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Social networks could help prevent disease outbreaks in endangered chimpanzees - Class Notes Extras
September 2013 Issue
Many think of social networks in terms of Facebook friends and Twitter followers, but for Julie Rushmore (PhD ’13), social networks are tools in the fight against infectious diseases. Rushmore, who graduated in May from UGA’s Odum School of Ecology, analyzed the social networks of wild chimpanzees to determine which individuals were most likely to contract and spread pathogens. Her findings, published in the Journal of Animal Ecology in June, could help wildlife managers target their efforts to prevent outbreaks and potentially help public health officials prevent disease in human populations as well. Disease prevention in wildlife is logistically challenging, and resources are scarce, Rushmore says. Even when vaccines are available, it is impractical to vaccinate every individual in a wildlife population. She used social network analysis to pinpoint the individuals most important in disease transmission. Rushmore observed a community of wild chimpanzees in Kibale National Park in Uganda, recording the interactions of individuals and family groups over a nine-month period …
Read full article at http://uga.edu/gm/ee/index.php?/single/2013/09/1970/.
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