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  • jkabtech 12:17 pm on December 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: expands, Lockheed, , research   

    Lockheed expands AI research at Melbourne lab 

    Raydon Gates, CEO Lockheed Martin A/NZ and Dr. Keoki Jackson, Lockheed Martin’s CTO announce STELaRLab in 2016. (Credit: Lockheed Martin) Results could improve ‘Australia’s defence and national security’.

    Lockheed Martin is set to expand the number of researchers looking at machine learning and cognitive architectures at its nascent STELaRLab in Melbourne.

    STELaRLAB – which stands for science technology engineering leadership and research laboratory – was announced in August 2016 and launched a year later.

    It is a collaboration between Lockheed and the University of Melbourne. The defence contractor has put up an initial $13 million in seed funding.

    STELaRLAB is the first R&D centre that Lockheed Martin has opened outside of the United States.

    Its current research focuses include autonomous systems; robotics; command control communications, computer, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR); artificial intelligence; and hypersonic vehicles.

    The projects it undertakes must have a “business interest to Lockheed Martin, which in turn are problems directly applicable to our national security needs”, the company said.

    A few short months after officially opening the lab, the contractor said it has now identified “an immediate need to expand our groups with skills in analytics, machine reasoning and AI applications and infrastructure development”.

    Machine reasoning is an evolution of machine learning that allows a system to not only learn from what it sees but to reason – much like a human would – when determining an appropriate course of action.

    Lockheed intends to bring onboard two new researchers to design and implement “cognitive architecture and supporting analytics and AI algorithms for multiple programs at Lockheed Martin for both internal and collaborative projects with academia and other government research institutions”.

    It said the results of the research “potentially have far reaching international impact for Australia’s defence and national security”, without elaborating.

    STELaRLAB is expected to house about 20 employees within its first three years.

    View the Original article

  • jkabtech 3:18 am on January 13, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , attitudes, Educating, , , participating, , research   

    Educating patients improves knowledge, attitudes about participating in research 

    A five-center national study led by Neal Meropol, MD, and a team of researchers from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and University Hospitals Case Medical Center demonstrated that a little information goes a long way in encouraging cancer patients to enroll in clinical trials, a decision that could be potentially lifesaving.

    The findings, which appeared in the December 21st, 2015 issue of Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO), showed that among 1,255 cancer patients taking part in an educational program, 21 percent of patients chose to enroll in cancer clinical trials. Traditionally, less than 5 percent of cancer patients choose to participate in clinical trials, according to the American Cancer Society.

    “Unfortunately, although clinical trials are critical for advancing cancer treatment and ultimately serve as the basis for new standards of care, very few patients participate,” said lead author Neal J. Meropol, MD, Professor of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and Chief, Hematology and Oncology, University Hospitals Case Medical Center Seidman Cancer Center. “We want to close the patient knowledge gap and positively affect their attitudes toward clinical trials.”

    In this study, a tailored video education program, PRE-ACT (Preparatory Education about Clinical Trials), was compared to information delivered as simple written text. PRE-ACT videos were more effective than text at improving knowledge, and decreasing negative attitudes that serve as impediments for patients to take part in clinical trials.

    Half of the patients received PRE-ACT, which delivered tailored video education based on their individual knowledge gaps and attitudes, while the other half received written information about clinical trials that was not specifically chosen based on their responses to an initial survey.

    “Although both the PRE-ACT videos and the written materials improved participants’ knowledge, reduced attitude-related barriers, and improved their preparation to consider clinical trials as a treatment option, we found that PRE-ACT was better than the written information in reducing barriers,” said Dr. Meropol.

    Participants rated the Web-based video educational program significantly higher than the text-based education material in satisfaction with the amount of information presented, the way the information was presented, and the feeling of being more prepared for them to consider clinical trials for cancer treatment.

    PRE-ACT, developed by Dr. Meropol and collaborators, is a tailored intervention where patients access a Website to take an online survey. The survey gauges the individual patient’s knowledge and attitudes about clinical trials, and then, based on that patient’s answers, video clips are presented addressing their specific concerns.

    For example, patients sometimes worry that they will receive a placebo rather than active treatment, so one video clip explains how placebos are used ethically in cancer studies, and the fact that very few studies will include a placebo without any active treatment. The videos also help patients clarify their preferences in terms of quality of life or length of life.

    “By identifying knowledge gaps and negative attitudes and addressing those before patients meet their doctors to discuss cancer treatment, the patient will be better prepared to make a good decision about whether a clinical trial will be an appropriate option for them,” said Dr. Meropol, also Associate Director for Clinical Research, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. “We hope PREACT will result in increased participation in clinical trials by cancer patients through improving knowledge and attitudes and facilitating treatment decision-making.”

    For the study, researchers sought a robust sample of patients representing a variety of race, ethnicity and socioeconomic backgrounds. Therefore, they enrolled patients from five centers: University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center, Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute, Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit, Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University in Chicago, and Fox-Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia.

    Dr. Meropol has partnered with the American Society of Clinical Oncology to make PREACT widely available to cancer patients worldwide at http://www.cancer.net/PREACT. The development of this Web-based program was supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), according to Dr. Meropol.

    During the course of their research, investigators did uncover another surprise finding. Video clips meant to address concerns about the costs of clinical trials treatment actually caused a spike in worries about out-of-pocket costs of clinical trials. These financial concerns generated yet another paper that appeared in the same JCO edition as the main paper.

    “What was a surprise is that giving people information about costs in general terms made them more anxious,” said Dr. Meropol, the senior author of the financial concerns paper. “It was not surprising to us that these concerns actually affect distress, add to decisional conflict, and interfere with decision-making. This finding highlighted for us that communication about costs is both necessary and challenging. It indicates that we need to be sensitive to patients’ cost concerns as they navigate decisions about cancer care.”

    Next steps in research include developing new tools to assist patients with financial navigation. Additionally, the NCI is funding a project led by Dr. Meropol and Barbara Daly, Ph.D., Professor of Nursing, to develop a Web-based educational program for oncology nurses to help them in their discussions with patients about participation in clinical trials.

    Journal References:

    N. J. Meropol, Y.-N. Wong, T. Albrecht, S. Manne, S. M. Miller, A. L. Flamm, A. B. Benson, J. Buzaglo, M. Collins, B. Egleston, L. Fleisher, M. Katz, T. G. Kinzy, T. M. Liu, S. Margevicius, D. M. Miller, D. Poole, N. Roach, E. Ross, M. D. Schluchter. Randomized Trial of a Web-Based Intervention to Address Barriers to Clinical Trials. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 2015; DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2015.63.2257 Y.-N. Wong, M. D. Schluchter, T. L. Albrecht, A. B. Benson, J. Buzaglo, M. Collins, A. L. Flamm, L. Fleisher, M. Katz, T. G. Kinzy, T. M. Liu, S. Manne, S. Margevicius, D. M. Miller, S. M. Miller, D. Poole, S. Raivitch, N. Roach, E. Ross, N. J. Meropol. Financial Concerns About Participation in Clinical Trials Among Patients With Cancer. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 2015; DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2015.63.2463

    View the original article here

  • jkabtech 10:19 pm on January 12, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , preventing, research   

    Parents can play a role in preventing teen fighting, research finds 

    Nearly one-fourth of all teens reported being involved in a physical fight in the past year, with higher rates of violent altercations among African American and Latino adolescents. In the first study of its kind, researchers conducted focus groups with African American and Latino parents regarding teen violence.

    Findings from their study suggested that addressing the parents’ attitudes about fighting, involving them in violence prevention programs and tailoring programs to different racial/ethnic groups may improve the effectiveness of prevention programs.

    In the study, published online in the Journal of Child and Family Studies, researchers found Latino parents condoned fighting only as a last resort while some African American parents stated that fighting is sometimes necessary. Previous studies had suggested such views among parents are likely to lead to higher rates of fighting among youth.

    Latino parents in the study said they taught their children the consequences of fighting, how to regulate emotions and nonviolent means for resolving disputes. African American parents in the study endorsed nonviolent methods but expressed some doubts about the effectiveness of such strategies. African American parents also suggested corporal punishment as a method to prevent fighting. But they acknowledged that this is only a short-term strategy.

    “Fighting can lead to serious injuries and even death, so we felt it was important to identify effective ways to prevent physical altercations among adolescents,” said Rashmi Shetgiri, MD, a Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute (LA BioMed) lead researcher and corresponding author of the study. “Most violence prevention programs focus on school-based interventions with little involvement of families. This study suggests that it is crucial to involve families, especially parents, in violence prevention programs.”

    The researchers, who noted that little is known about parental views about fighting, conducted two focus groups of African American parents and two focus groups of Latino parents of urban adolescents aged 13-17. Of the 17 participants, 76% were female. The Latino parents stated that parents are the most protective influence against fighting and that fighting prevention should start at home. African American parents also said ‘teaching starts at home.’

    “In addition to addressing parental views about fighting, our study suggests that teaching parents and adolescents how to effectively use nonviolent methods to resolve conflicts and increasing their use of these methods may help reduce violent altercations among African American and Latino teens,” said Dr. Shetgiri. “We also determined that involving all the influential members of a teens’ community — from teachers to peers — would be beneficial.”

    She said violence prevention programs could be more effective by tailoring them to different racial/ethnic groups, such as addressing African American parents’ communications with their children about the acceptability of fighting and recognizing the prominent role of the family among Latinos.

    Journal Reference:

    Rui Jun Chen, Glenn Flores, Rashmi Shetgiri. African-American and Latino Parents’ Attitudes and Beliefs Regarding Adolescent Fighting and Its Prevention. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 2015; DOI: 10.1007/s10826-015-0355-8

    View the original article here

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