PREV ARTICLE       NEXT ARTICLE       FULL ISSUE       PREV FULL ISSUE      

V9 2006 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE




The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 5, January 29, 2006, Article 11

COULD BANKNOTE TRAVELS PREDICT DISEASE SPREAD?

An article this week from The New Scientist shows how
Researchers might use data from the Where's George
database to help predict the spread of disease.

"Tracking the movements of hundreds of thousands of
banknotes across the US could provide scientists with
a vital new tool to help combat the spread of deadly
infectious diseases like bird flu.

Modern transport has transformed the speed at which
epidemics can spread, enabling disease to rip through
populations and leap across continents at frightening
speed."

"But now physicists from the Max Planck Institute in
Göttingen, Germany, and the University of Santa Barbara,
California, US, have developed a model to explain these
movements, based on the tracked movements of US banknotes.

Dirk Brockmann and colleagues used an online project
called www.wheresgeorge.com (George Washington's image
is on the $1 bill) to track the movements of dollar bills
by serial number. Visitors to the site enter the serial
number of banknotes in their possession and can see where
else the note may have been."

"Although the movements of individual bills remain
unpredictable, the mathematical rules make it possible
to calculate the probability that a bill will have travelled
a certain distance over a certain amount of time. "What's
triggering this is our behaviour," Brockmann told New
Scientist. "That is what you need if you want to build
quantitative models for the spread of disease."

Brockmann admits that the movement of money may not
perfectly mirror that of people. For one thing, he says,
it may be that only certain types of people are interested
in seeing where their bills have been and entering that on
www.wheresgeorge.com. However, he says comparing the model
to publicly available information on passenger flights and
road travel suggests that it is accurate."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

Google
 
coinbooks.org Web
The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization 
promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor 
at this address: whomren@coinlibrary.com

To subscribe go to: https://my.binhost.com/lists/listinfo/esylum
Copyright © 2005 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.

PREV ARTICLE       NEXT ARTICLE       FULL ISSUE       PREV FULL ISSUE      

V9 2006 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE


Copyright © 1998 - 2005 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.

NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster