03/05/2014 - 10:54

The medical history of Europe has been punctuated by epidemics including plague, smallpox and influenza. This has driven evolution of elements of the immune system from Europeans and Rroma (Gypsies) - populations of different genetic ancestry but living in the same areas- to converge. Plague is a major factor that has shaped these converged immune system elements of both modern Europeans and Rroma. These are the findings of a paper in the current issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences from a team of researchers from Spain, Romania, the Netherlands and India.


10/30/2012 - 11:19

Epidemics could be more effectively contained in the future. A new computer-aided method developed by researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences in Leipzig identifies those persons in the population who propagate an infection most strongly. In contrast to other methods, this process is distinguished by significantly less computational effort than comparably precise ones in estimating the actual number of people who are directly or indirectly infected by a specific person.

08/22/2012 - 10:52

Mosquito-borne West Nile virus (WNV) caused 26 deaths already this year, and nearly 700 cases had been reported by mid-August according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). WNV had become "old news" among the public and the media. Furthermore, funding to support research, training and education, and surveillance and vector control had waned.

08/08/2012 - 09:46

Researchers from North Carolina State University have conducted the first nationally representative survey in the United States to gauge public opinion on the use of genetic manipulations to drive down mosquito populations and related diseases. While public support varies, depending on how the mosquitoes are characterized, a plurality opposes the effort when potential risks are explained.

01/24/2012 - 10:05

A new University of Michigan computer model of disease transmission in space and time can predict cholera outbreaks in Bangladesh up to 11 months in advance, providing an early warning system that could help public health officials there.

01/16/2012 - 09:11

Computer models that provide accurate simulations of how crowds behave can be used to identify health and safety issues at MGs, and could be adapted to simulate the spread of infections and to test the potential of public health interventions to disrupt or prevent an outbreak, according to the fourth paper in The Lancet Infectious Diseases Series on mass gatherings health.