25 May '15, 2pm

Machine Learning Could Predict Outbreaks by Identifying Dangerous Rodents

Machine Learning Could Predict Outbreaks by Identifying Dangerous Rodents

Outbreaks of zoonotic diseases follow a depressing pattern: Somewhere, people come in contact with an animal bearing a disease that’s compatible with human biology. These infected people return to their communities and spread the illness. Once public health authorities get wind of the outbreak, an all-out scramble begins to determine where the disease came from and how it’s spreading. A team of computer modelers hope their research will put an end to that reactive model. They want to predict outbreaks, and hope to help prevent crises like the Ebola epidemic that ravaged West Africa in the past year. Disease ecologist Barbara Han and her colleagues have taken a big data approach to identify animals that serve as disease reservoirs—animals that harbor viruses or bacteria that can be transmitted to humans. In a study published last week , the scientists fed information about ...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/biomedical/diagnostics...

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