In this Sept 15 file photo, a Russian medical worker prepares a shot of Russia’s experimental Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine for its use in Moscow, Russia. Many world leaders at this week’s virtual UN summit hope it will be a vaccine made available and affordable to all countries, rich and poor. But with the US, China and Russia opting out of a collaborative effort to develop and distribute a vaccine, and some rich nations striking deals with pharmaceutical companies to secure millions of potential doses, the UN pleas are plentiful but likely in
MIT prof wins AI award:
A Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor using computer science to detect cancer and discover new drugs has won a new $1 million award for artificial intelligence.
The world’s biggest AI society awarded its top prize Wednesday to Regina Barzilay, a professor at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.
MIT says Barzilay is a breast cancer survivor whose 2014 diagnosis led her to shift her AI work to creating systems for drug development and early cancer diagnosis.
Her early diagnosis tool has been tested in multiple hospitals, including Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital and others in Taiwan and Sweden.
She’s the inaugural winner of the new annual award given by the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence and funded by Chinese online education company Squirrel AI. (AP)
Virus-sniffing dogs at airport:
Finland has deployed coronavirus-sniffing dogs at the Nordic country’s main international airport in a four-month trial of an alternative testing method that could become a cost-friendly and quick way to identify infected travelers.
Four dogs of different breeds trained by Finland’s Smell Detection Association started working Wednesday at the Helsinki Airport as part of the governmentfinanced trial.
“It’s a very promising method. Dogs are very good at sniffing,” Anna HielmBjorkman, a University of Helsinki professor of equine and small animal medicine, said.
“If it works, it will be a good (coronavirus) screening method at any other places,” she said, listing hospitals, ports, elderly people’s homes, sports venues and cultural events among the possible locations where trained dogs could put their snouts to work.
While researchers in several countries, including Australia, France, Germany the United States, are also studying canines as coronavirus detectors, the Finnish trial is among the largest so far.
Hielm-Bjorkman told The Associated Press that Finland is the second country after the United Arab Emirates – and the first in Europe – to assign dogs to sniff out the coronavirus. A similar program started at Dubai International Airport over the summer.
Passengers who agree to take a free test under the voluntary program in Helsinki do not have direct physical contact with