Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) is the most common cause of avoidable vision loss, predominantly affecting the working-age population across the globe. Screening for DR, coupled with timely consultation and treatment, is a globally trusted policy to avoid vision loss. However, implementation of DR screening programs is challenging due to the scarcity of medical professionals able to screen a growing global diabetic population at risk for DR. Computer-aided disease diagnosis in retinal image analysis could provide a sustainable approach for such large-scale screening effort. The recent scientific advances in computing capacity and machine learning approaches provide an avenue for biomedical scientists to reach this goal. Aiming to advance the state-of-the-art in automatic DR diagnosis, a grand challenge on "Diabetic Retinopathy - Segmentation and Grading" was organized in conjunction with the IEEE International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging (ISBI - 2018). In this paper, we report the set-up and results of this challenge that is primarily based on Indian Diabetic Retinopathy Image Dataset (IDRiD). There were three principal sub-challenges: lesion segmentation, disease severity grading, and localization of retinal landmarks and segmentation. These multiple tasks in this challenge allow to test the generalizability of algorithms, and this is what makes it different from existing ones. It received a positive response from the scientific community with 148 submissions from 495 registrations effectively entered in this challenge. This paper outlines the challenge, its organization, the dataset used, evaluation methods and results of top-performing participating solutions. The top-performing approaches utilized a blend of clinical information, data augmentation, and an ensemble of models. These findings have the potential to enable new developments in retinal image analysis and image-based DR screening in particular.
Climate is widely recognised as an important determinant of the latitudinal diversity gradient. However, most existing studies make no distinction between direct and indirect effects of climate, which substantially hinders our understanding of how climate constrains biodiversity globally. Using data from 35 large forest plots, we test hypothesised relationships amongst climate, topography, forest structural attributes (stem abundance, tree size variation and stand basal area) and tree species richness to better understand drivers of latitudinal tree diversity patterns. Climate influences tree richness both directly, with more species in warm, moist, aseasonal climates and indirectly, with more species at higher stem abundance. These results imply direct limitation of species diversity by climatic stress and more rapid (co-)evolution and narrower niche partitioning in warm climates. They also support the idea that increased numbers of individuals associated with high primary productivity are partitioned to support a greater number of species.