PRESS-NEWS.org - Press Release Distribution
PRESS RELEASES DISTRIBUTION

Unifying behavioral analysis through animal foundation models

Unifying behavioral analysis through animal foundation models
2024-06-21
(Press-News.org) Although there is the saying, “straight from the horse’s mouth”, it's impossible to get a horse to tell you if it's in pain or experiencing joy. Yet, its body will express the answer in its movements. To a trained eye, pain will manifest as a change in gait, or in the case of joy, the facial expressions of the animal could change. But what if we can automate this with AI? And what about AI models for cows, dogs, cats, or even mice? Automating animal behavior not only removes observer bias, but it helps humans more efficiently get to the right answer.

Today marks the beginning of a new chapter in posture analysis for behavioral phenotyping. Mackenzie Mathis' laboratory at EPFL publishes a Nature Communications article describing a particularly effective new open-source tool that requires no human annotations to get the model to track animals. Named “SuperAnimal”, it can automatically recognize, without human supervision, the location of “keypoints” (typically joints) in a whole range of animals – over 45 animal species – and even in mythical ones!

“The current pipeline allows users to tailor deep learning models, but this then relies on human effort to identify keypoints on each animal to create a training set,” explains Mackenzie Mathis. “This leads to duplicated labeling efforts across researchers and can lead to different semantic labels for the same keypoints, making merging data to train large foundation models very challenging. Our new method provides a new approach to standardize this process and train large-scale datasets. It also makes labeling 10 to 100 times more effective than current tools.”

 

The “SuperAnimal method” is an evolution of a pose estimation technique that Mackenzie Mathis' laboratory had already distributed under the name "DeepLabCut™️." You can read more about this game-changing tool and its origin in this new Nature technology feature.

 

“Here, we have developed an algorithm capable of compiling a large set of annotations across databases and train the model to learn a harmonized language – we call this pre-training the foundation model,” explains Shaokai Ye, a PhD student researcher and first author of the study. “Then users can simply deploy our base model or fine-tune it on their own data, allowing for further customization if needed.”

 

These advances will make motion analysis much more accessible. “Veterinarians could be particularly interested, as well as those in biomedical research – especially when it comes to observing the behavior of laboratory mice. But it can go further,” says Mackenzie Mathis, mentioning neuroscience and... athletes (canine or otherwise)! Other species – birds, fish, and insects – are also within the scope of the model's next evolution. “We also will leverage these models in natural language interfaces to build even more accessible and next-generation tools. For example, Shaokai and I, along with our co-authors at EPFL, recently developed AmadeusGPT, published recently at NeurIPS, that allows for querying video data with written or spoken text. Expanding this for complex behavioral analysis will be very exciting.” SuperAnimal is now available to researchers worldwide through its open-source distribution (github.com/DeepLabCut).

END

[Attachments] See images for this press release:
Unifying behavioral analysis through animal foundation models

ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:

Up to 30 percent more time: Climate change makes it harder for women to collect water

2024-06-21
Climate change could increase the amount of time women spend collecting water by up to 30 percent globally by 2050, according to a new study published in Nature Climate Change. In regions of South America and Southeast Asia, the time spent collecting water could double due to higher temperatures and less rainfall. A team of scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) estimates the large welfare losses that could result from climate impacts and highlights how women are particularly vulnerable to changing future climate conditions. Worldwide, two billion people currently lack access to safe drinking water. The ...

Heart failure in space: scientists calculate potential health threats facing future space tourists in microgravity

Heart failure in space: scientists calculate potential health threats facing future space tourists in microgravity
2024-06-21
[The following is a guest editorial written by Dr Lex van Loon, an assistant professor at the Australian National University and the University of Twente in the Netherlands. He is co-author of a new Frontiers in Physiology article.] Space exploration has always captivated our imagination, offering the promise of discovering new worlds and pushing the boundaries of human capability. As commercial space travel becomes more accessible, individuals with various underlying health conditions—including heart failure—may soon be among those venturing beyond Earth’s atmosphere. This raises critical questions about the impact of space travel ...

Experts offer guidance on talking with children about racism at pediatrician's office

2024-06-21
Extensive research shows the link between exposure to racism during childhood and adolescence and increased risks of depression and metabolic health issues, such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Conversely, racial socialization, described as behaviors and practices that teach children about race and ethnic identity, has shown potential in mitigating these negative effects, and discussions like these could be effective in pediatric clinics, according to the first expert consensus guidance on this topic published in Pediatrics. “Over the years, numerous calls to action have been made to address racism in medicine. ...

Drugs for HIV and AIDS trialed as brain tumor treatment for first time

Drugs for HIV and AIDS trialed as brain tumor treatment for first time
2024-06-21
Drugs developed to combat HIV and AIDS are being trialled for the first time in patients with multiple brain tumours. Scientists at the Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence at the University of Plymouth are conducting a clinical trial to see whether using anti-retroviral medications, Ritonavir and Lopinavir, could help people with Neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2). The rare inherited genetic condition causes tumours such as schwannoma (which include acoustic neuroma), ependymoma and meningioma which develop ...

Breakthrough in nanoscale force measurement opens doors to unprecedented biological insights

2024-06-21
Groundbreaking research has revealed a new way to measure incredibly minute forces at the nanoscale in water, pushing the boundaries of what scientists know about the microscopic world. The significant nanotechnology advance was achieved by researchers from Beihang University in China with RMIT University and other leading institutions including the Australian National University and University of Technology Sydney.  The new technique, involving a super-resolved photonic force microscope (SRPFM), is capable of detecting forces in water as small as 108.2 attonewtons—a scale so minute that it compares to measuring the weight of a virus. Lead ...

Scientists discover new behavior of membranes that could lead to unprecedented separations

Scientists discover new behavior of membranes that could lead to unprecedented separations
2024-06-21
Imagine a close basketball game that comes down to the final shot. The probability of the ball going through the hoop might be fairly low, but it would dramatically increase if the player were afforded the opportunity to shoot it over and over. A similar idea is at play in the scientific field of membrane separations, a key process central to industries that include everything from biotechnology to petrochemicals to water treatment to food and beverage. “Separations lie at the heart of so many of the products we use in our everyday lives,” said Seth Darling, head of the Advanced Materials for Energy Water Systems (AMEWS) Center at the U.S. Department of ...

When inflicting pain on others pays off T

When inflicting pain on others pays off T
2024-06-21
​ Oh, the joy of inflicting pain upon others. The Germans have a word for it: schadenfreude, meaning “malicious pleasure.” And tapping into its sentiment properly can, ironically, do a lot of good by raising money for charity. In a groundbreaking paper published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, UC Riverside School of Business marketing professor and associate dean Thomas Kramer and co-authors articulate and quantify the appeal of schadenfreude (pronounced Sha-den-froid-e) through the lens of marketing psychology. Through a series of behavioral scenario studies, their paper provides insights ...

The Lancet: Managing gestational diabetes much earlier in pregnancy can prevent complications and improve long-term health outcomes, experts say

The Lancet: Managing gestational diabetes much earlier in pregnancy can prevent complications and improve long-term health outcomes, experts say
2024-06-21
The Lancet: Managing gestational diabetes much earlier in pregnancy can prevent complications and improve long-term health outcomes, experts say Speaking at the American Diabetes Association 84th Scientific Sessions, authors of a new Lancet Series challenge current approaches to managing gestational diabetes (a type of diabetes that can be diagnosed during pregnancy) and call for initiating treatment much earlier to prevent complications during pregnancy and beyond. [1].  Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM), commonly referred to as gestational diabetes, is the most common ...

New study finds dinosaur fossils did not inspire the mythological griffin

New study finds dinosaur fossils did not inspire the mythological griffin
2024-06-21
A popular and widely-promoted claim that dinosaur fossils inspired the legend of the griffin, the mythological creature with a raptorial bird head and wings on a lion body, has been challenged in a new study. The specific link between dinosaur fossils and griffin mythology was proposed over 30 years ago in a series of papers and books written by folklorist Adrienne Mayor. These started with the 1989 Cryptozoology paper entitled ‘Paleocryptozoology: a call for collaboration between classicists and cryptozoologists’, and was cemented in the seminal 2000 ...

NASA astronaut Woody Hoburg to deliver keynote address at ISSRDC focused on developing a space workforce

NASA astronaut Woody Hoburg to deliver keynote address at ISSRDC focused on developing a space workforce
2024-06-20
BOSTON (MA), June 20, 2024 – NASA astronaut Warren “Woody” Hoburg will deliver a keynote address at the International Space Station Research and Development Conference (ISSRDC) in Boston on Thursday, August 1, 2024. Hoburg has close ties to Boston as a graduate and former assistant professor of aeronautics and astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Hoburg’s address will focus on his six-month science expedition on the space station and the importance of shaping the future workforce ...

LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:

Duke-NUS launches LIVE Ventures, a S$20 million incubator to accelerate research commercialisation

Samuel Pepys’ fashion prints reveal his guilty pleasure: Fancy French clothes

New genetic test will eliminate a form of inherited blindness in dogs

Cancer risk: Most Australian welders exposed to high levels of dangerous fumes

Two-in-one mapping of temperature and flow around microscale convective flows

Texas A&M engineers explore intelligence augmentation to improve safety

ORNL economist honored at international hydropower conference

UCLA selected by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to test Medicare dementia care model

Fish adjust reproduction in response to predators

DDX41 and its unique contribution to myeloid leukemogenesis

Digital games on vaping devices could lure more youth to nicotine addiction

Cracking the code of hydrogen embrittlement

Long-term results from Testicular Cancer treatment are positive, study shows

EPA awards UMass Amherst nearly $6.4 million to help shrink the steel industry’s carbon footprint

Valentina Greco takes on new position as President of the ISSCR

Komen supports UVA Engineering researchers targeting ‘triple negative' breast cancer

Panel issues first guidelines to prevent anal cancer in people with HIV

Estimating rainfall intensity using surveillance audio and deep-learning

Targeting factors for chemoprevention and cancer interception to tackle mesothelioma

New snake discovery rewrites history, points to North America’s role in snake evolution

Large and unequal life expectancy declines in India during COVID-19

A study of 156,000 UK residents found that urban residents score the lowest in social and economic satisfaction and well-being

Global study by Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology demonstrates benefit of marine protected areas to recreational fisheries

Researchers clarify how soft materials fail under stress

Revolutionizing the abilities of adaptive radar with AI

Plastic waste can now be converted to electronic devices

Health equity scholar Darrell Hudson named Health Behavior and Health Education chair at the University of Michigan School of Public Health

Research will establish best ‘managed retreat’ practices for communities faced with climate change disaster

Marshall University awarded grant to further fentanyl addiction research

Wash U researchers shine light on amyloid architecture

[Press-News.org] Unifying behavioral analysis through animal foundation models