New Burgers: Shrimp Tempura Rice Burger

Shrimp Tempura

Shrimp Tempura, and Deep-fried Seafood and Vegetables

The new burgers are available for a limited time period from MOS Burger in Japan for 450 yen and 480 yen respectively.

North African Style Braised Duck Breast with Dried Pear


1 tablespoon olive oil
3 duck breasts, about 2 lb total weight
4 onions, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
1-3/4 cups chicken stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup ready-to-eat dried pears
3 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander


  1. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan (skillet). Add the duck, skin side up, and cook for 1-2 minutes until lightly browned.
  2. Turn the duck breasts and cook, as gently as possible, until the skin is brown and crisp. Remove and drain on kitchen paper.
  3. Pour off all but 3 tablespoons of fat. Add the onions and cook for 15 minutes until completely soft.
  4. Slice the duck breasts across into 1/2-inch slices. Place the onion and duck in a heavy flameproof casserole.
  5. Stir in the garlic, sugar, cinnamon, saffron and stock. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
  6. Cut the pears into pieces, add to the casserole, cover and cook gently for a further 30 minutes.
  7. Stir in the coriander and serve with couscous.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: North African Cooking

In Pictures: Foods of Nightshade Restaurant in Los Angeles, U.S.

Casual Fine Dining with Asian Flavour

Beef tartare with black garlic, egg yolk jam, and radish

Razor clams with coconut vinaigrette and coriander

Razor clams with a passionfruit and chive sauce

Cuttlefish with black garlic and radish flowers

Soft shell crab toast

Mapo tofu lasagna

Rum raisin kakigori

Sorrel and gooseberries with white chocolate and creme fraiche

Artificial Intelligence Better Than Dermatologists at Catching Skin Cancers

Amy Norton wrote . . . . . . . . .

A computer can beat even highly experienced dermatologists in spotting deadly melanomas, researchers report.

The study is the latest to test the idea that “artificial intelligence” can improve medical diagnoses.

Typically, it works like this: Researchers develop an algorithm using “deep learning” — where the computer system essentially mimics the brain’s neural networks. It’s exposed to a large number of images — of breast tumors, for example — and it teaches itself to recognize key features.

The new study pitted a well-honed computer algorithm against 58 dermatologists, to see whether machine or humans were better at differentiating melanomas from moles.

It turned out the algorithm was usually more accurate. It missed fewer melanomas, and was less likely to misdiagnose a benign mole as cancer.

That does not mean computers will someday be diagnosing skin cancer, said lead researcher Dr. Holger Haenssle, of the University of Heidelberg in Germany.

“I don’t think physicians will be replaced,” Haenssle said.

Instead, he explained, doctors could use artificial intelligence (AI) as a tool.

“In the future, AI may help physicians focus on the most suspicious skin lesions,” Haenssle said.

A patient might, for instance, undergo whole-body photography (a technology that’s already available), then have those images “interpreted” by a computer algorithm.

“In the next step,” Haenssle explained, “the physician may examine only those lesions labeled as ‘suspicious’ by the computer.”

Doctors already do skin exams with the help of a technology called dermoscopy — where a hand-held device is used to light and magnify the skin. Haenssle said AI could again be used to help analyze those images.

Dr. Mary Stevenson is an assistant professor of dermatology at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City.

She agreed that the technology is not going to replace doctors, but could serve as an “aid.”

There are still questions to be answered, according to Stevenson, who was not involved in the research. For one, she said, this study focused only on differentiating melanoma from benign moles — and there is more to skin cancer diagnosis than that.

For the study, Haenssle’s team recruited 58 dermatologists from 17 countries. Over half had more than five years of experience and were considered “expert” level.

First, the doctors examined 100 dermoscopic images of either melanomas or harmless moles.

Four weeks later, they viewed those images and were given more information about the patients — such as their age and position of the lesion on the body. That more closely reflected what doctors work with in the “real world.”

In the first phase, the doctors accurately caught melanomas nearly 87 percent of the time, on average; they correctly identified moles about 71 percent of the time.

The computer, however, did better: When it was tuned to have the same level of accuracy as doctors in detecting benign moles, the computer caught 95 percent of melanomas.

The doctors boosted their accuracy when they also had information about the patients. They caught 89 percent of melanomas, and accurately identified benign moles about 76 percent of the time.

The computer still outperformed them, though: At that same level of accuracy for catching melanoma, the computer correctly diagnosed about 83 percent of moles.

Haenssle said that in some parts of Germany, doctors are already using the algorithm tested in this study — in software sold by the company FotoFinder Systems GmbH. He has received fees from the company and others that market devices for skin cancer screening.

For now, traditional skin exams remain the standard of care.

Stevenson said she suggests people get one head-to-toe exam to inspect the skin for suspicious growths — and then talk to their doctor about how to follow up.

“I also recommend getting in front of a mirror once a month to do a self-exam,” Stevenson said.

The point is to spot any changes in the size, shape or color of a mole or other dark spot on the skin. According to Stevenson, some warning signs of melanoma include asymmetry in a growth, as well as irregular borders, uneven coloring and a large diameter (larger than a pencil eraser).

“When melanoma is caught early,” Stevenson said, “it is highly curable.”

Source: HealthDay

High Protein Diet Associated with Small Increased Heart Failure Risk in Middle-aged Men

For middle-aged men, eating higher amounts of protein was associated with a slightly elevated risk for heart failure than those who ate less protein, according to new research in Circulation: Heart Failure, an American Heart Association journal.

Despite the popularity of high protein diets, there is little research about how diets high in protein might impact men’s heart failure risk.

“As many people seem to take the health benefits of high-protein diets for granted, it is important to make clear the possible risks and benefits of these diets,” said Jyrki Virtanen, Ph.D., study author and an adjunct professor of nutritional epidemiology at the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio. “Earlier studies had linked diets high in protein – especially from animal sources — with increased risks of Type 2 diabetes and even death.”

The American Heart Association estimates that one in five Americans 40 and older will develop heart failure – the body is unable to pump enough blood and oxygen to remain healthy. Heart failure can shorten life expectancy. And with no cure, preventing heart failure through diet, lifestyle and more is vital.

Researchers studied 2,441 men, age 42 to 60, at the study’s start and followed them for an average 22 years. Overall, researchers found 334 cases of heart failure were diagnosed during the study and 70 percent of the protein consumed was from animal sources and 27.7 percent from plant sources. Higher intake of protein from most dietary sources, was associated with slightly higher risk. Only proteins from fish and eggs were not associated with heart failure risk in this study, researchers said.

For this study, researchers divided the men into four groups based on their daily protein consumption. When they compared men who ate the most protein to those who ate the least, they found their risk of heart failure was:

  • 33 percent higher for all sources of protein;
  • 43 percent higher for animal protein;
  • 49 percent higher for dairy protein.
  • 17 percent higher for plant protein.

“As this is one of the first studies reporting on the association between dietary protein and heart failure risk, more research is needed before we know whether moderating protein intake may be beneficial in the prevention of heart failure,” said Heli E.K. Virtanen, M.Sc., first author of study, Ph.D. student and early career researcher at the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio. “Long-term interventions comparing diets with differential protein compositions and emphasizing differential protein sources would be important to reveal possible effects of protein intake on risk factors of heart failure. More research is also needed in other study populations.”

The American Heart Association recommends a dietary pattern that includes a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish, beans, non-tropical vegetable oils and nuts; and limits intake of sweets, sugar-sweetened beverages and red meats.

Source: American Heart Association

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