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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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ScienceShot: Measles Transmission—As Seen From Space
8 December 2011 2:00 pm
Light punctuates the darkness in this satellite image of Niger and northern Nigeria. In a new paper in Science, scientists show that such pictures can help them explain and predict outbreaks of measles in the area. Researchers suspected that the seasonal surges in measles—a major childhood killer—were caused by people moving into Niger's cities at the start of the dry season, but they didn't have an easy way to quantify those movements. Researchers at Princeton University and Pennsylvania State University, State College, wondered whether they could use changes in nighttime light, both from electrical lights and fires, as a proxy for population density. It was an "off-the-wall idea," says Matthew Ferrari, one of the scientists, but it worked. In the paper, the team shows that upswings in brightness correlate well with measles outbreaks. Nighttime shots could find much wider use as an indicator of population density, the researchers say, for instance, in studies of economic development or during refugee crises.
See more ScienceShots.