Using a computer to predict an infectious disease outbreak before it starts may sound like a bit of Philip K. Dick sci-fi, but scientists are coming close. In a new study, researchers have used machine learning—teaching computers to recognize patterns in large data sets—to make accurate forecasts about which animals might harbor dangerous viruses, bacteria, and fungi.
Between 1346 and 1353 the Black Death killed over a third of Europe's population. It took 150 years for the continent to recover. The disease was so devastating that it changed the social order, as a scarcity of labour led to higher wages for the survivors, hastening the demise of feudalism.
Machine learning can pinpoint rodent species that harbor diseases and geographic hotspots vulnerable to new parasites and pathogens. So reports a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences led by Barbara A. Han, a disease ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies.
This spring, April showers made favorable conditions for amphibians to display their singing skills in the flooded lowland fields at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. Eastern American toads (Anaxyrus americanus) were major contributors to the evening chorus, which was at times deafening.
The month of May brings many things, among them Mother’s Day, tulips, and Lyme Disease Awareness campaigns. But according to Dr. Richard S. Ostfeld, a disease ecologist at Cary, if we want to get a leg up on tick-borne illness we need to become vigilant earlier in the season.
The Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies is pleased to announce that senior scientist Dr. Stuart E.G. Findlay has received the prestigious National Wetlands Award from the Environmental Law Institute (ELI).
Ice out at last! The East Branch of the Wappinger Creek, which runs through the Cary Institute's property, remained blanketed under a thick layer of ice and snow most of winter. Not until mid-March did the frozen cover begin to melt away faster than it reformed.
Data Cary's Rick Ostfeld and his team have collected since the 1990s reveals a marked change in the behavior of black-legged ticks -- they are arriving on the scene earlier than ever in the spring. They're also showing up farther to the north, and at higher elevations, than they have in the past.
Serving as inadvertent innkeepers for opossums may turn out to be good for your health. Scientists at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York, have learned that opossums act like little vacuum cleaners when it comes to ticks, including those that can spread debilitating Lyme disease to humans and other animals.
Author and gardener Margaret Roach gets a lesson in phenology from Victoria Kelly, Environmental Monitoring Program Manager at the Cary Institute. Environmental Monitoring is a longterm program at Cary, begun in the 1980s and designed specifically to monitor climate—and the air, precipitation and water chemistry.
For nearly 20 years, Gary Lovett has kept a journal with notes about a variety of natural events taking place in his backyard in southeastern New York, including the date that spring peepers begin peeping in his vernal pool each year.
Salt, it makes roads safe in the winter, but is it safe for the environment? "In small quantities it would be safe, but not in large quantities," said Vicky Kelly, who manages environmental monitoring for the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies.
Breeding wolves were killed off in New York back in the 1890s. But hearing nighttime howling today should not be blamed on our imaginations. Another predator, the eastern coyote (Canis latrans), abounds in our area and provides a similar hair-raising effect when we hear it calling.
Dengue fever and chikungunya are transmitted to humans by two species of mosquitos, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. There are no vaccines for these viral diseases and while not often fatal, they can disable victims with painful symptoms for weeks or months.
With cities across the United States facing one of the most brutal winters in recent memory, the use of road salt can be an economic game changer, one that forces snowy cities to be innovators that balance safety, cost and the environment.
In the northeastern United States, warmer spring temperatures are leading to shifts in the emergence of the blacklegged ticks that carry Lyme disease and other tick-borne pathogens. At the same time, milder weather is allowing ticks to spread into new geographic regions.
Cary's head of education Alan Berkowitz explains why undergraduate research programs are so valuable-both for the students, who gain research experience, and the scientists, whose scientific thinking can benefit from the mentoring experience.
Although western Lake Erie has become an international poster child for noxious algae, a new study suggests that many of the world’s much smaller, cleaner, and calmer bodies of water are likewise in trouble if greater efforts are not undertaken to keep farm fertilizers and other nutrients out of them.
Familiar to the snowy landscape are salt trucks slowly crawling up and down the interstates and city streets sprinkling salt (which is only effective in temperatures above 15 degrees), or salt-brine over the roads.