Computers Diagnose Cancer Better

A computer program has been trained to grade breast cancer, predicting which tumors are associated with worse outcomes and, therefore, deserve more aggressive treatment.

What's the Latest Development?


When Harvard Medical School pathologist Andrew Beck wanted to automate breast cancer diagnosis using a machine called C-Path, he could have programed software to recognize the same characteristics he looks for while examining stained slides of tumor cells in the laboratory. Instead, he let the computer choose what to look for. "Instead of focusing on the tumour cells themselves, C-Path determined that the most predictive features were found in the cells surrounding the tumour, in a region called the stroma."

What's the Big Idea?

The C-Path is a significant step in modernizing the field of pathology, which currently operates similar to how it did one hundred years ago: By examining stained slides of tumor cells under microscopes. Yale pathologist David Rimm hopes C-Path can be used to identify other kinds of cancers "such as prostate and bladder cancer, for which grading tumors reliably has proved difficult for even well-trained human eyes." One advantage of the C-Path system is that it objectifies previously subjective standards.

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Why 'upgrading' humanity is a transhumanist myth

Upload your mind? Here's a reality check on the Singularity.

Videos
  • Though computer engineers claim to know what human consciousness is, many neuroscientists say that we're nowhere close to understanding what it is, or its source.
  • Scientists are currently trying to upload human minds to silicon chips, or re-create consciousness with algorithms, but this may be hubristic because we still know so little about what it means to be human.
  • Is transhumanism a journey forward or an escape from reality?
Keep reading Show less

Steven Pinker's 13 rules for writing better

The Harvard psychologist loves reading authors' rules for writing. Here are his own.

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 21: Steven Pinker speaks onstage during OZY Fest 2018 at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park on July 21, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for Ozy Media)
Personal Growth
  • Steven Pinker is many things: linguist, psychologist, optimist, Harvard professor, and author.
  • When it comes to writing, he's a student and a teacher.
  • Here's are his 13 rules for writing better, more simply, and more clearly.
Keep reading Show less

Dead – yes, dead – tardigrade found beneath Antarctica

A completely unexpected discovery beneath the ice.

(Goldstein Lab/Wkikpedia/Tigerspaws/Big Think)
Surprising Science
  • Scientists find remains of a tardigrade and crustaceans in a deep, frozen Antarctic lake.
  • The creatures' origin is unknown, and further study is ongoing.
  • Biology speaks up about Antarctica's history.
Keep reading Show less