Researchers develop new techniques to improve film viewing experience for visually impaired

The traditional audio description of an audio track has a third person that provides information on the visual part of a television program or a film. The current use of traditional audio description can sometimes overlap with other sound components in the soundtrack such as sound effects and music.

In fact, in the new format, verbal descriptions are least and sound design is used as the key vehicle to access with the combination of 3D sound, additional sound effects, and first-person narration.

Earlier in 2016, researchers carried out a survey to find 34% of visually impaired individuals had not visited cinema in the last 12 months related to issues of accessibility to discourage them.

Meanwhile, the new methods produced results in a more organic form of accessibility that will help to bring about a more inclusive cinematic experience.

The study undertaken by University of York researchers seeks to provide a substitute soundtrack that minimized the number of verbal descriptions thus resulting to avoid masking of crucial elements in the original soundtrack.

Importantly, the initiative favored occurrence of accessible experiences via sound design strategies by focusing on three main methodologies. The first is adding sound effects to provide insights on actions, highlight the presence of establishing shots, transmit abstract scenes as well as indicate the presence of characters, place, and time. The second method involves the use of 3D sound over headphones to enable conveyance of position of objects and characters displayed on the screen. Lastly, the use of first-person speech to depict aspects that cannot be conveyed via sound effects such as gestures, feelings, colors as well as certain actions.

A case study in the form of short film Pearl undertaken to explore the effectiveness of the new techniques that was conducted in association with students of the University.

New Finding about Diabetes to Reduce Risk of Organ Failure, state researchers

Following a research initiative at the Steno Diabetes Center Aarhus and Aarhus University, researchers have revealed how diabetes affects the stem cells in the form of residing in muscle to form connective and fat tissue. The discovery has significant clinical perspectives, according to researchers behind this.

The cells discovered by the researchers are located in the skeletal muscle and in several other organs. These cells are responsible to create fat and scar tissue. The unhealthy skeletal muscle with an accumulation of fat cells and connective tissue damages the function of the muscles.

The study involved how type 2 diabetes changes the skeletal muscles. The study led to the finding how fatty tissue as well as fibrosis are formed in the muscles.

In fact, the filling of tissue with fat and scar tissue is a characteristic of diabetes, stated one of the research associates.

Therefore, the finding has a huge clinical perspective. This is because cells are found all over the body, and a number of diseases are exactly associated with this build-up of scar and fat tissue in the organs and the skeletal muscle.

Meanwhile, with studies undertaken for gene expression at a single cell level, fat-accumulating cells and fibrosis-forming cells in the skeletal muscle are found.

The study also led to the finding that gene expression occurs in unhealthy cells compared to healthy cells. Once the cells were identified, how they changed in people with type 2 diabetes was examined.

The cells initiated to grow and divided expediently when different factors related to the disease were present in the muscles. Therefore, these cells are the key to regulate in the event of accumulation of fat and fibrosis in the skeletal muscles. The discovery also explains the background that medical doctors discover when tissue samples from the skeletal muscles of patients with type 2 diabetes are taken.

Personalized Vaccine safe, deemed to showcase potential benefit against Various Cancer, say researchers

In a new development, a personalized cancer vaccine developed with the aid of Mount Sinai computational platform does not raise safety concerns, instead it shows potential benefits for patients with different types of cancers. In fact, the personalized vaccine show signs of notable benefits for patients who have high risk of recurrence, according to results of phase I clinical trials for the vaccine. The potential benefits of the vaccine demonstrated at the 2021 annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research held virtually.

“In fact, immunotherapy has revolutionized cancer treatment. However, a large population of cancer patients do not experience significant clinical response with such treatments,” stated the author of the study.

Typically, for clinical use, cancer vaccines combine tumor-specific targets that the immune system can learn the skills to recognize and attack to prevent cancer from recurring. In addition, the vaccine comprises an adjuvant that nudges the immune systems to maximize its efficacy.

Meanwhile, to create personalized cancer vaccine, the team of researchers at Mount Sinai sequenced the tumor, tumor RNA, and germline DNA of each patient. The tumor specific target of each patient also identified in order to help predict if the patient’s immune system would recognize the target of the vaccine.

OpenVax – the computational pipeline of Mount Sinai allows researchers to detect and prioritize immunogenic targets to be synthesized and incorporated in the vaccine.

Importantly, to establish the efficacy of personalized vaccine, patients were administered 10 doses of the vaccine post any standard cancer treatment such as bone marrow transplant or surgery for solid tumors over a period of six months.