Skip to Content
Biotechnology

This algorithm generates tumors to help fight cancer

September 17, 2018

Researchers have built a system to create a larger and more diverse data set on which to train medical AI.

You’re only as effective as your data set: Most artificial-intelligence programs rely on a large set of information to learn from. But if the data isn’t representative of all populations or circumstances, the system could be biased or ineffective.

The news: A new study out from chip company Nvidia, the Mayo Clinic, and the MGH & BWH Center for Clinical Data Science has created an algorithm that produces a more diverse set of medical data. Using generative adversarial networks (or GANs), synthetic scans depicting abnormalities can be created from existing MRIs of brain tumors.

Why it matters: “Diversity is critical to success when training neural networks, but medical imaging data is usually imbalanced,” Hoo Chang Shin, a research scientist at Nvidia, told ZDNet. “There are so many more normal cases than abnormal cases, when abnormal cases are what we care about, to try to detect and diagnose.”

Deep Dive

Biotechnology

Muhammad bin Salman funds anti-aging research
Muhammad bin Salman funds anti-aging research

Saudi Arabia plans to spend $1 billion a year discovering treatments to slow aging

The oil kingdom fears that its population is aging at an accelerated rate and hopes to test drugs to reverse the problem. First up might be the diabetes drug metformin.

individual aging affects covid outcomes concept
individual aging affects covid outcomes concept

Anti-aging drugs are being tested as a way to treat covid

Drugs that rejuvenate our immune systems and make us biologically younger could help protect us from the disease’s worst effects.

Workers disinfect the street outside Shijiazhuang Railway Station
Workers disinfect the street outside Shijiazhuang Railway Station

Why China is still obsessed with disinfecting everything

Most public health bodies dealing with covid have long since moved on from the idea of surface transmission. China’s didn’t—and that helps it control the narrative about the disease’s origins and danger.

person carrying styrofoam box used for transporting human organs
person carrying styrofoam box used for transporting human organs

A new storage technique could vastly expand the number of livers available for transplant

It allows donor livers to be held for days—significantly longer than the standard now–and even treated if they are damaged.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.