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Researchers Develop an Algorithm to Predict Storms, Cyclones

This research is an early attempt to show feasibility of AI-based interpretation of weather-related visual information

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Hurricane
In this image provided by NOAA, Tropical Storm Gordon approaches the United States. VOA

Using Artificial Intelligence (AI), researchers have developed an algorithm to detect cloud formations that lead to storms, hurricanes and cyclones.

The study, published in the journal IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, shows a model that can help forecasters recognise potential severe storms more quickly and accurately.

The researchers created a framework based on Machine Learning (ML) — a kind of AI — that detects rotational movements in clouds from satellite images that might have otherwise gone unnoticed.

“The very best forecasting incorporates as much data as possible, there’s so much to take in as the atmosphere is infinitely complex. By using the models and the data we have, we’re taking a snapshot of the most complete look of the atmosphere,” said Steve Wistar, Senior Forensic Meteorologist at AccuWeather in the US.

For the study, researchers analysed more than 50,000 US weather satellite images and identified and labelled the shape and motion of ‘comma-shaped’ clouds.

These cloud patterns are strongly associated with cyclone formations which can lead to severe weather events including hail, thunderstorms, high winds and blizzards, they said.

cyclone kenneth, torrential rain
An aerial shot shows widespread destruction caused by Cyclone Kenneth when it struck Ibo island north of Pemba city in Mozambique, May, 1, 2019 (Representational image). VOA

Then, using computer vision and ML techniques, the researchers taught computers to automatically recognize and detect ‘comma-shaped’ clouds in satellite images.

The computers could then assist experts by pointing out in real time where, in an ocean of data, could they focus their attention in order to detect the onset of severe weather.

“Because the ‘comma-shaped’ cloud is a visual indicator of severe weather events, our scheme can help meteorologists to forecast such events,” said study lead author Rachel Zheng from Penn State University in the US.

The researchers found that their method can effectively detect ‘comma-shaped’ clouds with 99 per cent accuracy, at an average of 40 seconds per prediction.

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It was also able to predict 64 per cent of severe weather events, outperforming other existing severe weather detection methods.

This research is an early attempt to show feasibility of AI-based interpretation of weather-related visual information. (IANS)

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Keto Diet May Help Combat the Flu Virus: Research

When mice were bred without the gene that codes for gamma delta T cells, the ketogenic diet provided no protection against the influenza virus

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Keto, Meals, Apartment
If you’re craving pancakes but you’re following a keto diet, almond flour pancakes are a perfect solution. Pixabay

A ketogenic diet, which includes meat, fish, poultry and non-starchy vegetables, may help combat the flu virus, suggests new research.

This diet regimen activates a subset of T cells in the lungs not previously associated with the immune system’s response to influenza, enhancing mucus production from airway cells that can effectively trap the virus, said the study published in the journal Science Immunology.

“This was a totally unexpected finding,” said co-senior author Akiko Iwasaki, Professor at Yale University in the US.

The researchers found that mice fed a ketogenic diet were better able to combat the flu virus than mice fed food high in carbohydrates.

CDC, Flu, Vaccine
The researchers found that mice fed a ketogenic diet were better able to combat the flu virus than mice fed food high in carbohydrates. Pixabay

Specifically, the researchers found that the ketogenic diet triggered the release of gamma delta T cells, immune system cells that produce mucus in the cell linings of the lung — while the high-carbohydrate diet did not.

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When mice were bred without the gene that codes for gamma delta T cells, the ketogenic diet provided no protection against the influenza virus.

“This study shows that the way the body burns fat to produce ketone bodies from the food we eat can fuel the immune system to fight flu infection,” said co-senior author Visha Deep Dixit, Professor at Yale University. (IANS)