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General General

Satellites can reveal global extent of forced labor in the world's fishing fleet.

In Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

While forced labor in the world's fishing fleet has been widely documented, its extent remains unknown. No methods previously existed for remotely identifying individual fishing vessels potentially engaged in these abuses on a global scale. By combining expertise from human rights practitioners and satellite vessel monitoring data, we show that vessels reported to use forced labor behave in systematically different ways from other vessels. We exploit this insight by using machine learning to identify high-risk vessels from among 16,000 industrial longliner, squid jigger, and trawler fishing vessels. Our model reveals that between 14% and 26% of vessels were high-risk, and also reveals patterns of where these vessels fished and which ports they visited. Between 57,000 and 100,000 individuals worked on these vessels, many of whom may have been forced labor victims. This information provides unprecedented opportunities for novel interventions to combat this humanitarian tragedy. More broadly, this research demonstrates a proof of concept for using remote sensing to detect forced labor abuses.

McDonald Gavin G, Costello Christopher, Bone Jennifer, Cabral Reniel B, Farabee Valerie, Hochberg Timothy, Kroodsma David, Mangin Tracey, Meng Kyle C, Zahn Oliver


forced labor in fisheries, machine learning, satellite vessel monitoring data

General General

What machine learning can do for developmental biology.

In Development (Cambridge, England)

Developmental biology has grown into a data intensive science with the development of high-throughput imaging and multi-omics approaches. Machine learning is a versatile set of techniques that can help make sense of these large datasets with minimal human intervention, through tasks such as image segmentation, super-resolution microscopy and cell clustering. In this Spotlight, I introduce the key concepts, advantages and limitations of machine learning, and discuss how these methods are being applied to problems in developmental biology. Specifically, I focus on how machine learning is improving microscopy and single-cell 'omics' techniques and data analysis. Finally, I provide an outlook for the futures of these fields and suggest ways to foster new interdisciplinary developments.

Villoutreix Paul


Artificial intelligence, Big data, Machine learning, Neural networks

General General

A Machine Vision-Based Method Optimized for Restoring Broiler Chicken Images Occluded by Feeding and Drinking Equipment.

In Animals : an open access journal from MDPI

The presence equipment (e.g., water pipes, feed buckets, and other presence equipment, etc.) in the poultry house can occlude the areas of broiler chickens taken via top view. This can affect the analysis of chicken behaviors through a vision-based machine learning imaging method. In our previous study, we developed a machine vision-based method for monitoring the broiler chicken floor distribution, and here we processed and restored the areas of broiler chickens which were occluded by presence equipment. To verify the performance of the developed restoration method, a top-view video of broiler chickens was recorded in two research broiler houses (240 birds equally raised in 12 pens per house). First, a target detection algorithm was used to initially detect the target areas in each image, and then Hough transform and color features were used to remove the occlusion equipment in the detection result further. In poultry images, the broiler chicken occluded by equipment has either two areas (TA) or one area (OA). To reconstruct the occluded area of broiler chickens, the linear restoration method and the elliptical fitting restoration method were developed and tested. Three evaluation indices of the overlap rate (OR), false-positive rate (FPR), and false-negative rate (FNR) were used to evaluate the restoration method. From images collected on d2, d9, d16, and d23, about 100-sample images were selected for testing the proposed method. And then, around 80 high-quality broiler areas detected were further evaluated for occlusion restoration. According to the results, the average value of OR, FPR, and FNR for TA was 0.8150, 0.0032, and 0.1850, respectively. For OA, the average values of OR, FPR, and FNR were 0.8788, 0.2227, and 0.1212, respectively. The study provides a new method for restoring occluded chicken areas that can hamper the success of vision-based machine predictions.

Guo Yangyang, Aggrey Samuel E, Oladeinde Adelumola, Johnson Jasmine, Zock Gregory, Chai Lilong


broiler chicken, image restoring, machine vision, precision poultry farming

Public Health Public Health

A Novel Protein Mapping Method for Predicting the Protein Interactions in COVID-19 Disease by Deep Learning.

In Interdisciplinary sciences, computational life sciences

The new type of corona virus (SARS-COV-2) emerging in Wuhan, China has spread rapidly to the world and has become a pandemic. In addition to having a significant impact on daily life, it also shows its effect in different areas, including public health and economy. Currently, there is no vaccine or antiviral drug available to prevent the COVID-19 disease. Therefore, determination of protein interactions of new types of corona virus is vital in clinical studies, drug therapy, identification of preclinical compounds and protein functions. Protein-protein interactions are important to examine protein functions and pathways involved in various biological processes and to determine the cause and progression of diseases. Various high-throughput experimental methods have been used to identify protein-protein interactions in organisms, yet, there is still a huge gap in specifying all possible protein interactions in an organism. In addition, since the experimental methods used include cloning, labeling, affinity purification mass spectrometry, the processes take a long time. Determining these interactions with artificial intelligence-based methods rather than experimental approaches may help to identify protein functions faster. Thus, protein-protein interaction prediction using deep-learning algorithms has been employed in conjunction with experimental method to explore new protein interactions. However, to predict protein interactions with artificial intelligence techniques, protein sequences need to be mapped. There are various types and numbers of protein-mapping methods in the literature. In this study, we wanted to contribute to the literature by proposing a novel protein-mapping method based on the AVL tree. The proposed method was inspired by the fast search performance on the dictionary structure of AVL tree and was used to verify the protein interactions between SARS-COV-2 virus and human. First, protein sequences were mapped by both the proposed method and various protein-mapping methods. Then, the mapped protein sequences were normalized and classified by bidirectional recurrent neural networks. The performance of the proposed method was evaluated with accuracy, f1-score, precision, recall, and AUC scores. Our results indicated that our mapping method predicts the protein interactions between SARS-COV-2 virus proteins and human proteins at an accuracy of 97.76%, precision of 97.60%, recall of 98.33%, f1-score of 79.42%, and with AUC 89% in average.

Alakus Talha Burak, Turkoglu Ibrahim


AVL tree, COVID-19, Deep learning, Protein mapping, SARS-COV-2

General General

Deep learning and computer vision will transform entomology.

In Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Most animal species on Earth are insects, and recent reports suggest that their abundance is in drastic decline. Although these reports come from a wide range of insect taxa and regions, the evidence to assess the extent of the phenomenon is sparse. Insect populations are challenging to study, and most monitoring methods are labor intensive and inefficient. Advances in computer vision and deep learning provide potential new solutions to this global challenge. Cameras and other sensors can effectively, continuously, and noninvasively perform entomological observations throughout diurnal and seasonal cycles. The physical appearance of specimens can also be captured by automated imaging in the laboratory. When trained on these data, deep learning models can provide estimates of insect abundance, biomass, and diversity. Further, deep learning models can quantify variation in phenotypic traits, behavior, and interactions. Here, we connect recent developments in deep learning and computer vision to the urgent demand for more cost-efficient monitoring of insects and other invertebrates. We present examples of sensor-based monitoring of insects. We show how deep learning tools can be applied to exceptionally large datasets to derive ecological information and discuss the challenges that lie ahead for the implementation of such solutions in entomology. We identify four focal areas, which will facilitate this transformation: 1) validation of image-based taxonomic identification; 2) generation of sufficient training data; 3) development of public, curated reference databases; and 4) solutions to integrate deep learning and molecular tools.

Høye Toke T, Ärje Johanna, Bjerge Kim, Hansen Oskar L P, Iosifidis Alexandros, Leese Florian, Mann Hjalte M R, Meissner Kristian, Melvad Claus, Raitoharju Jenni


automated monitoring, ecology, image-based identification, insects, machine learning

Pathology Pathology

Application of Radiomics and Artificial Intelligence for Lung Cancer Precision Medicine.

In Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in medicine

Medical imaging is the standard-of-care for early detection, diagnosis, treatment planning, monitoring, and image-guided interventions of lung cancer patients. Most medical images are stored digitally in a standardized Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine format that can be readily accessed and used for qualitative and quantitative analysis. Over the several last decades, medical images have been shown to contain complementary and interchangeable data orthogonal to other sources such as pathology, hematology, genomics, and/or proteomics. As such, "radiomics" has emerged as a field of research that involves the process of converting standard-of-care images into quantitative image-based data that can be merged with other data sources and subsequently analyzed using conventional biostatistics or artificial intelligence (AI) methods. As radiomic features capture biological and pathophysiological information, these quantitative radiomic features have shown to provide rapid and accurate noninvasive biomarkers for lung cancer risk prediction, diagnostics, prognosis, treatment response monitoring, and tumor biology. In this review, radiomics and emerging AI methods in lung cancer research are highlighted and discussed including advantages, challenges, and pitfalls.

Tunali Ilke, Gillies Robert J, Schabath Matthew B