Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

CSI for infection: Geographic profiling, used in hunt for serial killers, can help combat infectious diseases

Date:
May 18, 2011
Source:
BioMed Central
Summary:
Every 30 seconds, infectious diseases such as malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis kill as many people as Jack the Ripper did in his entire career. New research demonstrates how the mathematical model of geographic profiling, used in the hunt for serial killers, can help combat infectious diseases.

Every 30 seconds, infectious diseases such as malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis kill as many people as Jack the Ripper did in his entire career. New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal International Journal of Health Geographics demonstrates how the mathematical model of geographic profiling, used in the hunt for serial killers, can help combat infectious diseases.

Geographic profiling is a statistical technique which uses the locations of crimes to identify areas in which the serial criminal is most likely to live and work, and was originally developed to help police prioritize suspects. Typically, such cases involve too many, rather than too few, suspects. For example, in the late 1970s police had to sort through over a quarter of a million names in the Yorkshire Ripper enquiry. Geographic profiling has been successfully used by law enforcement agencies around the world, including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Scotland Yard and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Now, research led by Dr Steven Le Comber in the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences at Queen Mary, University of London, has shown that this method can use the locations of disease cases to identify the source of the disease.

Dr Le Comber, in collaboration with scientists at the University of Miami and Ain Shams University in Cairo, as well as with the inventor of geographic profiling (former detective turned Professor of Criminal Justice Kim Rossmo from Texas State University), examined a classic study, the 1854 cholera outbreak in London, and more recent cases of malaria in Cairo. In both cases geographic profiling successfully located the sources of the disease -- the Broad Street pump in London, and the breeding habitats of the mosquito Anopheles sergentii in Cairo.

"This is a very exciting development," said Dr Le Comber. "Correctly applied, geographic profiling shows great promise as a useful component of policy relating to the control of a wide variety of infectious diseases. Evidence-based targeting of interventions like this is more efficient, environmentally friendly and cost effective than untargeted intervention."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BioMed Central. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Steven C Le Comber, D KIM Rossmo, Ali N Hassan, Doug O Fuller and John C Beier. Geographic profiling as a novel spatial tool for targeting infectious disease control. International Journal of Health Geographics, (in press)

Cite This Page:

BioMed Central. "CSI for infection: Geographic profiling, used in hunt for serial killers, can help combat infectious diseases." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110517204900.htm>.
BioMed Central. (2011, May 18). CSI for infection: Geographic profiling, used in hunt for serial killers, can help combat infectious diseases. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110517204900.htm
BioMed Central. "CSI for infection: Geographic profiling, used in hunt for serial killers, can help combat infectious diseases." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110517204900.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins