Artificial Intelligence to Take Drive-thru Orders at Englewood Restaurant in the U.S.

Can I take your order?

It won’t be a human taking your order at the Lee’s Famous Recipe restaurant in Englewood for much longer.

Beginning Monday, the restaurant will be using artificial intelligence to take orders of customers passing through the drive-thru.

The Hi Auto technology will be used after it was developed with speech enhancement software that eliminates background noise and is able to accurately recognize a person’s voice.

“The Artificial Intelligence (AI) order taker will greet the customer, take their order and enter the order directly into the register system,” said Andrea Newport, spokesperson for the restaurant. “Employees in the restaurant will be able to listen to every transaction through existing headsets and intervene in case an issue arises during the order process.”

Far Hills Development, LLC, which operates the Englewood location and 12 other locations around the Miami Valley, said they believe the technology will improve service times and alleviate staffing challenges that have impacted restaurants during COVID-19.

The technology also can be scaled to include video and recognize license plates and greet regular customers by name and know their favorite menu items, Newport said.

Source: WHIO

Gut Microbiome Implicated in Healthy Aging and Longevity

The gut microbiome is an integral component of the body, but its importance in the human aging process is unclear. ISB researchers and their collaborators have identified distinct signatures in the gut microbiome that are associated with either healthy or unhealthy aging trajectories, which in turn predict survival in a population of older individuals. The work was just published in the journal Nature Metabolism.

The research team analyzed gut microbiome, phenotypic and clinical data from over 9,000 people – between the ages of 18 and 101 years old – across three independent cohorts. The team focused, in particular, on longitudinal data from a cohort of over 900 community-dwelling older individuals (78-98 years old), allowing them to track health and survival outcomes.

The data showed that gut microbiomes became increasingly unique (i.e. increasingly divergent from others) as individuals aged, starting in mid-to-late adulthood, which corresponded with a steady decline in the abundance of core bacterial genera (e.g. Bacteroides) that tend to be shared across humans.

Strikingly, while microbiomes became increasingly unique to each individual in healthy aging, the metabolic functions the microbiomes were carrying out shared common traits. This gut uniqueness signature was highly correlated with several microbially-derived metabolites in blood plasma, including one – tryptophan-derived indole – that has previously been shown to extend lifespan in mice. Blood levels of another metabolite – phenylacetylglutamine – showed the strongest association with uniqueness, and prior work has shown that this metabolite is indeed highly elevated in the blood of centenarians.

“This uniqueness signature can predict patient survival in the latest decades of life,” said ISB Research Scientist Dr. Tomasz Wilmanski, who led the study. Healthy individuals around 80 years of age showed continued microbial drift toward a unique compositional state, but this drift was absent in less healthy individuals.

“Interestingly, this uniqueness pattern appears to start in mid-life – 40-50 years old – and is associated with a clear blood metabolomic signature, suggesting that these microbiome changes may not simply be diagnostic of healthy aging, but that they may also contribute directly to health as we age,” Wilmanski said. For example, indoles are known to reduce inflammation in the gut, and chronic inflammation is thought to be a major driver in the progression of aging-related morbidities.

“Prior results in microbiome-aging research appear inconsistent, with some reports showing a decline in core gut genera in centenarian populations, while others show relative stability of the microbiome up until the onset of aging-related declines in health,” said microbiome specialist Dr. Sean Gibbons, co-corresponding author of the paper. “Our work, which is the first to incorporate a detailed analysis of health and survival, may resolve these inconsistencies. Specifically, we show two distinct aging trajectories: 1) a decline in core microbes and an accompanying rise in uniqueness in healthier individuals, consistent with prior results in community-dwelling centenarians, and 2) the maintenance of core microbes in less healthy individuals.”

This analysis highlights the fact that the adult gut microbiome continues to develop with advanced age in healthy individuals, but not in unhealthy ones, and that microbiome compositions associated with health in early-to-mid adulthood may not be compatible with health in late adulthood.

“This is exciting work that we think will have major clinical implications for monitoring and modifying gut microbiome health throughout a person’s life,” said ISB Professor Dr. Nathan Price, co-corresponding author of the paper.

This research project was conducted by ISB and collaborators from Oregon Health and Science University, University of California San Diego, University of Pittsburgh, University of California Davis, Lifestyle Medicine Institute, and University of Washington. It was supported in part by a Catalyst Award in Healthy Longevity from the National Academy of Medicine, and the Longevity Consortium of the National Institute on Aging.

Source: ISB

In Pictures: Baguette Sandwiches

Chicken Breast and Vegetables

Chicken Salad

Spicy Chicken

Ham and Cheese

Prosciutto and Vegetables

Babecued Pork and Vegetables

Discovery of Biomarker Could Help Predict Alzheimer’s Years Before Symptoms Emerge

Alzheimer’s disease affects more than 340,000 Australians and more than 35 million people in the world.

A unique brain protein measured in the blood could be used to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease decades before symptoms develop, according to new Edith Cowan University (ECU) research.

Published in Nature journal Translational Psychiatry, the study is the first to find that people with elevated glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) in the blood also have increased amyloid beta in the brain, a known indicator of Alzheimer’s disease.

GFAP is a protein normally found in the brain, but it is released into the blood when the brain is damaged by early Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s disease affects more than 340,000 Australians and more than 35 million people in the world. Current diagnosis involves a brain scan or spinal fluid tests.

The study’s lead researcher, ECU Professor Ralph Martins AO, said the discovery offered a promising new avenue for early diagnosis.

“Blood biomarkers are becoming an exciting alternative to the existing expensive and invasive methods of diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease,” said Professor Martins.

“The GFAP biomarker could be used to develop a simple and quick blood test to detect if a person is at very high risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

“Early diagnosis is critical to allow us to implement medication and lifestyle interventions that can help delay the progression of the disease and give people more time before symptoms develop.”

A step forward

Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative brain condition that can develop silently over years. It leads to memory decline and loss of thinking skills. There is no known cure.

According to Professor Martins, the development of an early blood test for the disease will be revolutionary.

“The technology for detecting biomarkers has developed rapidly, so I think we will begin to see diagnostic blood tests being used for Alzheimer’s in the next few years.

“The current brain imaging and lumbar puncture tests are expensive and invasive and not widely available to the general population. A blood test could open up possibilities for early diagnosis of millions of people and thereby enable earlier interventions.”

Future hope

The study involved 100 Australians aged between 65 and 90 years of age with no symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

Professor Martins said further research is needed to understand GFAP in Alzheimer’s disease.

“Longitudinal studies will provide more insight into how GFAP relates to the progression of Alzheimer’s, which may allow us to determine when symptoms will emerge.”

Professor Martins is also part of a large study exploring interventions for Alzheimer’s disease, with the ultimate goal of finding medications and lifestyle factors that can halt or delay the development of the disease.

“Diagnosis and intervention techniques go hand in hand – if we can use blood biomarkers to detect Alzheimer’s sooner, we can also intervene sooner,” he said.

Source: Australia Edith Cowan University

Eggs Poached in Tomato Fennel Sauce

Ingredients

2 tsp olive oil
1 small bulb fennel, trimmed, cored and thinly sliced
2 green onions, sliced (white and light green parts separated)
2 cups plain tomato sauce
1 tsp sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
4 large eggs
pinch each salt and pepper

Method

  1. In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat, cook fennel and 1/2 cup water, stirring occasionally, until fennel is softened and water has evaporated, about 15 minutes.
  2. Add white parts of green onions. Cook, stirring, until softened, about 1 minute.
  3. Stir in tomato sauce, vinegar and sugar. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmer.
  4. Using back of spoon, make 4 wells in sauce. Gently break 1 egg into each. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Simmer, partially covered, until egg whites are set yet yolks are still slightly runny, about 9 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle with green parts of green onions before serving

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Mediterranean Flavours


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