In Health

Predicting Malaria Spread with Cellphones and other Health GIS News

Millions of cellphone users in Kenya are helping the fight against malaria. In the Oct. 12 issue of the journal Science, scientists report using cellphone location data to create a map of "sources" and "sinks" of malaria, which could lead to better-focused efforts against the mosquitoes that carry it.

The researchers used location data from every call and text made by a mobile phone user in Kenya -- 14.8 million of them. The location data was gathered from the 11,920 cell towers that dot the country, spread among 692 settlements. That data was used to track where people traveled. The researchers then superimposed maps of population density and the rate of infection of malaria. The prevalence of the number of people infected with the disease combined with the travel data was then used to establish a per-day probability that a person would be infected if they visited a specific location.

- Discovery News

Are cities, stress and poor mental health related?

Now, a few scientists are tackling the question head on, using functional brain imaging and digital monitoring to see how people living in cities and rural areas differ in the way that their brains process stressful situations. “Yes, city-stress is a big, messy concept, but I believed it should be possible to at least see if brains of city-dwellers looked somehow different,” says Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg, director of the Central Institute for Mental Health in Mannheim, Germany. And if scientists can work out what aspects of the city are the most stressful, the findings might even help to improve the design of urban areas. “Everyone wants the city to be beautiful but no-one knows what that means,” says Meyer-Lindenberg. Wider streets? Taller buildings? More trees? “Architects theorize a lot, but this type of project could deliver a scientific basis for a city code.”

- Nature via AAG Smartbrief

This sounds like a great position:

GIS Post-Doc: GIS-Based Analyses of Social and Environmental Exposures on Efficacy of Clinical Interventions for Asthma, University of Pittsburgh

The Dept of Environmental and Occupational Health, Graduate School of Public Health, is recruiting for a 5-year NIH study on spatial variation, uncertainty in GIS indices of pollution and chronic stressors across 14 urban areas, modifying efficacy of clinical asthma interventions. Ph.D. or equivalent. GIS modeling, geodatabase development. Experience: geocoding, SAS/ R, Python scripting. 

- details via LinkedIn

Published Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Written by Adena Schutzberg

Published in