More cheating in British sport

A member of my family with a scientific background agrees that TUE use is cheating and yet it is is permitted as a mechanism for athletes in certain countries to unfairly compete.

The investigation of doping in British Cycling was buried by the media and the Conservative party of course.

The latest is a BBC Fileonfour investigation into paralympic cheating in classifications – that this was even published speaks volumes. Yet no media coverage, no outrage expressed unless it’s Russian athletes. 

WADA’s ransom note to RUSADA includes a demand that they accept the flawed findings of their flawed investigation. Obviously RUSADA wants athletes back and competing but why should they have to do this. It would be a terrible precedent.

And cheating will continue across British sport regardless but vulnerable young athletes in sport will see that WADA act politically against certain countries and this will only encourage thoseathletes in cheating-safe countries to think they can get away with it.

Rather than actually try their best out of genuine passion & ability for athletic competing which is how they got as far as they have already.

Taekwondo update

Still sorting out injuries but getting to class based training & helping as needed about 3 times a month. Still practising patterns most nights except recent start of term hiatus due to work & transport or lack of…

Regaining some height & stability slowly but not at reverse jumping anything yet other than some mid-high-ish reverse side kicks. That is still progress – first time in several years.

Started advertising for attendees in wheelchairs to come along – we still may link up with some ex forces personnel groups.

Hope to start running informal training sessions one early morning a week at work – staff only initially, subject to approval but informally should be ok. I will advertise once and start training at the back of one of the campus grounds once a week until it gets dark. If anyone turns up, I will train them, if not – I will still train. There’s a possibility of floodlights appearing but may not be until 2018.

Apparently tkd army champuonships were in early summer 2017 so nothing really available at the moment but if I do move in next month or so, will be training with an instructor at a different club who knows me a little and refereed my last fight (5+ yrs ago). He has someone in his club who is bit younger than me but still keen on competition fight practice so hopefully will work out.

We didn’t have anyone at nationals this year – we have some potentially really good young fighters coming through but they need more fights before competing there.

May or may not do grading this October, may leave until spring, too much going on. Looking forward to outdoors training though with change of seasons – different kind of awareness – muddier, wetter – good for stability practice. Maybe a bit of this:

Projects mini update – water sanitation module

Due to academic term start & exam board timings, a full meeting was unable to happen so we are still going round the houses – delving into content ideas before finalising outline (hopefully follow up meeting within a fortnight). This is still better than previous module for aiming at target audience.

We will be looking at why water sanitation problems exist in both urban and rural areas, also the roles of NGOs. What happens with initiatives and whether they become self-sustaining or not. 

Whilst not being able to provide equipment, the option to do some field investigation activities will hopefully be included.

As with previous module, creative commons licensing will apply as this is not being formally accredited, sponsored or branded by the university.

Slightly off track but related & so relevant – exploring water & climate change on the Russian Far East coast, well worth reading this award winning article:


Experimenting with #Yandex

I saw it mentioned on a site about Russian news last week and will be using it for search & translate functionality for now if I want to use a search engine. I’ve added as a search engine on computer and mobile versions of Mozilla Firefox and temporarily set as default on both. I’m using in English at the moment, Russian is improving but somewhat snail-like.

I’m not making a geopolitical statement, I do not follow a binary US vs Russia or Russia vs US path and if it comes to ‘controlling the world’s information’ or anything else, it is not one or the other in spite of nearly every media outlet that I follow wants you to believe right now.

Some of their data processing and algorithmic techniques are being used by CERN and others for several years. They started before Google and others – which is intriguing. They have a lot of APIs available. It offers useful examples for how to search. It has also received a favourable review from Phil Bradley.

It is performing ok so far but too early to tell. It coped with spelling mistakes. I wouldn’t expect there to be the same kind of UK results as duckduckgo or others as yet.

Its image search does not have a copyright options filter. I use and train others in using this – if Yandex put this in, I will use them more often. It’s sometimes useful to be able to compare across multiple sources e.g. something like Everypixel (although this includes limited results which are often not free), or individual sites (updated):

Images: can search by colour requires attribution

Image libraries:

Public domain:

Icons & clipart:

(Some £)






(some £)




Human Performance and Health Podcast Series – episode 1

We (Roehampton University) have launched the first episode today. At the beginning of summer, Dr Rich Mackenzie said he’d like to interview a series of experts and if possible – run as a podcast series. He is keen to get everyone interested involved not just students.

I helped discuss options then he went away and created the first audio file by teaching himself garageband on his Mac.

I don’t know who he is interviewing or about what until he sends the audio.

They are available via the site, mixcloud and podomatic.

First episode about muscles :

Why I will not read, share or support people who write for Open Democracy anymore

This is not easy because some nice well intentioned NHS campaigners have written interesting and informative articles about what has been happening to NHS.

But I have to make a stand. 

Every time an article on Open Democracy is written, read and shared, it is helping George Soros campaign fund the far right candidate Navalny in Russia.

For those not familiar with Navalny, he has in the past attended neo nazi rallies and he continues to openly maintain his far right views in the media. At the same time, Open Democracy and others are attemptimto whitewash his views as a little bit racist and clamouring about corruption.

For those not familiar with corruption. Russia is a federation and not as centralised as mainstream media like to portray. I am not defending corruption, oligarchs have existed in the region for centuries – just pointing out that many of the local corruption issues are being used by the Navalny campaign for his personal political purposes.

I am sorry to probably lose friends over this but enough is enough. There are other outlets for media and other sources of funding for non profit activity than having to suit the whims of Wall St billionaires.

Free Russian Wildlife & Landscapes exhibition in Kensington until 21st Sept

If you can spare an hour / 30 mins or if you can’t,  go anyway.

You won’t regret it – stunningly beautiful from over 40 national parks and reserves across Russia. They are celebrating 100th anniversary of nature reserves and the year of Nature & Ecology.

Russian Centre for Science & Culture 37 Kensington High St (about 2 min walk from tube).

Opening hours: 9am – 6pm

If you would like someone to go with, I can be available 😉 

AI in Biosciences reflections

waffle alert
To paraphrase my greatgrandfather, our understanding is based on the limitations of our current shared knowledge.

For example – simplified – our understanding of the brain is based on visual (seeing an actual brain from someone’s head), fmri – a computerised visual experience of movement in the brain. So computerised data analysis of data analysis of data analysis of what is described as data.

Assumption – We are using what we describe as human knowledge for finding ways to improve or lengthen what we describe as human experience through experimentation with other species, simulations, computer hardware and what has been described today as machine learning.

There continues to be a romanticised, anthrmorphised view of AI albeit with some limitations described today. Some presenters today believe that what we describe as human is finite and will be replaced by technology.

But there isn’t a learning machine in the sense that scifi portrays machines in the arts, media or a static object plugged into what we call electricity. 

Assumption – We are aware that some software and hardware is in communication with other software and hardware. We believe that as a result of this interaction or with a human, code is being changed. Whether hardware or software is actually doing this or not – either the hardware & software ‘knows’, is guessing & invading to determine / test or none of the above.

Pharma companies and their ancestral creators of snake oil are well aware of how AI is being marketed and the volume of funding across industries and goverments available. For now we have, insidious, unrealistic and dangerous marketing by large tech companies for profit at the expense of the health of humans & the environment. 

Artificial Intelligence in Bioscience Symposium 4

Other links

Afternoon presentations interested in finding investors /  additional investment.

    Oxford Uni, John Fox

    Biomedicine data is dirty, non standard, not easily coded. How to formalise knowledge.

    Deontics team,

    Changed multidisciplinary clinical meetings – built for Royal Free to make recommendations. Tried to capture data in structured way. Not NLP, tools allow manual input of logic. Executable models of care e.g. chemotherapy regimen for breast cancer patients, thyroid pathway. Machine can follow model with potential to give advice. Want to give tools so that clinicians can publish their own pathways on open clinical repository. How to capture data that allow new results to be analysed – rapid learning systems.

    Work in progress – big data means bigger noise. Techniques allow interesting signals in data. Applying different machine learning techniques. Mapping to clinical terms and concepts. Symbolic learning e.g. Imperial College (not healthcare).

    Some of knowledge representation is computable. 

    CREDO programme in Jnl of Biomedical Science.
    DeskGen, Edward Perello


    4-5 million variants per genome. 

    They provide design pipelines to investors interested in targets.

    How to design crispr to cut on target – prediction ranking. Based on large numbers of variables. Reviewed rules from different academic labs. 

    Don’t know all about genes that are essential for survival in all circumstances. Trying to predict rank of guides. Uses spearman coefficient then analyse predicted vs actual performance. 

    Basepaws, Anna Skaya

    Basepaws cat genetic testing kit. Create personalised pet products. Have 2000 cat samples from owners around the world. 

    Cat genome wasn’t available until after 2014. Builds multiagent models based on phenotypes. Cats closest mammal to humans outside of primates so think modelling may be easier. 

    Issue of owner vs vets collecting phenotypic data. The accuracy of test and predictions, vets want us to improve. Basepaws in first year of operation. 

    Cambridge Uni,  Jose Miguel Lobato

    Interest in bayesian optimisation and neural networks. Currebt research includes models recognising / generating images and sounds from musical instruments.

    Can encode molecules using SMILES . discrete generative model – Variational Autoencoder (CVAE) . GomezBombarelli et al 2016 and using context free grammar to capture constraints. Represents data as grammar production rules.

    Additionally tested with symbolic regression, use bayesian optimisation to search. 

    What syntax will show about molecules?  Can suggest potential molecules with useful properties, easy to synthesise – being able to take account of many constraints.

    Next and final post will be personal reflections

    Artificial Intelligence in Biosciences Symposium 3

    John Hopkins Uni, Suchi Saria

    Developed a TREWS early warning for sepsis. Goal, action, receives score for action. Used offline ehrs and treat as traces. Large repositories. Making generalisations then attempting to improve estimates. Observed event stream, latent system state, desired output, detector output. Estimate event probabilities. Hard to model physiological signals and lab test results, different time schedules. Different data, different sampling generalisations, systematic bias. But trying to detect and create alerting system for septic shock. Could detect shock 24 hours prior to actual shock. Got worldwide attention. Published who is responsive to which strategy JMLR 2017. Got approval to go live in 5 hospitals.

    Mentions that new products using patient data are risky for investors. Evaluators don’t understand what is good or not. Area starting to mature but tech moves fast to healthcare so not rigorous evaluations which need to be. Need to explain high and low quality AI – software. Reporting habits better suited to one off evaluations on offline datasets.