Pa. researchers publish century of disease data
November 29, 2013
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Researchers at the University of
Pittsburgh have published more than a century's worth of data on scores of
infectious diseases they compiled while putting together computer models and
simulations for research.
Professors Donald Burke and William van Panhuis repeatedly
dipped into written historical records. They told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
that they finally decided to digitize weekly reports for more than 87 million
individual cases of 56 contagious diseases reported between 1888 and 2011.
The research, dubbed Project Tycho after Danish astronomer
Tycho Brahe, was published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Brahe's detailed observations were later used to derive the
laws of planetary motion, and Burke and van Panhuis expect their data to be
used by other scientists studying infectious diseases.