Satellites to put Lyme ticks under microscope
Reprinted in today’s Seacoastonline.com ( Posted: 07/16/2010 )
Watch out Lyme-carrying ticks, Big Brother is watching you — from outer space.
Satellites from space will be monitoring ticks in New Hampshire as part of a three-year, $750,000 project aimed at studying the ecology and risk factors of Lyme disease in the state, which has seen a surge in the number of people afflicted with the disease in recent years.
An interdisciplinary research team from the University of New Hampshire, the state Department of Health and Human Services and the private sector were awarded the $750,00 grant recently by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
The researchers will be armed with satellite imagery, field samples, human Lyme disease case data and mathematical models as they work to identify hot spots for ticks. They hope that will allow them to issue early warnings to residents to help prevent exposure to the disease.
The state Department of Health and Human Services has been engaged in an ongoing effort in recent years to get to the bottom of why the state is seeing so many more cases of Lyme disease, state Public Health Veterinarian Jason Stull said.