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:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... Many families have long-term insurance that covers care for ... a waiver for care if the client has a cognitive impairment diagnosis. , ... care, is often waived, so the benefits from their insurance start immediately,” said Mechell ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Global Healthcare Management’s 4th Annual Kids Fun ... NJ. This free event, sponsored by Global Healthcare Management’s CEO, Jon Letko, is ... is geared towards children of all ages; it is a non-competitive, non-timed event, which ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... Software Development, has been awarded a contract by the Center for Medicare and ... aims to accelerate the enterprise use of Agile methodologies in a consistent and ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... First Healthcare ... program management, will showcase a range of technology and learning solutions at the ... Convention and Expo to be held October 14–18, 2017 at the Mandalay Bay ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The company has developed a suite of ... authorities worldwide. From Children’s to Adults 50+, every formula has been developed by ... , These products are also: Gluten Free, Non-GMO, Vegan, Soy Free, Non-Dairy*, Preservative ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... Oct. 12, 2017 AVACEN Medical , Inc. ... with their  2017 New Product Innovation Award for Its ... primary and secondary medical device market research by Frost & ... first-to-market OTC, drug-free pain relief product, the AVACEN 100, offers ... treating fibromyalgia widespread pain. ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... , Oct. 12, 2017 West Pharmaceutical ... innovative solutions for injectable drug administration, today announced that ... market opens on Thursday, October 26, 2017, and will ... and business expectations at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time. To ... 253-336-8738 (International). The conference ID is 94093362. ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... IRVING, Texas , Oct. 11, 2017  Caris ... science focused on fulfilling the promise of precision medicine, ... Institute has joined Caris, Precision Oncology Alliance™ (POA) as ... leading cancer centers, the St. Jude Crosson Cancer Institute ... to advance the use of tumor profiling, making cancer ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: