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Machine learning could help regulators identify environmental violations

Machine learning could help regulators identify environmental violations

Science
Oct. 1 (UPI) -- Regulatory agencies tasked with protecting environmental and public health are regularly understaffed and underfunded, but new research suggests machine learning could help officials more effectively monitor potential violators. The Environmental Protection Agency and partnering state agencies are responsible for monitoring the regulatory compliance of 300,000 facilities. Regulators, however, only have the resources to inspect less than 10 percent of those facilities each year. To help the EPA catch violations, student researchers at Stanford University designed a model to identify facilities most likely to fail an inspection. Scientists trained the machine learning to interpret a variety of risk factors, including the facility's location, industry and inspection history. ...
Chasing quakes with machine learning

Chasing quakes with machine learning

Science
Scientists have used machine learning to calculate the pattern of aftershocks following an earthquake.Aftershocks are further quakes that follow the "main shock". They are by definition smaller, but sometimes not by much.This is the first time a machine learning method has been used to work out where they might happen.Researchers hope this and similar techniques will improve our understanding of earthquake behaviour."If you think about making forecasts of earthquakes," says study co-author Prof Brendan Meade of Harvard University, "you want to do three things; you want to predict when they're going to be, you want to say something about how large they're going to be and about where they're going to be."What we wanted to do is to tackle the last leg of thi...
How to build a real time machine

How to build a real time machine

Science
Travelling in time might sound like a flight of fancy, but some physicists think it might really be possible. BBC Horizon looked at some of the most promising ideas for turning this staple of science fiction into reality.Ron Mallett has a dream: He wants to travel in time.This isn't mere fantasy - Mallett is a respected professor of physics."I think of myself as being an ordinary person with a passion, and my passion is the possibility of time travel," he says.Prof Mallett has wanted to build a time machine for most of his life. His passion, he explains, can be traced to a tragic event early in his life.Ron's father, a heavy smoker, died of a heart attack at the age of 33 - when Prof Mallett was just 10 years of age. Ron was deva...
Crow vending machine skills 'redefine intelligence'

Crow vending machine skills 'redefine intelligence'

Science
Media playback is unsupported on your device A small South Pacific island is home to a crow with remarkable abilities that have scientists hooked. New Caledonian crows make and use tools - including a kind of fishing hook. They can solve complex problems and have even been recorded capturing grubs by repeatedly poking them with a stick until they are so agitated, they bite.Now, an experiment using a vending machine specifically designed for crows has revealed something about how intelligence evolves. The "vending experiment" is the latest in an ongoing investigation into these birds' abilities. They are so remarkable that scientists have a special aviary in New Caledonia, where they can keep wild birds for only a few days and test their proble...
Machine learning can predict low blood pressure during surgery

Machine learning can predict low blood pressure during surgery

Health
June 11 (UPI) -- A new algorithm can predict potentially dangerous low blood pressure during surgery. Researchers have developed machine learning than can identify hypotension as much as 15 minutes before it occurs, and are correct about 84 percent of the time. The findings were published Monday in the journal Anesthesiology. "Physicians haven't had a way to predict hypotension during surgery, so they have to be reactive, and treat it immediately without any prior warning," Dr. Maxime Cannesson, a professor of anesthesiology at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, said in a press release. "Being able to predict hypotension would allow physicians to be proactive instead of reactive." Canesson said the tool can save lives -- even with a warning only 10 to 15 minutes ahead of time. "By findi...