Current school start times damaging learning and health of students

Scientists have found that current school and university start times are damaging the learning and health of students. Drawing on the latest sleep research, the authors conclude students start times should be 8:30 or later at age 10; 10:00 or later at 16; and 11:00 or later at 18. Implementing these start times should protect students from short sleep duration and chronic sleep deprivation, which are linked to poor learning and health problems. —> Read More

Adolescents more likely not to smoke when cigarette ads feature older adults

For decades, the tobacco and alcohol industries have been accused of advertising their products to kids. Tremendous public pressure has prompted the implementation of strict guidelines. Today, tobacco and alcohol advertising are among the most highly regulated forms of marketing in existence. But, are all of the rules having any effect on the adolescents we seek to protect? —> Read More

Could An Instagram Filter Turn Your Photos Into Masterful Paintings?

Imagine this: one day, you open Instagram to post a photo of your cat snoozing on an armchair, only to find a crop of dazzling new filters: Picasso, for example; van Gogh; Kandinsky. What if rendering your everyday surroundings in the familiar, yet strange, palettes of famous artists was as simple as selecting one from a menu?

Of course, such a task is far from simple, but a recent paper from a German research team suggests it’s not entirely impossible.

In the paper, “A Neural Algorithm of Artistic Style,” Leon A. Gatys, Alexander S. Ecker and Matthias Bethge demonstrate a visual model meant to allow the content and style of an image to be separated and combined in various iterations. Inputting a photo of a row of houses, the researchers used their model to blend the content of the photo with the distinctive visual styles of famous artists such as Edvard Munch and Wassily Kandinsky.

This process, of course, by no means mirrors the quick, easy application of an Instagram filter. As The Observer’s Ryan Steadman points out, “the process takes about an hour to complete.”

What’s more, the authors write, “image content and style cannot be completely disentangled [...] there usually does not exist an image that perfectly matches both constraints at the same time.”

The model works not through a simple filtration — the authors point to non-photorealistic rendering and texture transfer as methods for stylizing photos in a more straightforward vein — but by processing each input image in layers, extracting characteristic visual components in a hierarchy.

In other words, the authors weren’t simply applying a filter, but making choices about which input — style or content — to weight more heavily in creating the composite image, and aiming for a balance between the —> Read More

5-Year-Old Girl’s Stem Cells Help Put Twin Brother’s Cancer In Remission

Sharing is caring, and no one knows that better than these young twins.

When 5-year-old Bradley Godish required a stem cell transplant to help eliminate his leukemia, his twin sister, Charlotte “Charlie,” was the first to step up to the plate as the donor, WGN-TV reported. With Bradley’s cancer now in remission, the duo is back in the swing of things, with a friendship even more special than before.

“They’re best friends,” Brian Godish, the twins’ dad, told WGN-TV. “Now the bond that they share is as strong as it can possibly be.”

Bradley was diagnosed in November with acute myeloid leukemia, and the best option for treatment was chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant, People.com reported. The 5-year-old’s parents, Brian and Jennifer Godish, found out Charlie was a perfect match as a stem cell donor, and approached their daughter in January about the procedure.

“We wanted Charlie to feel like she was part of the decision-making process and wanted to prep her mentally,” Jennifer told People.com. “So we explained that Bradley’s blood was sick and hers was healthy, and she said, ‘Let’s do it.'”

The surgery took place in February, at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, according to ABC News. Charlie bravely underwent the procedure, with little tears or complaints, and helped eradicate her brother’s sickness.

“They’ve both bounced back nicely — our hope is that the further out we get from the transplant, the better the chances are that it will never come back and he’ll have a full recovery,” the twins’ transplant coordinator, Dr. Jennifer Schneiderman, told People.com.

Though Bradley still requires routine checkups, he’s in recovery, and the twins have started kindergarten and are settling back into their daily schedules.

“We really hope as —> Read More

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