Breast cancer risk clarified

Women diagnosed with a specific form of benign breast disease called atypical lobular hyperplasia (ALH) are at increased risk of developing breast cancer, but the risk is not the same for both breasts, researchers report this week. The findings, reported in the British medical journal The Lancet, challenge the long-held belief that the risk for breast cancer in women with this diagnosis was the same in both breasts, an assumption that could be used as an argument for double mastectomy to prevent cancer. Instead, the researchers found that women with this type of abnormality were three times more likely to develop breast cancer than are women without this diagnosis, and that three-fourths of subsequent breast cancers occurred in the same breast.

Designing a robot that can sense human emotion

Forget the robot child in the movie ?AI.? Vanderbilt researchers Nilanjan Sarkar and Craig Smith have a less romantic but more practical idea in mind. ?We are not trying to give a robot emotions. We are trying to make robots that are sensitive to our emotions,? says Smith, associate professor of psychology and human development.
Their vision, which is to create a kind of robot Friday, a personal assistant who can accurately sense the moods of its human bosses and respond appropriately, is described in the article, ?Online Stress Detection using Psychophysiological Signals for Implicit Human-Robot Cooperation.? The article, which appears in the Dec. issue of the journal Robotica, also reports the initial steps that they have taken to make their vision a reality.