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Genetic mapping reveals how cancer grows

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Scientists all over the world have been trying to understand cancer, which is one of the deadliest diseases in the world, for many years.

Researchers have been trying to figure out where cancer comes from and what early treatments can help counter this illness.

Now, researchers have created a map of the prostrate which shows healthy areas and those that contain cancerous cells.

Experts from the Karolinska Institutet, Solna, Sweden, the University of Oxford, and KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Science for Life Laboratory discovered that prostrate tumours have an unknown range of genetic variation.

The team saw what genetic changes take place in the tissue using spatial transcriptomics. Their work can play an immense role in improving early cancer diagnosis.

The study published in the journal Nature said that this technique was better because the older ones take samples from cancerous areas and study the DNA of cells with tumours only. Researchers said that prostrate cancer and others like it are three-dimensional and any one sample should hint toward a tumour.

The lead of the study, Alastair Lamb, said that they were “fairly sure” cancer started with genetic mutations. Lamb said that this amount of clarity was never there before.

To the surprise of the scientists, genetic characteristics of cancer were seen in healthy tissues too. 

In their vast study, researchers scrutinised 150,000 regions in two breast cancers, a lymph node, some skin, some brain tissue, and three prostrates to develop an algorithm that could track cells with similar genetic characteristics.

“Mapping thousands of tissue regions in a single experiment is an unprecedented approach to deconvolute the heterogeneity of tumours and their microenvironment,” said Professor Joakim Lundeberg of KTH Royal Institute of Technology.

He said that high-resolution views can change the way we look at the cancer ecosystem. 

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WhatsApp to let users ‘pin messages’ within chats, groups

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Meta-owned WhatsApp always brings out the best updates for its users, making it easier for them to enjoy the experience while connecting with their loved ones. 

The messaging app is rolling out another feature that would allow its users to pin messages within chats and groups in the future update, WabetaInfo reported Friday. 

The app is launching the new update through the Google Play Beta Program, bringing the version up to 2.23.3.17. 

The feature, however, is inaccessible to the beta testers as of yet because it is not ready and is still under development.

Through this feature, it will become easier for users to find important messages in a conversation. 

— WaBetaInfo
— WaBetaInfo

However, if a message is pinned but the recipient is using an old version of WhatsApp, the messaging app will “add a message in the conversation in order to ask to upgrade to the latest version available on the store”. 

This feature would also help “improve organisation” in the groups as it can become difficult to keep a track of messages, whether it is a group for your friends, family, or workplace. 

These pinned messages will be easily accessible to everyone in the group chat so that people know what is important. 

The feature will be released in a future update of the app. 

Recent iOs update 

Users will be able to react to messages within the announcement group in a new feature that is under development, according to a report from WABetaInfo.

Reportedly, several users discovered that they are unable to react to messages posted within the WhatsApp community announcement group.

Responding to messages in the community announcement group is not possible because doing so would make your phone number public. WhatsApp is working to make it so that the user’s phone number is hidden when responding to messages in this particular group. 

WABetaInfo learned that WhatsApp is working on the same feature for a future update of the iOS app. 

WhatsApp is developing “an in-app banner to announce when an update that brings message reactions within the announcement group is available.”

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ChatGPT owner launches ‘imperfect’ tool to detect AI-generated text

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OpenAI, the creator of the popular chatbot ChatGPT, has released a software tool to identify text generated by artificial intelligence, the company said in a blog post on Wednesday.

ChatGPT is a free program that generates text in response to a prompt, including articles, essays, jokes and even poetry, which has gained wide popularity since its debut in November, while raising concerns about copyright and plagiarism.

The AI classifier, a language model trained on the dataset of pairs of human-written and AI-written text on the same topic, aims to distinguish text that is written by AI. It uses a variety of providers to address issues such as automated misinformation campaigns and academic dishonesty, the company said.

In its public beta mode, OpenAI acknowledges the detection tool is very unreliable on texts under 1,000 characters, and AI-written text can be edited to trick the classifier.

“We’re making this classifier publicly available to get feedback on whether imperfect tools like this one are useful,” OpenAI said.

“We recognise that identifying AI-written text has been an important point of discussion among educators, and equally important is recognizing the limits and impacts of AI-generated text classifiers in the classroom.”

Since ChatGPT debuted in November and gained wide popularity among millions of users, some of the largest US school districts, including New York City, have banned the AI chatbot over concerns that students will use the text generator to cheat or plagiarise.

Others have created third-party detection tools including GPTZeroX to help educators detect AI-generated text.

OpenAI said it is engaging with educators to discuss ChatGPT’s capabilities and limitations, and will continue to work on the detection of AI-generated text.

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YouTube launches ‘Study Hall’ which will allow earning college credits online

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YouTube, Arizona State University, and Crash Course, the well-known YouTube channel of writers and brothers Hank and John Green, have announced an astonishing expansion of their accessible education programme Study Hall. 

According to YouTube’s announcement, the partnership is “a new approach that demystifies the college process while creating an affordable and accessible onramp to earning college credit,” outlining the chance for online learners to pursue transferable course credits with fewer restrictions than traditional college programmes.

In addition to being able to watch all Study Hall videos for free on YouTube, users can register for related courses developed by Crash Course and academics at Arizona State University in order to receive credits and compile a transcript. 

Beginning on March 7, 2023, the current lineup of four “College Foundations” courses will address postsecondary fundamentals including English composition, college math, American history, and interpersonal communication. Each course costs $25 to enrol in, plus an additional $400 registration fee to acquire credits. Prior to March 7, 2023, each course will cost $350 to enrol in.

When Study Hall is fully operational, the number of credits available will equal the whole first year of study at most institutions and the cost is “less than one-third of the typical course cost at a public four-year university,” according to YouTube.

Enrollment does not require a minimum GPA or even an application, and students are allowed to retake classes as many times as they need to. Any eligible student who wants to use their Study Hall experience toward a degree can apply for admission to Arizona State University through the Earned Admissions program or transfer to any school in the US that accepts ASU credits.

According to Katie Kurtz, head of learning at YouTube, the company wants to serve as a middleman between the general public and higher education.

“At YouTube, we want to empower learners to go further by breaking down barriers to high-impact learning experiences. Postsecondary education is still one of the best drivers of economic and social mobility, yet the path to higher education has too many barriers,” she explained.

“We want to help address this urgent challenge by tapping into our endlessly creative and passionate learning creator community. With 10 years of experience delivering compelling and engaging educational content, we knew Crash Course, paired with ASU’s world class faculty would be a dynamic partnership to address this challenge.”

The Green brothers, well-known for being early, influential creators on both YouTube and Tumblr, launched the Crash Course channel in 2012. The channel has produced a decade’s worth of educational material on a variety of topics linked to early college and Advanced Placement high school courses, including psychology, world history, and even intellectual property law. The Green brothers’ quick and easy educational videos have an even wider audience now that they are both regulars on the TikTok For You Page.

Hank Green discussed his most recent educational endeavour, writing, in a tweet: “Around 43 million Americans are saddled with 1.75 trillion dollars in student debt. This may sound bad, but it’s worse than it seems: 40% of those 43 million people do not have degrees and will not pursue them.”

The biggest obstacles to getting degrees in the hands of students, according to Green and his production firm, Complexly, included fees, the complexity of college admissions systems, and the difficulty of many college courses for people who didn’t acquire a thorough high school education. “With some funding and a lot of hard work, we started to build ‘Study Hall’ with the goal that it helps lower these barriers.”

Along with the new course options, Study Hall also offers educational material on comprehending and navigating the higher education landscape, including a Crash Course series on “How To College” and quick primers to popular ideas and subject areas, hosted by Green and other academics.

By January 2025, the programme is expected to have 12 courses accessible. On the Study Hall website, prospective students can sign up.

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