Navigation Links
Researchers investigate new mechanism for predicting how diseases spread
Date:9/2/2011

Northwestern University professor Dirk Brockmann and his group at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science have investigated the outcomes of a previously ignored mechanism in modeling how humans travel.

By challenging a long-held assumption, Brockmann, associate professor of engineering sciences and applied mathematics, hopes to create models that can more accurately predict the spread of disease and the spread of human-mediated bioinvasions.

"Though there are many sophisticated computer models out there to model mobility patterns, we can now expect significant differences in disease model predictions," Brockmann said.

Their work, done in collaboration with scientists at the Max-Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Gttingen, Germany and with scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was recently published on the first page of the inaugural issue of Physical Review X, a new open-source journal developed by the American Physical Society.

Previous models of how diseases spread made assumptions that human populations are like chemicals being stirred in a container: they interact and travel randomly. Each city is its own container, and when people travel there, they become part of that container.

"Most of the time that's a pretty good assumption," Brockmann said. "But it's not realistic." Most people don't randomly travel from place to place; they travel somewhere, then come back home. Travel again, then come back home.

"They have a base location," Brockmann said. "They don't wander around like a fox in the woods."

Brockmann and his collaborators created a model that used this "base location" assumption and found that it created significant differences in predicting the spread of disease.

A key result was the speed of the disease "wave," or how certain diseases (especially before the advent of air travel) spread in a giant wave across a city or country. It was previously thought that the more people travel, the faster the wave spreads. Now, using this new mechanism, Brockmann has found that the wave actually reaches a maximum speed and then levels off.

"Since you always return home, you don't carry the disease to as many places as we assumed in previous models," he said. "This has been previously overlooked in mathematical epidemiology research."

Brockmann and his group hope to incorporate this new sort of model in realistic models of specific diseases, like the H1N1 influenza, and bioinvasions.

"We've shown this basic mechanism that wasn't known before," he said. "Now we need to see just how it impacts specific diseases."


'/>"/>

Contact: Megan Fellman
fellman@northwestern.edu
847-491-3115
Northwestern University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Researchers map all the fragile sites of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiaes genome
2. UH Case Medical Center researchers publish promising findings for advanced cervical cancer
3. Researchers discover new way to kill pediatric brain tumors
4. Researchers Who Discovered First Genes for Stuttering will Present Findings to the National Stuttering Association
5. Researchers create drug to keep tumor growth switched off
6. Urine protein test might help diagnose kidney damage from lupus, UT Southwestern researchers find
7. GUMC researchers say flower power may reduce resistance to breast cancer drug tamoxifen
8. Clemson researchers develop hands-free texting application
9. Researchers find biomarkers in saliva for detection of early-stage pancreatic cancer
10. Researchers chart genomic map spanning over 2 dozen cancers
11. Researchers discover second protective role for tumor-suppressor
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/11/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 11, 2016 , ... Registered nurses, ... free CEU seminar titled, “Stroke Management: Time to Act, Time to Heal” on Thursday, ... in Whippany, N.J. The presenter is Vishal Chedda, president of ANSA Consultants, who ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... The Journal of Pain ... 0.416 in 2013. The SJR uses data taken from the Scopus database (Elsevier B.V.) ... number of citations received by the journal over a three year period and also ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... IL (PRWEB) , ... February 11, 2016 , ... ... to the healthcare industry, ranked among the top five firms in the “2015/2016 ... and HIT Implementation Support and Staffing. KLAS is a research and insights firm ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... ... 11, 2016 , ... Thermi™, a world leader in thermistor-regulated ... the promotions of Allison Kelly to executive vice president of the company’s new ... of North American capital sales, and Wendy Oseas to vice president of global ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 11, 2016 , ... ... an unparalleled clinical decision support technology, with highly adaptable algorithms, has been updated ... a patient has signs and symptoms consistent with Zikas and a travel history ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... Potrero Medical, Inc., the developer of the Accuryn™ critical care ... George M. Rapier, III , MD, to its Board of ... is one of the nation,s largest physician owned practice management ... Texas and Florida . ... medicine practice, he has been instrumental to the company,s growth ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... , Feb. 11, 2016  AfterPill.com is reporting that ... alcohol abstinence for all women who are at risk ... U.S. each year and raises the risks of unprotected ... --> According to the Guttmacher Institute, there ... women of child-bearing age, who have sex without the ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... -- Proliant Biologicals is proud to announce the opening of ... The facility is located on the North Island of ... Boone , Iowa.  The equipment design ... in the U.S. facility, with critical processing systems coming ... --> Boone , Iowa.  The ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: