Mining Wikipedia Data to Track Disease

10:41 minutes

When people get sick, they often start looking online for information about their symptoms and illness. Sara Del Valle, a scientist and applied mathematician at Los Alamos National Laboratory, says that by training a computer model to analyze the specific health-related pages that users access on Wikipedia, public health experts may be able to identify—and even forecast—outbreaks of diseases such as influenza and Dengue fever. An article about the approach was published this week in the journal PLOS Computational Biology.

Segment Guests

Sara Del Valle

Sara Del Valle is a scientist and applied mathematician at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico.

Meet the Producer

About Charles Bergquist

As Science Friday’s director and senior producer, Charles Bergquist channels the chaos of a live production studio into something sounding like a radio program. Favorite topics include planetary sciences, chemistry, materials, and shiny things with blinking lights.