Networking for good
Mashable - 11/19/2015
Pandemics can decimate whole communities and threaten entire countries and continents. When scientists need to stop the spread of an outbreak, big data can plug them into modeling tools that show how disease is likely to replicate across geography and time. At Northeastern University, for example, Alessandro Vespignani is putting his network-science expertise to use to develop data-driven disease-spread analysis. At MoBS Lab, his team is looking at information gathered about how people move and interact — gathering data from the digital trail people leave to see all the ways they can transmit disease from person to person and place to place. From aircraft flight patterns to mobile-phone location data — the information they analyze helps to point out where carriers have been and where new disease carriers might be going next. With it scientists and world health officials can stop the spread.