April 11, 2016

Love a very small one

4“If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? ; 5And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. ; 6When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ ; 7In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away! (Luke 15:4-7)
It is a genuine love to cherish a very small one. Although I had made tremendous achievements so far, I should lament even for my extremely small sin made today. Forget whatever might be full of either glorious memories or terrible misdeeds accumulated over the past, and just concentrate on this moment. As Jesus Christ forgave all my sins, save me who was a lost sheep and gave me an eternal life, forgive my enemies and love the most humble neighbors although they have seriously tormented me with bitter pains.

April 10, 2016

Novel technology for functional MRI of the moving fetus

Figure 1. Design-optimized motion correction

Inadequate supply of oxygen to the fetus may compromise fetal health and well-being. Recently, the effects of maternal oxygen supply on fetal brain oxygenation have been explored using blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). A challenge with unsedated in vivo fetal fMRI is fetal motion, which seriously perturbs fMRI data quality and reliable data analysis.

I and my colleagues working at the Developing Brain Research Laboratory in Children's National Medical Center recently published a paper, titled "Robust preprocessing for stimulus-based functional MRI of the moving fetus" in the Journal of Medical Imaging. The paper presents a robust method for correcting motion artifact from fMRI data of the fetal brain and placenta acquired during maternal hyperoxia. The method was designed to provide the most optimal performance in the given stimulus paradigm (see Figure 1). Spurious data which remain not corrected due to high motion were automatically detected, and additionally corrected through statistical estimation. Our experimental results demonstrate that the proposed method was effective in mitigating the motion artifacts and beneficial for clinical applications in high-risk fetuses. This paper provides an important technical foundation for non-invasive quantification of fetal brain-placenta function.

Unconditional Forgiveness

I used to feel resentment whenever I am mistreated and unfair by someone, and my honesty is suspected, while I seem to be relatively patient in any physical violence. However, if I were a true Christian, how would I do in such a situation? As I was delivered out of sins by Jesus Christ without any cost, it is natural that I should also forgive anyone who slanders me. Forgiveness as well as thanks and joy should be unconditional for all Christians. As Jesus prayed for Pharisees who scoffed at him and crucified him, the prayer for foes should also be unconditional for all Christians.

March 13, 2016

AlphaGo in a Personal Computer?

A Google Artificial Intelligence (AI) program recently defeated a world-renowned master Go player Lee Sedol three times, in Go matches which has been known as an extremely complex game (Refer to the news article). According to the ‎Nature‬ article written by David Silver et al. (2016), ‎AlphaGo‬ defines not only value networks evaluating board positions but also policy networks choosing moves, and both networks are trained through supervised learning. The AlphaGo uses a distributed system consisting of 1,202 CPUs and 176 GPUs, which couldn't be easily implemented in a small lab. My interest is whether it is feasible to have similar performance with less system resources (for example, even in a personal computer)? I have no idea, but it might be feasible if both networks could be trained continuously using a concept of Collective Intelligence based on Web Cloud (such as Wikipedia). If you are a computer scientist who are interested in how the AlphaGo works, please visit the repository of source codes for AlphaGo.

March 12, 2016

Heart Surgery Changes Personality

Can Heart Surgery Change a Person's Personality? - Scientific American

It is intriguing to investigate the association between heart defects and personality formation since I have been researching brain injuries in fetuses with congenital heart disease (CHD). In spite of the lack of evidences, I suppose that heart surgery might have an impact on brain functions. It should be clarified through long-term longitudinal studies with neuroimaging.