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Google Maps, Disease Risk, and Migration

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the paywalls-are-a-disease dept.

Google 34

First time accepted submitter ecorona writes "This Google Maps mashup was published in Science (paywall warning) this week. It shows genetic risk for multiple diseases distributed across the globe. It's easy to follow the migration path and see which diseases increase/decrease in risk along human migration paths. Click on the populations to see the relative risk of the selected disease for each population. You can pick your a disease and see which populations are more susceptible. The article is behind a paywall, but the website is free to use." On a similar note, an anonymous reader points out a British research project that "used Twitter to track and map flu-like illnesses across the U.K. to determine if epidemics were emerging. The research culminated into an online visual tool, the Flu Detector, that maps tweeted flu rates in several regions across the U.K."

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Can someone explain this to me? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37962774)

I'm confused.

Re:Can someone explain this to me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37963110)

1. You figure out where your forefathers and foremothers come from. 2. you find that place on the mashup. 3. you click on the disease you're most afraid of. 3. you look at the circles that are around the lines that go through that place. If they are red, you should be afraid. If they are yellow or orange, you should be very afraid. If they are dark orange, just off yourself now. Hope this helps, the resident science troll.

Re:Can someone explain this to me? (1)

siddesu (698447) | more than 2 years ago | (#37963114)

If they are red

Green maybe?

Re:Can someone explain this to me? (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37963280)

1. You figure out where your forefathers and foremothers come from. 2. you find that place on the mashup. 3. you click on the disease you're most afraid of. 3. you look at the circles that are around the lines that go through that place. If they are red, you should be afraid. If they are yellow or orange, you should be very afraid. If they are dark orange, just off yourself now. Hope this helps

According to the map, I've been dead six years.

Re:Can someone explain this to me? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37963434)

Then you're damned lucky, you died about the time the civilization peaked.

Re:Can someone explain this to me? (1)

ecorona (953223) | more than 2 years ago | (#37963412)

Red means higher risk and green means lower risk. There's a legend on the top left. Click on the circle that represents your ancestral origins. You can see the predicted increase in risk (likelihood ratio). It also traces the migration path your ancestors took to found your ancestral population. Click the other figure (Human Relationships) on the top left to see the same stuff but on a view that shows how all relationships on the map are related.

America Fuck Yeah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37962798)

We're immune mutha frackers!!!

Re:America Fuck Yeah! (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#37962820)

I also found that chart hard to believe - For example, the highest risk for alcoholism was in Indonesia(a Muslim country) but NOT Mexico?!

Also, I rolled my eyes at "restless leg syndrome," aka "get-some-more-exercise-fatso" syndrome. Here are the biggest losers of the somewhat racist implications of the chart:

Prostate cancer - sub-Saharan Africa
Cirrhosis - China
Parkinson's - China, Indonesia
Asthma - Mexico, sub-Saharan Africa
Inflammatory bowel disease - Italy all the way, baby
Obesity - Northern South America, but NOT the US?!
Schizophrenia - Mid+Southern Africa, Sino-Asia

Re:America Fuck Yeah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37962860)

I know that Asians in general have a lower ability to metabolize alcohol. I would say this is due to less environmental exposure. However because they do not metabolize alcohol as well, it means they probably are more like to get bad side-effects like alcoholism.

Re:America Fuck Yeah! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37964014)

It's not due to lower environmental exposure, its genetic. The gene ALDH2 [wikipedia.org] is responsible for breaking down alcohol in the liver, and for 50% of Asians half the enzymes produced from this gene are ineffective in breaking down the alcohol. On the other hand, this makes them less susceptible to alcoholism, perhaps only due to the fact that they avoid drinking too much because of the effect it has on them.

Re:America Fuck Yeah! (1)

WillKemp (1338605) | more than 2 years ago | (#37964156)

It's not due to lower environmental exposure, its genetic.

And how do those genes become predominant in a population? Because lower environmental exposure means people with that gene have a better chance of living long enough to reproduce.

Re:America Fuck Yeah! (2)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 2 years ago | (#37964262)

No. Founder's effect is a FAR more likely explanation, and is going going to be responsible for most of these variations.

Re:America Fuck Yeah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37962878)

I'm sure you read the methodology in the study. I'm sure you know what this data means.

Re:America Fuck Yeah! (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37962932)

As best I was able to tell, the chart was looking at specifically genetic(SNPs), rather than lifestyle, risk factors across various historical migration paths.

If they are looking at genetic risk factors, rather than lifestyle risks or overall incidence, it seems more plausible that higher risks would show up in odd places: genetic risks only get selected against in environments where they cause problems. If alcohol or cheap calories aren't available, the genes impose no penalty and spread more readily.

As for the migration paths, I can only assume that the data for the americas are so sketchy because they have the shortest history of human habitation(not only did the first humans show up there relatively recently, their descendants died off pretty dramatically during the colonial period, leaving much of the present population largely descended from one old world migration path or another)...

Re:America Fuck Yeah! (3, Informative)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#37963900)

Obesity - Northern South America, but NOT the US?!

The emphasis of chart is on genetic ancestry and not location. Although the two coincide with each other from a historical perspective, location is meaningless for the USA. For example, most Americans can trace their ancestry to Europe while others South American. Over generations to this day, Americans are to put it bluntly, mutts. Based on that chart, my ancestry is mainly made up of Orcadian followed by North Italian and some Pima. Honestly, I wouldn't know how to calculate my risk if those numbers are based on purity alone. Once you mix the genetics, the results aren't evenly calculable within the ratios.

Re:America Fuck Yeah! (1)

Internetuser1248 (1787630) | more than 2 years ago | (#37964518)

As it is a early human migration map, the dot in the US refers to native Amercans, who as far as I know are not known for there obesity. The modern obese US is mostly of European descent. Further study is of course warranted into modern migration patterns but these are not shown on the map here.

Google's flu trends (2)

aa_trna_syn (583320) | more than 2 years ago | (#37962870)

Google also has a flu trends mapping: http://www.google.org/flutrends/us/ [google.org]

Flu Trends on Twitter Not Reliable (2)

mentil (1748130) | more than 2 years ago | (#37963096)

Many diseases have flu-like symptoms, and most uneducated people who have any of those diseases would tweet that "they have the flu" without being tested or consulting a doctor, and those false positives would be picked up by the software.

Re:Flu Trends on Twitter Not Reliable (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#37963168)

Around here, we have the opposite. No matter what is wrong with you, if the doctor cannot easily tell you what it is, the standard answer is "You have the flew". Unless you meant that the doctors were the uneducated people.

Re:Flu Trends on Twitter Not Reliable (3, Funny)

stonedcat (80201) | more than 2 years ago | (#37963210)

If my doctor ever tells me that I have "the flew", I'm getting a new doctor.

Re:Flu Trends on Twitter Not Reliable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37967108)

If your doctor is having to spell the word such that you can detect the difference, you likely are incapable of finding a new doctor anyways.

Re:Flu Trends on Twitter Not Reliable (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#37968242)

I had a little bird,
Its name was Enza.
I opened the window,
And in-flu-enza.

Re:Flu Trends on Twitter Not Reliable (1)

tbird81 (946205) | more than 2 years ago | (#37963478)

It's actually most likely that you did have the flu.

Re:Flu Trends on Twitter Not Reliable (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37963316)

Except their methodology doesn't say, "Oh, there were two million Tweets of the word 'flu' so there must have been two million cases of influenza." Sure, many, even possibly most, people Tweeting or searching for "flu" aren't actually going to have the flu, but you're still going to be able to see a relative increase in that sort of activity during a genuine outbreak, and you can use that correlation to show some sort of relative outbreak intensity, even if just from that data you couldn't actually translate it into actual numbers of cases. They've tested their models against historical data presumably collected by competent doctors and scientists and shown it to match, so it does seem to work.

Old world migration to the Americas? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37963322)

As an American, it's interesting that when this site talks of "migration" it pretty much means the older migrations to what is now Latin America via the land bridge. I know I've heard stories of certain European or African populations having genetic disease, and that being carried over into the US. Judging from the maps I'd guess this study takes a wider view, rather than express the realities of more recent migrations. (I'm no biologist, but this has to be interesting. The amount at which people travel these days and inter-breed probably makes for an interesting graph, maybe impossible to track at a fine grain.)

whippersnapper (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37963372)

all i see is a globe

fuckheads

duh (2)

Ofloo (1378781) | more than 2 years ago | (#37964460)

This to be expected, .. the higher the live expectancy, the worse the gene pool becomes, .. in 3rd world countries people with bad genes are probably not surviving, .. due to missing medical treatment, .. so countries where live expectancy are higher, people do tend to get kids at an older age, and a lot of people with bad genes survive and are allowed to reproduce, .. I'm not saying there should be bans I'm just suggesting this is obvious, .. and everyone can come to this conclusion. And this got nothing to do with bad habits. like alcohol, smoking, or whatever.

Re:duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37964632)

You're right. It's exactly the same with the dumbing down of the last decades. There's a strong dysgenic process going on at least since the beginnings of the twentieth century. Medical advances, nanny state structures that punish reproduction of smarter individuals at the same time that subsidizes reproduction of not-so-smart ones, et cetera. Obviously it's not very popular to point out these facts and everything you got it's some pretty ugly name calling.
 

Re:duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37969300)

That's the dark side of democracy for you. When the uneducated masses with a brood of children vote, it's for self-serving purposes. Hence the self-fulfilling prophecy.

Re:duh (1)

dredwerker (757816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37964714)

This to be expected, .. the higher the live expectancy, the worse the gene pool becomes, .. in 3rd world countries people with bad genes are probably not surviving, .. due to missing medical treatment, .. so countries where live expectancy are higher, people do tend to get kids at an older age, and a lot of people with bad genes survive and are allowed to reproduce, .. I'm not saying there should be bans I'm just suggesting this is obvious, .. and everyone can come to this conclusion. And this got nothing to do with bad habits. like alcohol, smoking, or whatever.

High life expectancy is not not in itself bad genetically though is it. It just gets normally screened out before you get to reproduce.

The gap between reporting rates and actual occuren (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37965882)

Let's take GERD, or, according to the NIH: "Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition in which the stomach contents (food or liquid) leak backwards from the stomach into the esophagus (the tube from the mouth to the stomach)."

No one had GERD 25, or was it 40 years ago, because the term wasn't invented. I bet the incidence in a region can be shown to correlate with:

a. alcohol use
b. obesity
c. bungee cord use
d. pharmaceutical representative visits to doctors offices offering free plane trips to seminars re GERD in resorts

In other words, interpreting the raw data can go a long way.

Now, if a condition was found to correlate with something unexpected, like the triad of high percentile math ability within male siblings, autoimmune disease and left handedness, no that would be interesting. This triad was reported in Science sometime in the mid-1990's, and is still causing consternation.

Sign me: Lazy and anonymous. too lazy to register. Okay, too paranoid, too. (Not that they aren't out to get me. They're out to get you, and everyone else, aren't they?)

Australia? (1)

tick-tock-atona (1145909) | more than 2 years ago | (#37969728)

Where's the data? Has no-one migrated past Indonesia?
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