Navigation Links
Criminal profiling technique targets killer diseases

A mathematical tool used by the Metropolitan Police and FBI has been adapted by researchers at Queen Mary University of London to help control outbreaks of malaria, and has the potential to target other infectious diseases.

In cases of serial crime such as murder or rape, police typically have too many suspects to consider, for example, the Yorkshire Ripper investigation in the UK generated a total of 268,000 names. To help prioritise these investigations, police forces around the world use a technique called geographic profiling, which uses the spatial locations of the crimes to make inferences about the criminal's likely anchor point usually a home or workplace.

Writing in the journal Methods in Ecology and Evolution, the team has shown how the maths that underpins geographic profiling can be adapted to target the control of infectious diseases, including malaria. Using data from an outbreak in Cairo, the scientists show how the new model could use the addresses of patients with malaria to locate the breeding sites of the mosquitoes that transmit the disease.

"The experts working in the field had to search almost 300 square km to find seven breeding sites, but our model found the same sites after searching just two thirds of this area," said Dr Steve Le Comber, a senior lecturer at QMUL's School of Biological and Chemical Sciences.

"In fact our model found five of the seven sites after searching just 10.7 square km. This is potentially important since there is a lot of evidence suggesting that the best way to control outbreaks of malaria is to attack the mosquito breeding sites but it is incredibly difficult to do in practice."

The mathematical approach takes just minutes on a computer, meaning that the method could be used in the early stages of epidemics, when control efforts are most likely to be effective potentially stopping outbreaks before they spread.

Dr Le Comber added: "The model has potential to identify the source of other infectious diseases as well, and we're now working with public health bodies to develop it further for use with TB, cholera and Legionnaires' disease."


Contact: Neha Okhandiar
Queen Mary, University of London

Related biology news :

1. Decriminalizing pot may land more kids in the ER
2. Huddersfield researchers publish a book exploring the link between evolution and criminal behavior
3. Breast cancer patients place huge emphasis on gene expression profiling test
4. New tool developed for profiling critical regulatory structures of RNA molecules
5. A boost for cellular profiling
6. AKESOgen and Identitas partner to provide a comprehensive Next Generation Forensic profiling solution
7. Developing an improved liposuction technique that melts fat
8. New technique to prevent anal sphincter lesions due to episiotomy during child delivery
9. Novel ORNL technique enables air-stable water droplet networks
10. Study validates air sampling techniques to fight bioterrorism
11. Iterative reconstruction techniques reduce radiation dose for pediatric brain CT
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/12/2015)... , Oct. 9, 2015 Research and Markets ... Research, Inc,s new report "Biometrics: Market Shares, Strategies, ... --> --> The ... the Biometrics market segment. Research represents a selection from ... and cogent market materials, with selections made by the ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... -- Research and Markets ( ) has ... Market by Component (Hardware & Software), Product (Scanner ... (Travel & Immigration, Military & Defense, & Others) ... report to their offering. ... worth 3627.90 Million USD by 2020 ...
(Date:10/8/2015)... Oktober 2015 Die Track Group, ... des Bereiches Tracking, hat heute bekannt gegeben, ... Virginias (Department of Corrections – DOC) unterzeichnet ... alle Strafen geliefert werden, die der Behörde ... für den Amerikanischen Kontinent der Track Group. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/13/2015)... , Oct. 13 2015 Research and ... "US & Europe Markets for Bone Morphogenetic Protein ... to their offering. --> ... that induce the formation of bone after a fracture. ... embryonic development in the formation of the skeleton. There ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... New York , October 13, 2015 ... Growth, Trends, and Forecast 2015 - 2023 " , ... in 2014 and is anticipated to reach US$7.59 bn by 2023, ... 2015 to 2023. --> " Microbiology Culture Market ... - 2023 " , the global microbiology culture ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... AxioMx Inc. , a ... received a Phase I Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant (1R43GM112204-01A1). This Phase ... Sciences (NIGMS), will fund the development of a technique to rapidly convert single-chain ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... YORK , October 13, 2015 ... acceleration and development company, has entered into a strategic ... York and Paris, France ... --> --> This collaborative arrangement ... highly respected scientific advisory team as well as long ...
Breaking Biology Technology: