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:12/9/2016)... NY (PRWEB) , ... December 09, 2016 , ... Mediaplanet ... awareness for organ transplantation while encouraging readers to sign up as an organ donor ... lifesaving organ transplant. , An organ donor can save up to 8 saves ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Charleston, WV (PRWEB) , ... December 08, 2016 ... ... that it will become Quality Insights beginning January 1, 2017. The name ... emphasizes its commitment to measuring and improving health care quality. , “We are ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... County, a Property owned by an affiliate of Seavest, has won a prestigious ... Medicine Southern Chester County ambulatory care center (ACC) was named “Best New Development, ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , ... December 08, 2016 , ... Premier Fitness Camp ... FIT , the ultimate weight loss and wellness program, at their world headquarters of ... to provide immediate and long-term results to anyone seeking weight loss, personal development, a ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... STAT courier is pleased to announce that due ... Texas, they are expanding their presence in Dallas. One of the most exciting parts ... new jobs to the Dallas and Forth Worth market. STAT takes pride in treating ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/9/2016)... Dec. 9, 2016  Axovant Sciences Ltd. (NYSE: ... company focused on the treatment of dementia, today ... a Phase 2b trial evaluating treatment with intepirdine ... with donepezil plus placebo in people with mild-to-moderate ... of intepirdine to treatment was associated with reduced ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... 8, 2016 KEY FINDINGS ... Patient warming and ... blood during surgeries, lowering the risks of neurological disorders post ... SSIs. The patient warming systems can be segmented into convective ... in turn reduce the stay at hospitals thus, lowering the ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... -- Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: DPLO) has been recognized by the ... National Standard. To learn more about Diplomat,s career opportunities, ... ... ... WorkplaceDynamics, LLC, a research firm specializing in organizational health and workplace ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: