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1.  FR-CAPTCHA: CAPTCHA Based on Recognizing Human Faces 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e91708.
A Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart (CAPTCHA) is designed to distinguish humans from machines. Most of the existing tests require reading distorted text embedded in a background image. However, many existing CAPTCHAs are either too difficult for humans due to excessive distortions or are trivial for automated algorithms to solve. These CAPTCHAs also suffer from inherent language as well as alphabet dependencies and are not equally convenient for people of different demographics. Therefore, there is a need to devise other Turing tests which can mitigate these challenges. One such test is matching two faces to establish if they belong to the same individual or not. Utilizing face recognition as the Turing test, we propose FR-CAPTCHA based on finding matching pairs of human faces in an image. We observe that, compared to existing implementations, FR-CAPTCHA achieves a human accuracy of 94% and is robust against automated attacks.
PMCID: PMC3988000  PMID: 24736523
2.  Behavioural flexibility and problem-solving in a tropical lizard 
Biology Letters  2011;8(1):28-30.
The role of behavioural flexibility in responding to new or changing environmental challenges is a central theme in cognitive ecology. Studies of behavioural flexibility have focused mostly on mammals and birds because theory predicts that behavioural flexibility is favoured in species or clades that exploit a diversity of habitats or food sources and/or have complex social structure, attributes not associated with ectothermic vertebrates. Here, we present the results of a series of experiments designed to test cognitive abilities across multiple cognitive modules in a tropical arboreal lizard: Anolis evermanni. This lizard shows behavioural flexibility across multiple cognitive tasks, including solving a novel motor task using multiple strategies and reversal learning, as well as rapid associative learning. This flexibility was unexpected because lizards are commonly believed to have limited cognitive abilities and highly stereotyped behaviour. Our findings indicate that the cognitive abilities of A. evermanni are comparable with those of some endothermic species that are recognized to be highly flexible, and strongly suggest a re-thinking of our understanding of the cognitive abilities of ectothermic tetrapods and of the factors favouring the evolution of behavioural flexibility.
PMCID: PMC3259950  PMID: 21752816
behavioural flexibility; cognition; evolution; reptile; radiation; Anolis
4.  Anodal Stimulation: An Underrecognized Cause of Nonresponders to Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy 
The purpose of this study was to determine if anodal stimulation accounts for failure to benefit from cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) in some patients.
Approximately 30-40% of patients with moderate to severe heart failure do not have symptomatic nor echocardiographic improvement in cardiac function following CRT. Modern CRT devices allow the option of programming left ventricular (LV) lead pacing as LV tip to right ventricular (RV) lead coil to potentially improve pacing thresholds. However, anodal stimulation can result in unintentional RV pacing (anode) instead of LV pacing (cathode).
Patients enrolled in our center's CRT registry had an echocardiogram, 6-minute walk (6MW), and Minnesota Living with HF Questionnaire (MLHFQ) pre-implant and 6 months after CRT. Electrocardiograms (12 lead) during RV, LV, and biventricular (BiV) pacing were obtained at the end of the implant in 102 patients. Anodal stimulation was defined as LV pacing QRS morphology on EKG being identical to RV pacing or consistent with fusion with RV and LV electrode capture. LV end systolic volume (LVESV) was measured by echo biplane Simpson's method and CRT responder was defined as 15% or greater reduction in LVESV.
Of the 102 patients, 46 (45.1%) had the final LV lead pacing configuration programmed LV (tip or ring) to RV (coil or ring). 3 of the 46 subjects (6.5%) had EKG findings consistent with anodal stimulation, not corrected intraoperatively. All anodal stimulation patients were nonresponders to CRT by echo criteria (reduction in LVESV 13.3 ± 0.6%, increase in EF 5.0 ± 1.4%) compared to 46% responders for those without anodal stimulation, (change in LVESV 18.7 ± 25.6%, EF 7.6 ±10.9%). None of the anodal stimulation patients were responders for the 6 minute walk, compared to 32 of 66 (48%) of those without anodal stimulation.
Anodal stimulation is a potential underrecognized and ameliorable cause of poor response to CRT.
PMCID: PMC3083142  PMID: 21556155
Cardiac resynchronization therapy; anodal stimulation; biventricular pacemaker; heart failure
5.  Identification of Diagnostic Urinary Biomarkers for Acute Kidney Injury 
Acute kidney injury (AKI) is an important cause of death among hospitalized patients. The two most common causes of AKI are acute tubular necrosis (ATN) and prerenal azotemia (PRA). Appropriate diagnosis of the disease is important but often difficult. We analyzed urine proteins by 2-DE from 38 patients with AKI. Patients were randomly assigned to a training set, an internal test set or an external validation set. Spot abundances were analyzed by artificial neural networks (ANN) to identify biomarkers which differentiate between ATN and PRA. When the trained neural network algorithm was tested against the training data it identified the diagnosis for 16/18 patients in the training set and all 10 patients in the internal test set. The accuracy was validated in the novel external set of patients where 9/10 subjects were correctly diagnosed including 5/5 with ATN and 4/5 with PRA. Plasma retinol binding protein (PRBP) was identified in one spot and a fragment of albumin and PRBP in the other. These proteins are candidate markers for diagnostic assays of AKI.
PMCID: PMC2864920  PMID: 20224435
Acute kidney injury; Biomarkers; Diagnosis; Kidney; Urine
6.  Urine Biomarkers Predict the Cause of Glomerular Disease 
Diagnosis of the type of glomerular disease that causes the nephrotic syndrome is necessary for appropriate treatment and typically requires a renal biopsy. The goal of this study was to identify candidate protein biomarkers to diagnose glomerular diseases. Proteomic methods and informatic analysis were used to identify patterns of urine proteins that are characteristic of the diseases. Urine proteins were separated by two-dimensional electrophoresis in 32 patients with FSGS, lupus nephritis, membranous nephropathy, or diabetic nephropathy. Protein abundances from 16 patients were used to train an artificial neural network to create a prediction algorithm. The remaining 16 patients were used as an external validation set to test the accuracy of the prediction algorithm. In the validation set, the model predicted the presence of the diseases with sensitivities between 75 and 86% and specificities from 92 to 67%. The probability of obtaining these results in the novel set by chance is 5 × 10−8. Twenty-one gel spots were most important for the differentiation of the diseases. The spots were cut from the gel, and 20 were identified by mass spectrometry as charge forms of 11 plasma proteins: Orosomucoid, transferrin, α-1 microglobulin, zinc α-2 glycoprotein, α-1 antitrypsin, complement factor B, haptoglobin, transthyretin, plasma retinol binding protein, albumin, and hemopexin. These data show that diseases that cause nephrotic syndrome change glomerular protein permeability in characteristic patterns. The fingerprint of urine protein charge forms identifies the glomerular disease. The identified proteins are candidate biomarkers that can be tested in assays that are more amenable to clinical testing.
PMCID: PMC2733832  PMID: 17301191

Results 1-6 (6)