endorses commercial products or services by name.
  • The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio), a primary driver of San Antonio's $44.1 billion health care and biosciences sector, is the largest academic research institution in South Texas with an annual research portfolio of $413 million.

Media Alert: BrainChip Demonstrates Human Behavior Detection at IFS Direct Connect 2024

Retrieved on: 
Thursday, February 15, 2024

BrainChip Holdings Ltd (ASX: BRN, OTCQX: BRCHF, ADR: BCHPY), the world’s first commercial producer of ultra-low power, fully digital, event-based, neuromorphic AI, will host an exhibit demonstrating human behavior AI at IFS Direct Connect 2024 at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California, February 21.

Key Points: 
  • BrainChip Holdings Ltd (ASX: BRN, OTCQX: BRCHF, ADR: BCHPY), the world’s first commercial producer of ultra-low power, fully digital, event-based, neuromorphic AI, will host an exhibit demonstrating human behavior AI at IFS Direct Connect 2024 at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California, February 21.
  • BrainChip will spotlight Akida’s neuromorphic advantage, emphasizing the scalability of its IP within Intel’s Open System Foundry.
  • Among the highlights of IFS Direct Connect is a demonstration of NVISO Group AI Human Behavioral Software and BrainChip’s Akida™ neuromorphic compute.
  • “We look forward to showcasing our latest collaborations, IP achievements and AI capabilities to Intel Foundry Services alliance partners, customers, media and analysts joining us at IFS Direct Connect 2024,” said Sean Hehir, CEO of BrainChip.

Deutsche Telekom and Brain.ai Unveil Revolutionary App-less Phone at Mobile World Congress

Retrieved on: 
Thursday, February 15, 2024

SAN MATEO, Calif., Feb. 15, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Brain.ai (also known as Brain Technologies, Inc.) and Deutsche Telekom announced today they will unveil a new app-less phone that humanizes how people interact with their devices, powered by Brain.ai’s Natural AI interface.

Key Points: 
  • Brain and Deutsche Telekom will make the announcement at Mobile World Congress 2024 in Barcelona, demoing the visionary AI phone together.
  • To meet and see a demo with Brain and Deutsche Telekom at Mobile World Congress or to set up a Zoom briefing, please visit [email protected] .
  • Brain and Deutsche Telekom will announce and demo the new phone on stage on February 26, 11:30 a.m. CET at Deutsche Telekom’s booth - Hall 3 at Booth 3M31.
  • We’re excited to partner with Deutsche Telekom, one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies to bring this exciting vision to life.”

Melinda's Skyrockets to No. 2 Hot Sauce Brand in the Country Driving Unprecedented Growth in Unit Sales

Retrieved on: 
Thursday, February 15, 2024

IRVING, Texas, Feb. 15, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Melinda's Foods LLC — the pioneer of the craft pepper sauce industry and the flavor-forward powerhouse condiment brand, has not only secured its place at the pinnacle of flavor but has ascended from the No. 13 hot sauce in the United States to an astonishing No. 2 with more than a 900% increase in the number of units year-over-year, marking a meteoric rise within the industry!

Key Points: 
  • 2 with more than a 900% increase in the number of units year-over-year, marking a meteoric rise within the industry!
  • Melinda's isn't just a condiment brand; it's a driving force behind the surge in the hot sauce category as a whole.
  • With an unwavering commitment to the craft pepper sauce way, the brand has reshaped the landscape, introducing a unique and innovative array of sauce flavors that elevate culinary experiences.
  • As leaders in the culinary market, Melinda's Hot Sauce will continue to redefine industry standards and transform flavor profiles.

The Rainwater Charitable Foundation Announces 2024 Rainwater Prize Winners, Dr. Virginia Man-Yee Lee and Dr. Cristian Lasagna-Reeves, for Ongoing Contributions to Scientific Understanding of Tau in the Brain

Retrieved on: 
Thursday, February 15, 2024

FORT WORTH, Texas, Feb. 15, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- The Rainwater Charitable Foundation, one of the largest independent funders of neurodegenerative research that enables field-advancing programs, resources and breakthrough solutions for primary tauopathies, today announced Virginia Man-Yee Lee, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, will be awarded the 2024 Outstanding Innovation in Neurodegenerative Disease Research Prize of $400,000, and Cristian Lasagna-Reeves, Ph.D., M.S., Indiana University School of Medicine will be awarded the Rainwater Prize for Innovative Early-Career Scientist of $200,000. The prizes will be presented during the Tau2024 Global Conference on March 25-26, 2024, in Washington, D.C.

Key Points: 
  • The Rainwater Prize Program , now in its fifth year, aims to highlight and support scientific progress toward addressing critical gaps for neurodegenerative diseases associated with the accumulation of the tau protein in the brain.
  • Currently, Dr. Lasagna-Reeves' lab focuses on understanding the role of tau in Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.
  • Dr. Lasagna-Reeves winning this year's Early-Career Prize recognizes the scientific discoveries that could lead to a potential new therapeutic approach for tauopathies.
  • We're proud to support their research and provide resources that may contribute to potential future breakthroughs in our understanding of tau."