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.

Related Articles


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) [link]

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 November 27, 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 November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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