Navigation Links
Scientists examine human behavior and the threat of disease
Date:6/2/2009

KNOXVILLE -- As swine flu spread from Mexico to Texas and then fanned out farther in the United States, Americans began to alter their behavior. Families kept children home from school, postponed trips to the mall, and stayed home instead of eating out. In so doing, the American population may have inadvertently altered the behavior of the pathogen itself.

How human behavior changes the spread of emerging infectious diseases, and how the spread of disease simultaneously changes human behavior, will be among the topics discussed by scientists at a meeting at the National Institute for Biological and Mathematical Synthesis (NIMBioS) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, June 7-9.

Ecologists, epidemiologists, economists, and mathematicians will comprise a NIMBioS Working Group to tackle the topic, "Synthesizing and Predicting Infectious Disease While Accounting for Endogenous Risk" or SPIDER.

Accounting for endogenous risk means jointly considering how human behavior influences disease and how disease influences human behavior, explained Eli Fenichel, workshop co-organizer and assistant professor at Arizona State University. "When people perceive risks, they alter their behavior, which in turn, alters the risk. It's a feedback loop between people, the pathogen, and the risk."

Most current attempts to model the risks of emerging infectious diseases look at the disease itself and human behavior. The SPIDER Working Group aims to build on that classic view by also considering the economic impact of human decisions about risk.

"Epidemiological science has gotten good at modeling and projecting risk. The next major frontier is how do we manage risk in a cost effective way," Fenichel said. "It's a way of thinking about how resources get allocated to address emerging pathogens like the flu now. For example, if we believe that people will behave in a certain way given certain information sets, we might be able to find better ways to distribute medicine."

Another avenue for investigation is how the global food trade system would be affected if it becomes the source of a pathogen, Fenichel said. "One of the questions is how do we set up inspections in a cost effective way if we cannot reasonably inspect everything. We need to look at how to best balance the risks and the costs."

The group aims to develop predictive models to forecast the risks associated with emerging infectious diseases in humans, livestock, wildlife, and plants, and to collaborate in developing risk management strategies.

NIMBioS Working Groups are comprised of 10-15 invited participants and focus on specific questions related to mathematical biology. Each group typically meets two to three times over the course of two years at the Institute.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jay Mayfield
jay.mayfield@tennessee.edu
865-974-9409
University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. UK scientists working to help cut ID theft
2. Scientists show that mitochondrial DNA variants are linked to risk factors for type 2 diabetes
3. Comet probes reveal evidence of origin of life, scientists claim
4. Scientists link fragile X tremor/ataxia syndrome to binding protein in RNA
5. Male elephants get photo IDs from scientists
6. Scientists retrace evolution with first atomic structure of an ancient protein
7. Muscle mass: Scientists identify novel mode of transcriptional regulation during myogenesis
8. Carnegie Mellon scientists develop nanogels that enable controlled delivery of carbohydrate drugs
9. Clemson scientists shed light on molecules in living cells
10. Scientists tackle mystery mountain illness
11. T. rex quicker than Becks, say scientists
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/30/2017)... YORK , March 30, 2017 Trends, ... type (physiological and behavioral), by technology (fingerprint, AFIS, iris ... voice recognition, and others), by end use industry (government ... and immigration, financial and banking, and others), and by ... Europe , Asia Pacific , ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... The Controller General of Immigration from Maldives Mr. Mohamed Anwar ... prestigious international IAIR Award for the most innovative high security ePassport and ... ... Maldives Immigration Controller General, Mr. Mohamed ... the right) have received the IAIR award for the "Most innovative high ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... , March 21, 2017   Neurotechnology ... object recognition technologies, today announced the release of ... (SDK), which provides improved facial recognition using up ... on a single computer. The new version uses ... improve accuracy, and it utilizes a Graphing Processing ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/21/2017)... ... (PRWEB) September 21, 2017 , ... The 3rd ... to review the latest knowledge on these products, which are increasingly used in ... the impact of Biostimulants on Plant Nutrition, Abiotic Stresses, Plant Growth and Development, ...
(Date:9/21/2017)... ... September 21, 2017 , ... When a ... the response was swift and efficient thanks to the continuing efforts of members ... up of more than 50 stakeholders, including officials from area counties and cities, ...
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... September 20, 2017 , ... ... it has appointed Vishwas Paralkar to the role of chief scientific officer. In ... He will report to Cybrexa’s president and CEO, Per Hellsund. , “I was ...
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... September 20, 2017 , ... ... effects of exoskeleton-assisted walking on gait parameters and neuromuscular activity in able-bodied ... during a robotic powered exoskeleton assisted walking session" (doi:10.1080.10790268.2017.1314900) was epublished ahead ...
Breaking Biology Technology: