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Researchers Use Wireless To Study How Flu Spreads 64

MojoKid writes "With the help of wireless sensors, Stanford researchers confirmed what most of us suspected. When it comes to infectious viruses, human beings are toast. The researchers outfitted an entire high school population with IEEE 802.15.4 sensors for one day to model what they call a 'human contact network.' The devices tracked how often people came within the infection-spreading range of other individuals during a typical height-of-flu-season January day. The devices logged more than 760,000 incidents when two people were within 10 feet of each other, roughly the maximum distance that a disease can be transmitted through a cough or sneeze, according to a Stanford report on the project. The researchers ran thousands of simulations of a flu outbreak trying to determine infection rates under various circumstances."
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Researchers Use Wireless To Study How Flu Spreads

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  • by Yvanhoe ( 564877 ) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @10:03PM (#34569456) Journal
    As someone who works with epidemiologists, I can assure you that if you have a social network and represent individuals as actors that interact with each other, you are better than most of the models, which see cities as "pools" with simple rules to change the number of infectious, susceptible, recovered, at each iteration.
    And if your individuals' behavior incorporate a real model of movement with a sense of distance to other people, you have indeed a very interesting model. (Yes, it is that bad. If you are a developer and want to help save the world, adopt a biologist and do their developments). Right now, various techniques are used to try and build a social network that can help understand how a disease spreads in various age group. "How many people come at less than 3 meters of a given person in a normal schools day ? in an airport ? in a regular office ? in a retirement house ? in subways ?" having an indication even with a 1 to 10 estimation, it would bring interesting results. So if we know you are in range to infect 50 to 500 people in a normal day, we know that the models that say it is 10 and the models that say it is 1000 are useless.
  • by melchoir55 ( 218842 ) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @10:21PM (#34569566)

    As above.

    The only time I've heard it used as one is to refer to an AM radio, by old people.

    I'll get off your lawn now.

    In the sentence "I like wireless.", "wireless" is a noun. Therefore, "wireless" is a noun.

    Words don't have divine and immutable parts of speech or any other linguistic feature somehow ingrained in the fabric of the universe. "Wireless" can plop down in any open class position (noun, verb, adjective, adverb). It is even welcome to be a closed class word (determiner, pronoun, conjunction, etc) if we decide to start using it as such. "Wireless" can also be spoken with a "Z" at the end, or by dropping the first letter ("W"). In other words, we can do whatever we want so long as our speaking partner understands what we are doing.
    As a brilliant man said a very long time ago "The meaning of a word is its use in the language".

    If you have noticed people annoyed by you in person when you say stuff like what you have posted here, it is because *you* are the one violating a norm by suggesting we cannot use language however we please. This norm is implicit in humans interaction and people are right to roll their eyes when you're around.

    Yes, IAAL. (I am a linguist)

"The one charm of marriage is that it makes a life of deception a neccessity." - Oscar Wilde