SciCombinator

Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Tracking

59

Dengue is a mosquito-borne disease that threatens over half of the world’s population. Despite being endemic to more than 100 countries, government-led efforts and tools for timely identification and tracking of new infections are still lacking in many affected areas. Multiple methodologies that leverage the use of Internet-based data sources have been proposed as a way to complement dengue surveillance efforts. Among these, dengue-related Google search trends have been shown to correlate with dengue activity. We extend a methodological framework, initially proposed and validated for flu surveillance, to produce near real-time estimates of dengue cases in five countries/states: Mexico, Brazil, Thailand, Singapore and Taiwan. Our result shows that our modeling framework can be used to improve the tracking of dengue activity in multiple locations around the world.

Concepts: Infectious disease, Earth, Fever, Web search engine, Methodology, Pandemic, Tracking, World population

37

Social psychology is fundamentally the study of individuals in groups, yet there remain basic unanswered questions about group formation, structure, and change. We argue that the problem is methodological. Until recently, there was no way to track who was interacting with whom with anything approximating valid resolution and scale. In the current study we describe a new method that applies recent advances in image-based tracking to study incipient group formation and evolution with experimental precision and control. In this method, which we term “in vivo behavioral tracking,” we track individuals' movements with a high definition video camera mounted atop a large field laboratory. We report results of an initial study that quantifies the composition, structure, and size of the incipient groups. We also apply in-vivo spatial tracking to study participants' tendency to cooperate as a function of their embeddedness in those crowds. We find that participants form groups of seven on average, are more likely to approach others of similar attractiveness and (to a lesser extent) gender, and that participants' gender and attractiveness are both associated with their proximity to the spatial center of groups (such that women and attractive individuals are more likely than men and unattractive individuals to end up in the center of their groups). Furthermore, participants' proximity to others early in the study predicted the effort they exerted in a subsequent cooperative task, suggesting that submergence in a crowd may predict social loafing. We conclude that in vivo behavioral tracking is a uniquely powerful new tool for answering longstanding, fundamental questions about group dynamics.

Concepts: Scientific method, Psychology, In vivo, Sociology, Tracking, Social psychology, Group dynamics, High-definition video

32

Our ability to predict species responses to environmental changes relies on accurate records of animal movement patterns. Continental-scale acoustic telemetry networks are increasingly being established worldwide, producing large volumes of information-rich geospatial data. During the last decade, the Integrated Marine Observing System’s Animal Tracking Facility (IMOS ATF) established a permanent array of acoustic receivers around Australia. Simultaneously, IMOS developed a centralised national database to foster collaborative research across the user community and quantify individual behaviour across a broad range of taxa. Here we present the database and quality control procedures developed to collate 49.6 million valid detections from 1891 receiving stations. This dataset consists of detections for 3,777 tags deployed on 117 marine species, with distances travelled ranging from a few to thousands of kilometres. Connectivity between regions was only made possible by the joint contribution of IMOS infrastructure and researcher-funded receivers. This dataset constitutes a valuable resource facilitating meta-analysis of animal movement, distributions, and habitat use, and is important for relating species distribution shifts with environmental covariates.

Concepts: Developed country, Quality control, Tracking, Process control, Geospatial, Wireless locating

27

: Cross-sectional methodologies have revealed age-related deterioration in cognitive performance, reflecting progressive neurodegenerative change in a minority of children and adolescents with classic galactosemia (GAL). The application of longitudinal methodologies sensitive to age-related changes at the individual level is needed to determine the extent of any possible decline in function in children with GAL. The authors report on the developmental language outcomes of a 9-year-old female with GAL through an examination of her language development over a 7-year period using a performance tracking system based on the use of raw performance scores required for attainment at the 50th percentile for age. Raw scores typically increase systematically over time and are thus more sensitive to developmental changes. Results suggest that there was no decline in the child’s language skills over the course of the investigation. For the case presented, the use of raw scores offered a means of examining the child’s patterns of individual change, which revealed stable language skills over the period of monitoring, perhaps indicating a stable disease process for this particular child. The authors propose this descriptive application of raw performance scores that offers a means to determine neurodevelopmental outcomes in the disorder.

Concepts: Child, Developmental psychology, Puberty, Human development, Tracking, The Child, Galactosemia, Galactokinase deficiency

23

To develop an efficient nanotechnology fluorescence-based method to track cell proliferation to avoid the limitations of current cell-labeling dyes.

Concepts: Tracking, Track and field athletics

20

Real-time locating systems (RTLS, also known as real-time location systems) have become an important component of many existing ubiquitous location aware systems. While GPS (global positioning system) has been quite successful as an outdoor real-time locating solution, it fails to repeat this success indoors. A number of RTLS technologies have been used to solve indoor tracking problems. The ability to accurately track the location of assets and individuals indoors has many applications in healthcare. This paper provides a condensed primer of RTLS in healthcare, briefly covering the many options and technologies that are involved, as well as the various possible applications of RTLS in healthcare facilities and their potential benefits, including capital expenditure reduction and workflow and patient throughput improvements. The key to a successful RTLS deployment lies in picking the right RTLS option(s) and solution(s) for the application(s) or problem(s) at hand. Where this application-technology match has not been carefully thought of, any technology will be doomed to failure or to achieving less than optimal results.

Concepts: Tracking, Global Positioning System, Global navigation satellite system, GPS, Radio navigation, Ubiquitous computing, Real Time Location Systems, Wireless locating

16

Acoustic telemetry is a principle tool for observing aquatic animals, but coverage over large spatial scales remains a challenge. To resolve this, Australia has implemented the Integrated Marine Observing System’s Animal Tracking Facility which comprises a continental-scale hydrophone array and coordinated data repository. This national acoustic network connects localized projects, enabling simultaneous monitoring of multiple species over scales ranging from 100 s of meters to 1000 s of kilometers. There is a need to evaluate the utility of this national network in monitoring animal movement ecology, and to identify the spatial scales that the network effectively operates over. Cluster analyses assessed movements and residency of 2181 individuals from 92 species, and identified four functional movement classes apparent only through aggregating data across the entire national network. These functional movement classes described movement metrics of individuals rather than species, and highlighted the plasticity of movement patterns across and within populations and species. Network analyses assessed the utility and redundancy of each component of the national network, revealing multiple spatial scales of connectivity influenced by the geographic positioning of acoustic receivers. We demonstrate the significance of this nationally coordinated network of receivers to better reveal intra-specific differences in movement profiles and discuss implications for effective management.

Concepts: Cluster analysis, The Network, Tracking, Aquatic plant, Metre, Aquatic animal, SI prefix, Hydrophone

12

All moving animals, including flies [1-3], sharks [4], and humans [5], experience a dynamic sensory landscape that is a function of both their trajectory through space and the distribution of stimuli in the environment. This is particularly apparent for mosquitoes, which use a combination of olfactory, visual, and thermal cues to locate hosts [6-10]. Mosquitoes are thought to detect suitable hosts by the presence of a sparse CO2 plume, which they track by surging upwind and casting crosswind [11]. Upon approach, local cues such as heat and skin volatiles help them identify a landing site [12-15]. Recent evidence suggests that thermal attraction is gated by the presence of CO2 [6], although this conclusion was based experiments in which the actual flight trajectories of the animals were unknown and visual cues were not studied. Using a three-dimensional tracking system, we show that rather than gating heat sensing, the detection of CO2 actually activates a strong attraction to visual features. This visual reflex guides the mosquitoes to potential hosts where they are close enough to detect thermal cues. By experimentally decoupling the olfactory, visual, and thermal cues, we show that the motor reactions to these stimuli are independently controlled. Given that humans become visible to mosquitoes at a distance of 5-15 m [16], visual cues play a critical intermediate role in host localization by coupling long-range plume tracking to behaviors that require short-range cues. Rather than direct neural coupling, the separate sensory-motor reflexes are linked as a result of the interaction between the animal’s reactions and the spatial structure of the stimuli in the environment.

Concepts: Nervous system, Natural environment, Heat, The Animals, Force, Tracking, Tracking system, Plume

10

UniChem is a freely available compound identifier mapping service on the internet, designed to optimize the efficiency with which structure-based hyperlinks may be built and maintained between chemistry-based resources. In the past, the creation and maintenance of such links at EMBL-EBI, where several chemistry-based resources exist, has required independent efforts by each of the separate teams. These efforts were complicated by the different data models, release schedules, and differing business rules for compound normalization and identifier nomenclature that exist across the organization. UniChem, a large-scale, non-redundant database of Standard InChIs with pointers between these structures and chemical identifiers from all the separate chemistry resources, was developed as a means of efficiently sharing the maintenance overhead of creating these links. Thus, for each source represented in UniChem, all links to and from all other sources are automatically calculated and immediately available for all to use. Updated mappings are immediately available upon loading of new data releases from the sources. Web services in UniChem provide users with a single simple automatable mechanism for maintaining all links from their resource to all other sources represented in UniChem. In addition, functionality to track changes in identifier usage allows users to monitor which identifiers are current, and which are obsolete. Lastly, UniChem has been deliberately designed to allow additional resources to be included with minimal effort. Indeed, the recent inclusion of data sources external to EMBL-EBI has provided a simple means of providing users with an even wider selection of resources with which to link to, all at no extra cost, while at the same time providing a simple mechanism for external resources to link to all EMBL-EBI chemistry resources.

Concepts: Chemical reaction, Chemistry, Chemical substance, Chemical compound, Chemical structure, Identifier, Tracking, International Chemical Identifier

5

The ability to follow gaze is an important prerequisite for joint attention, which is often compromised in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The direction of both the head and eyes provides cues to other people’s attention direction, but previous studies have not separated these factors and their relation to ASD susceptibility. Development of gaze following typically occurs before ASD diagnosis is possible, and studies of high-risk populations are therefore important.

Concepts: Eye, Color, Autism, Pervasive developmental disorder, Asperger syndrome, Autism spectrum, PDD-NOS, Tracking