Local Daily News 10th September
Artificial Intelligence against cancer and as a GP
Artificial Intelligence can help us to be more effective against cancer, and even for family medicine to reach all corners of the world simply through a computer. The Computer Engineer and doctor in AI, Ignasi Belda, a native of Cocentaina and trained at the Ramón Llull and the Polytechnic of Catalonia, participates from his experience in the course of the University of Alicante to spread Science and bring new technologies as therapeutic tools closer.
“Artificial intelligence (AI) can help a lot to know how a drug kills tumour cells to pinpoint its action in the future.” Ignasi Belda states. Specialist in Artificial Intelligence applied to drug design, he highlights that in reality AI is like a toolbox that can be applied in many areas, as we already perceive today that happens from automatic driving to online advertising on a daily basis.
In the same way, he favours both the design and the discovery of new drugs and vaccines, in the broadest sense. “It becomes a bag of therapeutic tools for the human being,” he adds.
And that’s how it is used by this life sciences management professional, co-founder and president of Twenty50, and CEO of MiWendo Solutions.
Design and discovery, he explains, are two sides of the same coin. In the case of aspirin it was a matter of design, for example, and in the case of penicillin, its discovery. But he stresses that artificial intelligence, in any case, addresses the entire spectrum.
In the field of oncology, whose social impact is so important, Belda confesses that discovery is more common than design, because what is most interesting in this case is that drug extracted from plants or from the bottom of the sea, which it can multiply its precision with the development of artificial intelligence to kill cancer cells.
And it is that once the mechanism of action is known “you can know many more things and use the therapeutic strategy”, he abounds.
Using artificial intelligence intensively, the so-called “therapeutic targets” are also identified, so that the drug or vaccine in question acts as the arrow to shoot at the target, which is what Artificial Intelligence defines in order to stop malignant cells and only those.
The plus that artificial intelligence provides is knowing what the target is in each case, it allows a much faster progress towards optimal results because its precision favours, for example, determining the target of the virus on which to act with a vaccine, as has happened in the case of covid.
Belda exposes other examples of significant advances for health thanks to artificial intelligence, such as the one known as Watson IBM, the first machine in history that has passed the humanity test of a computer and has already been incorporated as one of us, but with full knowledge of family medicine.
This computer has been trained as a family doctor and the results credit him at 93%. “It is a great advance, above all because of the intellectual milestone it represents, by multiplying medicine of excellence”, highlights this expert.
Watson, the fruit of artificial intelligence, manages to expand medical care throughout the world, because his software may be in Singapore but with a computer that can be found in any corner of the world, it acts as a bedside consultation. Belda affirms that in the presence of another professional, such as a nurse who will be the one to take the blood pressure or carry out what the machine indicates in each case.
“The basics” at the level of family medicine, can already be done by the machine “and doctors will be able to dedicate themselves to researching and advancing further in other therapeutic tasks where much can be improved,” he suggests.
“Computer engineers -he concludes- always try to work on systems that are at least explainable” so that the machines give the result that is expected of them, but always from a control, without forgetting ethics, because as Belda specifies, intuition or prejudices are necessary for human life and machines, which also reach these levels of humanity, must be controlled.
The hotels expect to sell out an Imserso with more pensioners but fewer places
The Institute for the Elderly and Social Services (Imserso), organiser of the social holiday program for the elderly, is finalising all the details to put the trips for this year’s campaign on sale starting on the 20th. A campaign that will undoubtedly be marked by inflation and by the suspicion of many hoteliers to continue contracting with the low prices approved by the Ministry of Ione Belarra: 22 euros per person staying and day, full board.
The rescue plan agreed with the Generalitat to avoid a massive flight of establishments from the official program, with a contribution of an additional 6 euros per room for each overnight stay of the Imserso, led the hoteliers of the Costa Blanca to overcome this reluctance, which is kept in other destinations. In this way, there will be around sixty hotels in the Community, mostly located in Benidorm, which will continue within the Imserso from October, when it is expected that the first places for retirees will begin to arrive. “Not all production costs are covered -which the sector estimates at 35 euros per person and night for Imserso-, but the percentage of losses is acceptable,” they maintain.
Sources from Hosbec have assured this Thursday that the sector trusts that the sales of trips to Benidorm, Calp, Dénia, Torrevieja and other destinations, scheduled between September 20 and 24, will be exhausted “in a matter of days”, due to Two other factors that will also condition this campaign: the greater demand and the planned cut in places.
According to the data offered by Imserso itself, the number of people who have been accredited this year to be able to opt for one of these trips amounts to 2.6 million Spaniards, after registering 171,494 new registrations, 31.47% more than in the previous edition, and 71,052 modifications, 14.91% more. This increase, according to the agency itself, is due to the “high expectation and confidence in the program” by retirees and pensioners.
Given this data, the 2022-2023 campaign plans to market a total of 816,000 vacation packages throughout the country, of which 150,000 will be destined for accommodation in the Valencian Community. This figure represents a cut of some 30,000 stays in this autonomy compared to the 2019-2020 edition, which started before the outbreak of the pandemic and had to be suspended in March 2020 after the general confinement of the population was decreed.
Faced with this cut, the Hosbec hotel management insists that, beyond a necessary increase in the budget to ensure a “decent” hotel price for future campaigns, the central government also has “the moral obligation” to increase the allocation to program more trips, taking into account the important economic return that this generates: maintenance of jobs, more contributions, fewer benefits, more tax collection and more spending at destinations.
“The Imserso must grow in budget and in supply”, affirms the general secretary of Hosbec, Nuria Montes, who considers that, at a minimum, the 1.2 million vacation packages that the Government of Rodríguez Zapatero launched should be equaled in the 2009-2010 campaign, in the midst of the economic crisis, to ensure the maintenance of thousands of jobs throughout the country.
Tourism entrepreneurs also compare data from the Ministry itself to describe the current number of trips as “ridiculous.” “With 2.6 million accredited people, barely 816,000 places are being offered, we are not even halfway there, which should be the minimum,” maintains Montes, who also gives as an example the policies that some northern countries are carrying out. Europe, where it is considering subsidising trips to other countries, such as Spain, to promote energy savings during the colder months. “It is a measure that could also be perfectly considered here: financing stays of one or two weeks for people from the coldest areas of Spain during the winter to warm destinations, which would allow lower energy consumption in their areas of origin and we would all win”, she poses.
A court forces the City Council to allow bathing on the beach of San Gabriel
The Contentious-Administrative Court number 2 of Alicante obligates the City Council to execute the sentence that forces it to remove the sign prohibiting bathing in San Gabriel beach, in a legal proceeding initiated by the residents of the area.
According to the order, article 84.1 of the Law regulating the Contentious-Administrative Jurisdiction “establishes that the filing of an appeal will not prevent the provisional execution of the appealed judgement, and the parties favoured by the judgement may urge its provisional execution.” In addition, it adds that article 84.3 limits the power of the judge “to agree on provisional execution in the event that this produces irreversible situations or damages that are impossible to repair.” Consequently, the judge proceeds to agree on the “provisional execution of the sentence since it does not create any irreversible situation or damage that is impossible to repair.”
Therefore, the City Council is now obliged to remove the sign that prohibits bathing, although it has appealed the sentence to the Superior Court of Justice of the Valencian Community (TSJCV).
From the municipal government they assure that “the order of provisional execution of the sentence at the expense of the resolution of the appeal has entered the City Council this Friday”, adding that “if the judge says that the poster must be removed, its removal will be ordered”. They also recall that “a judge forced it to close at the request of a neighbourhood association [Asociación José María Mena] and now another says to open at the request of another neighbourhood association, both from San Gabriel.”
In the sentence that the City Council has to execute, despite having appealed it before the TSJCV, it is explained that the plaintiff association (Gran Vía Sur) “understands that there is a material action constituting a de facto route, finding ourselves before an alleged administrative activity that can be challenged , as a result of the Alicante City Council having placed a sign prohibiting bathing for environmental reasons on San Gabriel beach”.
According to the judicial brief, the Alicante City Council “has not followed any procedure or applied any specific regulatory provision to make the decision to place a sign prohibiting bathing on San Gabriel beach.” In fact, as he continues, in the letter in response to the Alicante City Council’s claim, “it is said that the possible issues relating to discharges arising from the emission from the Rincón de León WWTP have been resolved, since the water from the sewage treatment plant are not polluting”.
In this process, according to the sentence that must now be executed, the City Council “incurs in an action constituting a de facto route by having placed signs on San Gabriel beach prohibiting bathing without following any procedure and without citing the list of precepts regulations that could be applicable”. For the judge, “if the City Council understands that the beach has to be classified as prohibited, it must launch the legally established procedure and apply the regulations that are applicable based on the content of the technical reports that contain the reasons or motives for which the beach can be classified as free, dangerous or prohibited use”.
The sentence emphasises that “the Alicante City Council does not question that the San Gabriel beach has the status of a beach. “There are particularities, such as the fact that certain discharges fall on the beach and that the pedestrian access to it is somewhat complex as there are a railway line that requires access to the beach by a pedestrian walkway. Likewise, the beach is close to the Barranco de las Ovejas, although it is not an inconvenience either, as there are many other beaches in the Valencian Community or the municipality of Alicante itself where certain ravines lead to the beaches when there are episodes of torrential or copious rains”, alluding to the Albufereta beach or the Cala de la Granadella in Xàbia.
The plaintiff association, Gran Vía Sur, assures that “it will therefore require the Alicante City Council, the mayor and the Councillor for Beaches to comply with the Municipal Beach Ordinance and provide the San Gabriel beach with a walkway that guarantees accessibility , with all the equipment and services of any urban beach: cleaning, installation of litter bins and footbaths, as well as ensuring the safety of bathers by installing a lifeguard station and, above all, ensuring that the waters meet the quality objectives established by law carrying out the required analytics and controls, which must be made public and accessible to the public”.
Evacuated by helicopter an injured worker in Xàbia
A worker of about 50 years has fallen from a height of three metres yesterday in a building under construction on the Vía Augusta de Xàbia. He has fallen through a hole and has been trapped inside a basement. He has hit his head and has momentarily lost consciousness. He might also have a broken hand. A medicalized helicopter from the Department of Health has attended and is currently transferring the injured person to the Alicante General Hospital.
Firefighters have rescued the victim. Several patrols from the Local Police and the Civil Guard have attended, as well as an ambulance from SAMU and another from Basic Life Support (SVB).
After being taken out of the basement, the wounded man responded well to the stimuli and seemed to have recovered, according to the sources consulted, from the shock to his head. However, it is essential to examine it as soon as possible and that is why it has been decided to evacuate it by helicopter. The aircraft has landed in a field that is next to the Fontana de Xàbia canal.
The province suffers another setback with High Speed as low-cost trains with Madrid are delayed for nine months
The province of Alicante will not have until the first half of 2023 -if there are no setbacks- low-cost AVE trains from the operator Ouigo that link with Madrid. A new delay that for the economic and social sectors of Alicante is a burden for the territory and a comparative offence with respect to the province of Valencia, which from next October 7 will be connected to the Madrid station of Chamartín in less than two hours, which will allow its travellers to benefit from a greater hourly frequency and more affordable prices.
The new low-cost high-speed train operator in Spain has attributed the delay to two reasons. On the one hand, to the delay in the construction works of the new Chamartín-Atocha tunnel in Madrid that is being undertaken by Adif, the Railway Infrastructure Administrator that reports to the Ministry of Public Works. A circumstance that already led the operator to fail to meet the objective of starting the service with Valencia on July 1, as planned, with the consequent delay for the connection with Alicante.
The second reason, as indicated by Ouigo, is the need to standardise the safety system of the specific two-story Alstom Euroduplex trains that will be used between Alicante and Madrid and that are different from those of the line between Valencia and Madrid. Both explanations are not satisfactory, since the works on the Atocha-Chamartín tunnel seem to only affect the case of the High Speed between Madrid and Alicante and not between Valencia and Madrid. Regarding the safety of the road, it is a new argument that until now had not appeared despite the successive delays suffered by the AVElow cost in the province of Alicante.