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How the tech industry will have to step up to fight online toxicity and child abuse

When it comes to fighting online toxicity and sexual abuse of children, most companies say they are supportive. But complying with the laws can become tricky.

The proposed federal legislation, dubbed the EARN IT Act (short for Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies), creates incentives for companies to “earn” their liability protection for laws that take place on their platform, particularly related to online child sexual abuse. Civil libertarians have condemned it as a way to circumvent encryption and an attempt to scan all messages.

If passed, the bipartisan legislation could force companies to react, said Carlos Figueiredo, director of community trust and safety at Two Hat Security, in an interview with VentureBeat. The legislation would take the extraordinary step of removing legal protections for tech companies that fail to police the illegal content. That would lower the bar for suing tech companies.

Companies may be required to find illegal material on their platforms, categorize it, and verify the ages of users. Their practices would be subject to approval by the Justice Department and other agencies, as well as Congress and the president.

Two Has Security runs an AI-powered content moderation platform that classifies or filters human interactions in real-time, so it can flag online cyberbullying and other problems. This applies to in-game chat that most online games use. 57% of young people say they have experienced bullying online when playing games, and 22% said they have stopped playing as a result.

Two Hat will be speaking about online toxicity at our GamesBeat Summit Digital event on April 28-29. Here’s an edited transcript of our interview with Figueiredo.

Above: Carlos Figueiredo is director of community trust and safety at Two Hat.

GamesBeat: The EARN IT Act wasn’t really on my radar. Is it significant legislation? What’s some of the history behind it?

Carlos Figueiredo: It has bipartisan support. There’s pushback already from some companies, though. There’s quite a lot of pushback from big tech, for sure.

There are two aspects to it right now. One is the EARN IT Act, and the other is coming up with a voluntary set of standards that companies could adopt. The voluntary standards are a productive aspect. It’s awesome to see companies like Roblox in that conversation. Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Roblox, Thorn–it’s great to see that in that particular conversation, that separate international initiative, there’s representation from gaming companies directly. The fact that Roblox also worked with Microsoft and Thorn on Project Artemis is awesome. That’s directly related to this topic. There’s now a free tool that allows companies to look for grooming in chat. Gaming companies can proactively use it in addition to technologies like Photo DNA from Microsoft. On an international level, there is a willingness to have all those companies, governments, and industry collaborate together to do this.

On the EARN IT Act, one of the biggest pieces is that–there’s a law from the ‘90s, a provision. It says that companies have a certain exception. They don’t need to necessarily deal with user-generated content. They’re not liable for what their platform–there’s a pass, let’s say, in that sense. The EARN IT Act, the legislation calls for industry standards, including incentives for companies who abide by them, but it also carves an exception to this law from the ‘90s. Companies would have to have minimal standards and be responsible. You can imagine that there’s pushback to that.

GamesBeat: It reminds me of the COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) law. Are we talking about something similar here, or is it very different?

Figueiredo: COPPA is a perfect example to discuss. It directly affected games. Anybody who wants to have a game catering to under-13 players in the U.S., they must protect personally identifying information of those players. Of course it has implications when it comes to chat. I worked for Club Penguin for six years. Club Penguin was COPPA-compliant, of course. It had a very young user base. When you’re COPPA-compliant at that level, you need to filter. You need to have proactive approaches.

There’s a similarity. Because of COPPA, companies had to take care of private information from children, and they also had to make sure that children were not, through their own innocence, inadvertently sharing information. Talking about child protection, that’s pertinent. What the Act could bring is the need for companies to have proactive filtering for images. That’s one potential implication. If I know there is child exploitation in my platform, I must do something. But that’s not enough. I think we have to go beyond the knowledge of it. We need to be proactive to make sure this is not happening in our platforms. We could be looking at a landscape, in the next year or so, where the scrutiny on gaming companies to have proactive filters for grooming, for image filtering, means that will become a reality.

Above: Panel on Safety by Design. Carlos Figueiredo is second from right.

GamesBeat: How does this become important for Two Hat’s business?

Figueiredo: Because of the very DNA of the company–a lot of us came from the children’s space, games catering to children. We have long been working in this area, and we have deep concern for child safety online. We’ve gone beyond the scope of children, protecting teenagers, protecting adults. Making sure people are free from abuse online is a key component of our company.

We have our main tool, which is used by a lot of leading game companies around the world for proactive filters on hate speech, harassment, and other types of behavior. Some of them also work for grooming detection, to make sure you’re aware if someone is trying to groom a child. Directly related to that, there’s an increased awareness in the importance of people knowing that there is technology available to deal with this challenge. There are best practices already available. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. There’s a lot of great process and technology already available. Another side of the company has been our partnership that we forged with the RCMP here in Canada. We work together to produce a proactive filtering for child abuse imagery. We can find imagery that hasn’t been cut a lot yet, that hasn’t become a hash in Photo DNA.

The implication for us, then, is it helps us fulfill our true vision. Our vision is to ensure that companies have the technologies and approaches to reach an internet where people are free to express themselves without abuse and harassment. It’s a key goal that we have. It seems like the idea of shared responsibility is getting stronger. It’s a shared responsibility within the industry. I’m all about industry collaboration, of course. I firmly believe in approaches like the Fair Play Alliance, where game companies get together and put aside any tone of competition because they’re thinking about facilitating awesome play interactions without harassment and hate speech. I believe in that shared responsibility within the industry.

Even beyond shared responsibility is the collaboration between government and industry and players and academia. To your question about the implications for Two Hat and our business, it’s really this cultural change. It’s bigger than Two Hat alone. We happen to be in a central position because we have amazing clients and partners globally. We have a privileged position working with great people. But it’s bigger than us, bigger than one gaming community or platform.

GamesBeat: Is there something in place industry-wide to handle the EARN IT Act? Something like the Fair Play Alliance? Or would it be some other body?

Figueiredo: I know that there are already working groups globally. Governments have been taking initiatives. To give a couple of examples, I know that in the U.K., because of the team responsible for their upcoming online harms legislation, the government has led a lot of conversations and gotten industry together to discuss topics. There are active groups that gather every so often to talk about child protection. Those are more closed working groups right now, but the game industry is involved in the conversation.

Another example is the e-safety team in Australia. Australia is the only country that has an e-safety commissioner. It’s a whole commission inside of the government that takes care of online safety. I had the privilege of speaking there last year at their e-safety conference. They’re pushing for a project called Safety By Design. They’ve consulted with gaming companies, social apps, and all sorts of companies globally to come up with a baseline of best practices. The minimum standards–we think Safety By Design would be this idea of having proactive filters, having good reporting systems in place, having all these practices as a baseline.

The Fair Play Alliance, of course, is a great example in the game industry of companies working together on multiple topics. We’re interested in enabling positive player interactions and reducing, mitigating negative behavior, disruptive behavior. There are all sorts of disruptive behavior, and we have all sorts of members in the Fair Play Alliance. A lot of those members are games that cater to children. It’s a lot of people with lots of experience in this area who can share best practices related to child protection.

Above: Carlos Figueiredo speaks at Rovio Con.

GamesBeat: How much of this is a technology problem? How do you try to frame it for people in that context?

Figueiredo: In terms of technology, if we’re talking about images–for a lot of gaming companies it could be images on their forums, for example, or perhaps they have image sharing even in the game, if they have avatar pictures or things like that. The challenge of images is critical, because the volume of child abuse imagery online is unbelievable.

The biggest challenge is how to identify new images as they’re being created. There’s already Photo DNA from Microsoft, which creates those digital IDs, hashes for images that are known images of child abuse. Let’s say we have a game and we’re using Photo DNA. As soon as somebody starts to upload a known image as their avatar or to share in a forum, we’re able to identify that it’s a known hash. We can block the image and report to law enforcement. But the challenge is how to identify new images that haven’t been catalogued yet. You can imagine the burden on a gaming company. The team is exposed to this sort of material, so there’s the point of wellness and resilience for the team.

That’s a technology problem, because to identify those images at scale is very difficult. You can’t rely on humans alone, because that’s not scalable. The well-being of humans is just shattered when you have to review those images day in and day out. That’s when you need technology like what Two Hat has with our product called Cease, which is machine learning for identifying new child abuse imagery. That’s the technology challenge.

If we go on to live streaming, which is obviously huge in the game industry, it’s another problem in terms of technological limitations. It’s difficult to detect child abuse material on a live stream. There’s work being done already in this area. Two Hat has a partner that we’re working with to detect this type of content in videos and live streams. But this is on the cutting edge. It’s being developed right now. It’s difficult to tackle this problem. It’s one of the hardest problems when you put it side by side with audio detection of abuse.

The third area I want to point out is grooming in text. This is challenging because it’s not about a behavior that you can simply capture in one day. It’s not like somebody harassing someone in a game. You can usually pinpoint that to one occasion, one game session, or a few occasions. Grooming happens over the course of weeks, or sometimes months. It’s the perpetrator building trust with a child, normalizing the adult-child relationship, offering gifts, understanding the psychology of a child. That’s a huge challenge technologically.

There are great tools already available. We’ve referenced a couple here, including Project Artemis, which is a new avenue. Of course you have Community Sift, our product from Two Hat. There are folks doing awesome work in this area. Thorn and Microsoft and Roblox have worked on this. There are new, exciting initiatives on the cutting edge. But there’s a lot of challenge. From our experience working with global clients–we’re processing more than a billion pieces of content every day here at Two Hat, and a lot of our clients are in the game industry. The challenge of scale and complexity of behavior is always pushing our technology.

We believe that it can’t be technology alone, though. It has to be a combination of the right tools for the right problems and human moderators who are well-trained, who have considerations for their wellness and resilience in place, and who know how to do purposeful moderation and have good community guidelines to follow.

Above: Two Hat’s content moderation symposium

GamesBeat: Is anybody asking you about the EARN IT Act? What sort of conversations are you having with clients in the game industry?

Figueiredo: We have lots of conversations related to this. We have conversations where clients are coming to us because they need to be COPPA compliant, to your previous point, and then they also need to be sure of a baseline level of safety for their users. It’s usually under-13 games. Those companies want to make sure they have grooming topics being filtered, as well as personally identifying information. They want to make sure that information isn’t being shared by children with other players. They need proactive filtering for images and text, primarily for live chat in games. That’s where we see the biggest need.

Another case we see as well, we have clients who have largely successful gaming platforms. They have very large audiences, in the millions of players. They want to make a transition, for example, to a COPPA-compliant scenario. They want to do age gating, maybe. They want to address the fact that they have young users. The reality is that we know there are games out there that don’t deliberately face players who are under 13, but children will try to play everything they can get their hands on. We also seem to be coming to a time, and I’ve had many conversations about this in the last year, where companies are more aware that they have to do something about age gating. They need to define the age of their users and design products that cater to a young audience.

That design needs to have a consideration for the privacy and safety of younger users. There are brilliant companies out there that do segmentation of their audiences. They’re able to understand that a user is under 13, and they’re talking to a user who is over 13. They’re able to apply different settings based on the situation so they can still comply with COPPA. The under-13 user isn’t able to share certain types of information. Their information is protected.

I have a lot of those conversations on a daily basis, consulting with gaming companies, both as part of Two Hat and within the Fair Play Alliance. From the Two Hat perspective, I do community audits. This involves all sorts of clients — social platforms, travel apps, gaming companies. One thing I believe, and I don’t think we talk about this enough in the game industry, is that we’ve gotten a lot of scrutiny as game companies about negative behavior in our platforms, but we’ve pioneered a lot in online safety as well.

If you go back to Club Penguin in 2008, there were MMOs at the time of course, lots of MMOs, all the way back to Ultima Online in the late ‘90s. Those companies were already doing some levels of proactive filtering and moderation before social media was what it is nowadays, before we had these giant companies. That’s one element that I try to bring forward in my community audits. I see that game companies usually have a baseline of safety practices. We have a lot of examples of game companies leading the way when it comes to online safety, player behavior, and player dynamics. You recently had an interview with Riot Games around the whole discipline of player dynamics. They’re coining a whole new terminology and area of design. They’ve put so much investment into it.

I firmly believe that game companies have something to share with other types of online communities. A lot of us have done this well. I’m very proud of that. I always talk about it. But on the flip side, I have to say that some people, they come to me asking for a community audit, and when I do that audit, we’re still far away from some best practices. There are games out there that, when you’re playing, if you’re going to report another player, you have to take a screenshot and send an email. It’s a lot of friction for the player. Are you really going to go to the trouble? How many players are actually going to do that? And after you do that, what happens? Do you receive an email acknowledging that action was taken, that what you did was helpful. What closes the loop? Not a lot of game companies are doing this.

We’re pushing forward as an industry and trying to get folks aligned, but even just having a solid reporting system in your game, so you can select a reason–I’m reporting this player for hate speech, or for unsolicited sexual advances. Really specific reasons. One would hope that we’d have solid community guidelines at this point as well. That’s another thing I talk about in my consultations. I’ve consulted with gaming companies on community guidelines, on how to align the company around a set of string community guidelines. Not only pinpointing the behaviors you want to discourage, but also the behaviors you want to promote.

Xbox has done this. Microsoft has done very well. I can think of many other companies who have amazing community guidelines. Twitch, Mixer, Roblox. Also, in the more kid-oriented spaces, games like Animal Jam. They do a good job with their community guidelines. Those companies are already very mature. They’ve been doing online safety for many years, to my previous points. They have dedicated teams. Usually they have tools and human teams that are fantastic. They have the trust and safety discipline in house, which is also important.

Clients come to us sometimes with no best practices. They’re about to launch a game and they’re unfortunately at that stage where they need to do something about it now. And then of course we help them. That’s very important to us. But it’s awesome to see when companies come to us because they’re already doing things, but they want to do better. They want to use better tools. They want to be more proactive. That’s also a case where, to your original question, clients come to us and they want to make sure they’re deploying all the best practices when it comes to protecting an under-13 community.

Above: Melonie Mac is using Facebook’s creator tools to manage followers.

GamesBeat: Is there any hope people have that the law could change again? Or do you think that’s not realistic?

Figueiredo: It’s just a hunch on my part, but looking at the global landscape right now, looking into COPPA 2.0, looking at the EARN IT Act of course, I think it’s going to be pushed fairly quickly by the normal standards of legislation. Just because of how big the problem is in society. I think it’s going to move fast.

However, here’s my bit of hope. I hope that the industry, the game industry, can collaborate. We can work together to push best practices. Then we’re being proactive. Then we’re coming to government and saying, “We hear you. We understand this is important. Here’s the industry perspective. We’ve been doing this for years. We care about the safety of our players. We have the approaches, the tools, the best practices, the discipline of doing this for a long time. We want to be part of the conversation.” The game industry needs to be part of the conversation in a proactive way, showing that we’re invested in this, that we’re walking the walk. Then we have better hope of positively influencing legislation.

Of course we want to, again, in the model of shared responsibility–I know the government has interests there. I love the fact that they’re involving industry. With the EARN IT Act, they’re going to have–the bill would create a 90-member commission. The commission would include law enforcement, the tech industry, and child advocates. It’s important that we have the industry representation. The fact that Roblox was in the conversation there with the international initiative that’s looking toward a voluntary approach, to me that’s brilliant. They’re clearly leading the way.

I think the game industry will do well by being part of that conversation. It’s probably going to become legislation one way or the other. That’s the reality. When it comes to creating better legislation to protect children, Two Hat is fully supportive of that. We support initiatives that will better protect children. But we also want to take the perspective of the industry. We’re part of the industry. Our clients and partners are in the industry. We want to make sure that legislation accounts for what’s technically possible in practical applications of the legislation, so we can protect children online and also protect the business, ensuring the business can continue to run while having a baseline of safety by design.

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Tech industry shifts dollars and manufacturing to fight coronavirus

U.S. President Donald Trump has asked the “great American industry” to help the country deal with the coronavirus. Tech companies are among those that are responding, both by wrangling donations and by shifting manufacturing to produce medical gear.

In some ways, it feels like a war mobilization that is just beginning. The Defense Production Act of 1950, created during the Korean War, enables the federal government to require companies to produce gear, and Trump will use it to secure medical equipment such as test kits.

Apple announced that it would donate millions of masks to the cause, as well as a $15 million donation. Trump had previously said that 3M was going to ratchet up manufacturing of masks to 35 million a month.

Last week, Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan announced that his company had set up a production line to manufacture masks to provide relief from the coronavirus. The goal is to deliver a million masks at no cost. Tan did so even though he said there had been “incredible demand” for Razer’s products for enthusiast gamers, who are playing even more in a work-from-home world.

On Facebook, Tan wrote, “So I haven’t had much sleep over the past couple of days to get this initiative up and running, but I’m happy to be able to announce this on behalf of the team here at Razer.” He added, “While there has been incredible demand for our products during this time with many staying home to avoid the crowds (and to play games), the team at Razer understands that all of us have a part to play in fighting the virus — no matter which industry we come from.” Tan said other projects are under way as well.

The country is also gearing up to the more complicated task of making coronavirus test kits and ventilators used to treat those with acute lung problems.

HP said that it has already sent more than 1,000 3D-printed parts to local hospitals. HP’s 3D R&D centers in Barcelona, Spain; Corvallis, Oregon; San Diego, California; and Vancouver, Washington are collaborating with partners to increase production to meet the most urgent needs. The company is also coordinating with government, health, and industry agencies in numerous countries to ensure a synchronized and effective approach.

Some of the first applications HP is validating and producing include:

  • Hands-Free Door Opener: Door handles are among the most germ-infested objects in houses, hospitals, factories, and retirement homes. This adapter allows for easy and more sanitary opening with an elbow.
  • Mask Adjuster: Many hospital staff are required to wear masks for long periods of time. The mask adjuster clasp is designed to improve comfort and alleviate associated ear pain.
  • Face Shields: Face shields are one of the highest-need personal protection items. Brackets to hold the shield and comfortably fit the wearer are a critical component.

HP also said many more applications are in the testing and validation phase and are expected to begin production soon, including:

  • Field Ventilator: 3D printed parts for a mechanical bag valve mask (BVM) designed for use as a short-term emergency ventilation system for COVID-19 patients. A simplified design enables a robust and less-complex device, facilitating its rapid production and assembly.
  • FFP3 Face Masks: Effective protective gear is needed for medical providers to treat the volume of expected COVID-19 patients. HP is validating several hospital-grade face masks and expects them to be available shortly.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he had acquired 1,255 ventilators from China and was shipping them to the U.S. for distribution to hospitals. Tesla is also talking about shifting factory lines to make ventilators, as is GM.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said that his company had prioritized medical shipments from the company’s warehouses over other kinds of essential products for households. The resources are addressing front-line health care workers first. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said on Saturday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) used its health chatbot as the underlying framework in a chat assessment tool for COVID-19, and both Microsoft Teams and Minecraft are being used for teleeducation efforts.

China’s Alibaba has also donated 1.1 million test kits, 6 million masks, and 60,000 protective suits and face shields — first to Ethiopia and other African nations. Facebook said it is donating $20 million to support relief efforts, and Bill Gates is donating $50 million to speed the development of a coronavirus treatment.

IBM said it was using its supercomputing power to help scientists doing research on COVID-19, the formal name of the global pandemic disease. Google CEO Sundar Pichai posted about how the company is helping spread critical information about the coronavirus and protecting people from misinformation. Google has also rolled out free enterprise features for G Suite for education so schools can use it for public livestreaming.

Twitter also said it is donating $1 million to the Committee to Protect Journalists and the International Women’s Media Foundation to support vulnerable journalists during this time.

Meanwhile, Sydney, Australia-based nonprofit RapidWard said it is producing and shipping hundreds of thousands of kits (dubbed IgG/IgM test) that are designed to detect the coronavirus. It has been shipping the kits to Switzerland, Italy, Iran, the United Kingdom, and now the U.S. The shipments are going directly to governments and medical staff.

Nontech companies such as Ford, GM, Starbucks, Alaska Airlines, distilleries, and others are also helping with coronavirus efforts.

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PlayStation 5 Tech Specs Revealed

Tech investigators Digital Foundry have gotten an advanced look at Sony’s PlayStation 5 presentation by Mark Cerny that is happening now, and have posted the specs for the holiday console.

Here they are straight from Digital Foundry:

CPU
8x Zen 2 Cores at 3.5GHz (variable frequency)

GPU
10.28 TFLOPs, 36 CUs at 2.23GHZ (variable frequency)

GPU Architecture
Custom RDNA 2

Memory/Interface
16GB GDDR6/256-bit

Memory Bandwidth
448GB/s

Internal Storage
Custom 825GB SSD

IO Throughput
5.5 GB/s (Raw), Typical 8-9GB/s (Compressed)

Expandable Storage
NVMe SSD Slot

External Storage
USB HDD Support

Optical Drive
4K UHD Blu-ray Drive

On the face of it, the PlayStation 5 is contrasted with Microsoft’s Xbox Series X (which also recently revealed its specs) in some areas, such as the GPU of the Series X boasting 12 TFLOPS of performance. Cerny’s presentation and Digital Foundry’s analysis goes more in-depth on the PS5, its architecture, and how its used, beyond the numbers.

We’ll surely learn more about the PlayStation 5’s specs and how it all comes together from the presentation and in the future before launch.

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Cutting Edge Tech and Science Used in Bodily and Mental Health Recovery – 6 Methods That Give Hope

Modern people got used to new devices and technologies to be developed every day. Nobody is surprised about the latest apps helping you go through depression, nor about the alternative therapies for addressing addiction (that’s just an example).

More often than not we hear about Western’s medicine inability of healing. It’s more about how people got interested in newer and more modern therapies for addressing their medical condition. Whether it’s cancer, lupus, addiction, PTSD, multiple sclerosis, or anxiety, patients today have the chance of trying a set of alternative and outstanding techniques for healing.

Without any further ado, let’s go over some of the most exciting and new therapies for addiction, lupus, cancer, multiple sclerosis, anxiety, and many more.

1. What’s to say about DNA repair? What do the studies say?

Repairing damage in DNA from anything causing a mutation (tobacco smoke or UV radiation are common) is an essential process protecting our cells from turning into cancerous cells.

A study published in the Nature journal talks mentions the analysis of more than 20 million DNA mutations from 1,161 tumors in 14 various kinds of cancer. The review concluded that in several cancer kinds (mostly skin cancers), the number of mutations was high for genome’s zones (aka the “gene promoters”). For a better understanding, we should highlight that the DNA sequences are responsible for the ways genes are expressed, causing the function and cell type.

The researchers also concluded that the numbers of DNA mutations are higher in gene promoters due to proteins binding DNA that watch out for gene expression, blocking the cell repair systems. The latter are responsible for fixing the harmed DNA.

Dr. Jason Wong (primary author of the study) highlights that the results are a clear proof of how a compromised NER system determines increased mutations at gene promoter sites.

As you can assume, the study reveals the importance of gene promoter mutations in cancer development. It will help doctors and people using alternative healing treatments in using the best treatment for the patients.

2. Why is the HBOT (hyperbaric oxygen therapy) a common therapy in some domains?

HBOT is basically about breathing the purest oxygen in a small chamber or a specially built room. Many uses if for solving diving-related conditions, but it has been proved that HBOT sustains recovery in other health conditions as well. HBOT isn’t very new and has been utilized as conventional therapy for military divers in the United States ever since the 40s.

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has given the green light for HBOT in treatment for 13 conditions. Low blood flow, arterial insufficiency, and radiation caused by cancer treatment are some to name.

A recent study focused on the efficiency of HBOT in military subjects with chronic blast-induced mild to medium traumatic brain injury and even PTSD. Sixteen military professionals benefitted 60 minutes HBOT sessions in a month. After treatment, many of them showed improvement in terms of neurological exam, symptoms, delayed memory, working memory, anxiety, depression, and PTSD symptoms.

Johnny Tabaie (the founder of the Pouyan Method and a supporter of HBOT therapy at the Holistic Sanctuary centers)  highlights that “HBOT, together with the Sacred treating Method, will sustain healing and create a protective shield that maintains the benefits of the treatment for a long time after the procedure is completed.

Recent studies also showed that HBOT has the analgesic ability in inflammatory, neuropathic pain models. It’s why HBOT is used in addressing chronic pain syndrome, and holistic centers utilize it too. It shouldn’t surprise anyone if HBOT is amongst the holistic methods used for treating lupus, multiple sclerosis, PTSD, and so on.

3. Is stem cell therapy an answer in healing various health conditions?

Stem cell therapy has given a lot of hope amongst scientists, and it relates a lot to the most advanced scientific research topic.

Various critical medical conditions, such as cancer, are caused by poor differentiation or cell division. At the moment, we can talk about different stem cell therapies, with some of them addressing heart failure, spinal cord injury, tendon ruptures, and diabetes type 1. More research is necessary for better comprehending the stem cell physiology.

When it comes to stem cell therapy, the hope is high in terms of finding cures for incurable diseases (lupus is one to mention). We may still have to wait a while until stem cell therapies are a regular medical treatment, but we sure appreciate its presence within holistic facilities.

4. How do patients benefit from cryotherapy?

Cryotherapy is a method cooling the body for therapeutic reasons, reducing inflammation and pain as essential purposes.

Back in 2016, a study by Bouzigon et al.4  looked into the health advantages of cryotherapy, revealing that more than 100 reviews have been published since 2010.

The review highlighted that cryotherapy had a positive impact on the physical and psychological aspects of Rheumatoid Arthritis (WBC and PBC) patients. In contrast, WBC had a positive effect on patients dealing with multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, and Ankylosing Spondylitis.

It has also been studied the impact of WBC on mental health symptoms (depression and anxiety). Results lead to an impressive improvement in symptoms, with a reduction of more than 50% from the baseline of symptoms. It makes perfect sense that WBC is an efficient treatment for anxiety and mood disorders.

5. What’s floatation therapy?

Floating on the body and mind is something we’ve dreamed about for ages. A meta-analysis of 27 scientific studies (Dierendonck and Nijenhuis are the authors) revealed that floating reduces blood pressure and cortisol levels (high cortisol means low immunity, which is common for people with PTSD, anxiety, cancer, or lupus). It can also improve overall wellbeing and cognitive performance.

Floatation therapy helps patients sleep better and feel less tired (which happens a lot for patients with anxiety, depression, PTSD, or addiction.

As for the benefits for the mind, Justin Feinstein (head neurophysist as Ohio’s Laureate Institute for Brain Research) highlighted that flotation therapy reduces negative emotions, confusion, depression, the perception of pain, and even the effect of acute mental health conditions.

“Depression, anxiety, or mental health conditions related to addiction should no longer be seen as chronic diseases,” said Johnny Tabaie when methods such as floatation therapy are available. And the results are more than convincing.

6. Why does telomere repair give hope?

Telomeres are small protective caps at the extremities of the DNA molecules, which give the chromosomes. They’re supposed to stop the ends of the chromosomes from sticking to each other or fraying. Imagine telomeres as the ends of your shoelaces- they work just as them.

They’re fundamental for making sure that the DNA is copied correctly as the cells are dividing. Several weird things happening in the DNA cause some of the nucleotides not to appear in the new DNA copy. It means that some of the genetic information gets lost. Moreover, every single cell division shortens the DNA strands.

Any break in regular function of telomeres means that you get sick, with cancer being the most significant to name. In 90% of cancers, the expression of telomerase is higher, while in benign tumors, the increase doesn’t happen. The growth is actually typical for some cancer kinds, staying high in aggressive cancer stages. High expression levels of telomerase have also been noted in metastatic phases of cancer. Therefore, stopping the telomerase activity can have a positive effect on reducing the risk of metastasis.

The takeaway for the standard patient is that addressing telomeres throughout protecting blockage is an efficient therapy for some types of cancer (glioblastoma), giving hope for the treatment of various cancer kinds.

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White House to meet big tech companies to coordinate efforts over coronavirus outbreak

(Reuters) — The White House will meet large technology companies on Wednesday to coordinate efforts over the coronavirus outbreak, seeking to control a contagious respiratory illness that has infected almost 1,000 people in the United States and more than 100,000 globally.

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy confirmed to Reuters the meeting would include Facebook, Alphabet’s Google, Amazon, Twitter, Apple and Microsoft.

The meeting will be led by U.S. Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios, with some companies participating by teleconference, the White House said.

The companies did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Fox Business first reported the meeting on Wednesday

White House officials are meeting members from the airline, financial and healthcare industries to discuss ways to contain the impact from the spread of the virus.

The White House and Congress on Tuesday negotiated over measures to bolster the U.S. economy and Americans’ paychecks against the outbreak’s impact, prompting a rebound in hard-hit stock markets.

(Reporting by David Shepardson and Nandita Bose in Washington; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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