Alternative medicine

Alternative medicine describes any practice that aims to achieve the healing effects of medicine, but which lacks biological plausibility and is untested, untestable or proven ineffective. Complementary medicine and alternative medicine, integrated medicine or integrative medicine, holistic medicine are among many rebrandings of the same phenomenon. Alternative therapies share in common that they reside outside medical science, rely on pseudoscience. Traditional practices become "alternative" when used outside their original settings without proper scientific explanation and evidence. Used derogatory terms for the alternative are new-age or pseudo, with little distinction from quackery; some alternative practices are based on theories that contradict the science of how the human body works. In others, the practice has too many side-effects. Alternative medicine is distinct from experimental medicine, which employs the scientific method to test plausible therapies by way of responsible and ethical clinical trials, producing evidence of either effect or of no effect.

Research into alternative therapies fails to follow proper research protocols, providing invalid results. Much of the perceived effect of an alternative practice arises from a belief that it will be effective, or from the treated condition resolving on its own; this is further exacerbated by the tendency to turn to alternative therapies upon the failure of medicine, at which point the condition will be at its worst and most to spontaneously improve. In the absence of this bias for diseases that are not expected to get better by themselves such as cancer or HIV infection, multiple studies have shown worse outcomes if patients turn to alternative therapies. While this may be because these patients avoid effective treatment, some alternative therapies are harmful or interfere with effective treatments; the alternative sector is a profitable industry with a strong lobby, faces far less regulation over the use and marketing of unproven treatments. Its marketing advertises the treatments as being "natural" or "holistic", in comparison to those offered by "big pharma".

Billions of dollars have been spent studying alternative medicine, with little to no positive results. Some of the successful practices are only considered alternative under specific definitions, such as those which include all physical activity under the umbrella of "alternative medicine"; the terms alternative medicine, complementary medicine, integrative medicine, holistic medicine, natural medicine, unorthodox medicine, fringe medicine, unconventional medicine, new age medicine are used interchangeably as having the same meaning, are synonymous in most contexts. Terminology has shifted over time. For example, the United States National Institutes of Health department studying alternative medicine named the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, was established as the Office of Alternative Medicine and was renamed the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine before obtaining its current name. Therapies are framed as "natural" or "holistic", implicitly and intentionally suggesting that conventional medicine is "artificial" and "narrow in scope".

The meaning of the term "alternative" in the expression "alternative medicine", is not that it is an effective alternative to medical science, although some alternative medicine promoters may use the loose terminology to give the appearance of effectiveness. Loose terminology may be used to suggest meaning that a dichotomy exists when it does not, e.g. the use of the expressions "Western medicine" and "Eastern medicine" to suggest that the difference is a cultural difference between the Asiatic east and the European west, rather than that the difference is between evidence-based medicine and treatments that do not work. Alternative medicine is defined loosely as a set of products and theories that are believed or perceived by their users to have the healing effects of medicine, but whose effectiveness has not been established using scientific methods, or whose theory and practice is not part of biomedicine, or whose theories or practices are directly contradicted by scientific evidence or scientific principles used in biomedicine.

"Biomedicine" or "medicine" is that part of medical science that applies principles of biology, molecular biology and other natural sciences to clinical practice, using scientific methods to establish the effectiveness of that practice. Unlike medicine, an alternative product or practice does not originate from using scientific methods, but may instead be based on hearsay, tradition, belief in supernatural energies, errors in reasoning, fraud, or other unscientific sources; some other definitions seek to specify alternative medicine in terms of its social and political marginality to mainstream healthcare. This can refer to the lack of support that alternative therapies receive from medical scientists regarding access to research funding, sympathetic coverage in the medical press, or inclusion in the standard medical curriculum. For example, a used definition devised by the US NCCIH calls it "a group of diverse medical and health care systems and products that are not considered

Medical image computing

Medical image computing is an interdisciplinary field at the intersection of computer science, information engineering, electrical engineering, physics and medicine. This field develops computational and mathematical methods for solving problems pertaining to medical images and their use for biomedical research and clinical care; the main goal of MIC is to extract clinically relevant knowledge from medical images. While related to the field of medical imaging, MIC focuses on the computational analysis of the images, not their acquisition; the methods can be grouped into several broad categories: image segmentation, image registration, image-based physiological modeling, others. Medical image computing operates on uniformly sampled data with regular x-y-z spatial spacing. At each sample point, data is represented in integral form such as signed and unsigned short, although forms from unsigned char to 32-bit float are not uncommon; the particular meaning of the data at the sample point depends on modality: for example a CT acquisition collects radiodensity values, while a MRI acquisition may collect T1 or T2-weighted images.

Longitudinal, time-varying acquisitions may not acquire images with regular time steps. Fan-like images due to modalities such as curved-array ultrasound are common and require different representational and algorithmic techniques to process. Other data forms include sheared images due to gantry tilt during acquisition. Segmentation is the process of partitioning an image into different meaningful segments. In medical imaging, these segments correspond to different tissue classes, pathologies, or other biologically relevant structures. Medical image segmentation is made difficult by low contrast and other imaging ambiguities. Although there are many computer vision techniques for image segmentation, some have been adapted for medical image computing. Below is a sampling of techniques within this field. Atlas-Based Segmentation: For many applications, a clinical expert can manually label several images. Methods of this style are referred to as atlas-based segmentation methods. Parametric atlas methods combine these training images into a single atlas image, while nonparametric atlas methods use all of the training images separately.

Atlas-based methods require the use of image registration in order to align the atlas image or images to a new, unseen image. Shape-Based Segmentation: Many methods parametrize a template shape for a given structure relying on control points along the boundary; the entire shape is deformed to match a new image. Two of the most common shape-based techniques are Active Appearance Models; these methods have been influential, have given rise to similar models. Image-Based segmentation: Some methods initiate a template and refine its shape according to the image data while minimizing integral error measures, like the Active contour model and its variations. Interactive Segmentation: Interactive methods are useful when clinicians can provide some information, such as a seed region or rough outline of the region to segment. An algorithm can iteratively refine such a segmentation, with or without guidance from the clinician. Manual segmentation, using tools such as a paint brush to explicitly define the tissue class of each pixel, remains the gold standard for many imaging applications.

Principles from feedback control theory have been incorporated into segmentation, which give the user much greater flexibility and allow for the automatic correction of errors. Subjective surface Segmentation: This method is based on the idea of evolution of segmentation function, governed by an advection-diffusion model. To segment an object, a segmentation seed is needed. An initial segmentation function is constructed; the idea behind the subjective surface method is that the position of the seed is the main factor determining the form of this segmentation function. However, there are some other classification of image segmentation methods which are similar to above categories. Moreover, we can classify another group as “Hybrid”, based on combination of methods. Image registration is a process. In the simplest case, two images are aligned. One image is treated as the target image and the other is treated as a source image; the optimization procedure updates the transformation of the source image based on a similarity value that evaluates the current quality of the alignment.

This iterative procedure is repeated. An example is the registration of PET images to combine structural and metabolic information. Image registration is used in a variety of medical applications: Studying temporal changes. Longitudinal studies acquire images over several months or years to study long-term processes, such as disease progression. Time series correspond to images acquired within the same session, they can be used to study heart deformations and respiration. Combining complementary information from different i

Apenheul Primate Park

Apenheul Primate Park is a zoo in Apeldoorn, Netherlands. It specializes in monkeys, it opened in 1971 and was the first zoo in the world where monkeys could walk around in the forest and between the visitors. It started with just a few species, now it displays more than 30 different primates, among them bonobo and orangutan. Apenheul Primate Park was conceptualised by photographer Wim Mager in the 1960s, when it was legal for private citizens to own monkeys. Mager, who himself had several monkeys as pets, believed both humans and primates would benefit from housing the animals in a more natural forest-like environment, he created the apen-heul. Apenheul Primate Park opened in 1971 as a small but revolutionary park housing wool-monkeys and other species, it is located in the nature park of Berg en Bos and proved popular with visitors and primatologists alike, leading to subsequent expansions. In 1976, gorillas were introduced to Apenheul Primate Park, with the first gorilla baby being born three years later.

This was only the second healthy baby that had born in captivity in the Netherlands and the third in the entire world. The baby was raised by its own mother. A major setback occurred in 1981 when the cabin in which Apenheul Primate Park began burned to the ground, killing 46 monkeys; the building was subsequently replaced. Apenheul is home to about 70 species of animals; the park houses lemurs from Madagascar, monkeys from Central and South America, monkeys and apes from Asia and Africa. Primates include black-capped squirrel monkeys, yellow-breasted capuchins, black howler monkeys, Alaotra gentle lemurs, crowned sifakas, ring-tailed lemurs, red ruffed lemurs, black-and-white ruffed lemurs, red bellied lemurs, crowned lemurs, blue-eyed black lemurs, Bornean orangutans, Javan langurs, collared mangabeys, lion-tailed macaques, barbary macaques, western lowland gorillas, patas monkeys, L'Hoest's monkeys, white-faced saki monkeys, golden-headed lion tamarins, northern white-cheeked gibbons, emperor tamarins, silvery marmosets, Goeldi's monkeys, red howler monkeys, grey-legged night monkeys, pygmy marmosets, white-headed capuchins, Colombian black spider monkeys, Hanuman langurs, pied tamarins, red titi monkeys, golden lion tamarins, black-tufted marmosets, Black bearded saki, woolly monkeys.

In summer 2011, three adult male proboscis monkeys joined the collection from Singapore Zoo to commemorate the zoo's fortieth anniversary. In 2012 Bena died due to heart failure. In 2013 Julau died due to liver failure; that year two males joined Bagik. However, Goalie died a few months. Two remained in Apenheul until early 2015 when Bagik, the last of the three original males, died due to a twisted large intestine. In 2015, Jeff left the collection to return to Singapore; the zoo obtained collared mangabeys in 2016. The mangabeys will at some point live with the gorillas together with the L'Hoest's monkeys and the patas monkeys. La Vallée des Singes Media related to Apenheul Primate Park at Wikimedia Commons Official website