Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Study looks at security wait time in airports

I like how we study everything in the US with big studies at universities. Here is a study on security wait time in airports - seems mundane at first, but has some interesting facts including some socioeconomic factors.

A press release from Purdue says the "new study finds that people are willing to endure the wait for airport security screening, especially if delays are consistent among airports and at different times of day.

Findings also show that preferences vary between men and women, travelers in different income groups and other categories.

'The most fundamental finding was that wait time is important, but not the only major factor determining how well airline customers tolerate airport-security screening procedures,' said Fred Mannering, a professor of civil engineering at Purdue University. 'Another important finding is that passengers are more likely to be satisfied if wait times are consistent from airport to airport and at different times of day at the same airport.'

A paper detailing findings from the study appear in the Journal of Air Transportation Management.

The researchers used mathematical formulas in a "multinomial logit model" to calculate various probabilities based on data collected in national surveys. The surveys polled 828 air travelers in 2002 and 1,079 in 2003, after which the surveys were discontinued. The data were collected as part of the Omnibus Household Surveys, conducted every two months from January 2002 through October 2003 by the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

The new study, however, suggests that travelers be surveyed annually because customer preferences may vary drastically from year to year.

Some specific probabilities detailed in the research paper regarding 2003 survey results showed that:

• Men were 3.9 percent less likely than women to be satisfied with the speed of airport-security screening;
• Passengers with a four-year college degree or a master's degree were 23 percent more likely to be satisfied;
• People earning more than $75,000 per year were 5 percent more likely to be satisfied; and
• Customers indicating that they were reluctant to travel after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks were 17.9 percent less likely to be satisfied."

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Cancer genetic discovery breaks new ground

It is only a matter of time until genetic discoveries help in the prevention of disease - predictive health.

According to a study published in Science and covered by Healthday, researchers have sequenced the genetic "blueprints" of two major cancer killers - breast and colon cancer.

Identifying nearly 200 genes thought responsible for these diseases, the work gives researchers new insight into these malignancies and lays the foundation for the gene-targeted therapies that may one day cure them."Only by understanding this blueprint of cancer will we be fully able to understand the mechanism of what makes a cancer a cancer and to think about strategies for diagnosis, prevention and therapy," explained Dr. Victor Velculescu at Johns Hopkins University's Kimmel Cancer Center.

Just as the human body has its genetic code, so, too, do cancer cells. "Work from the past two decades has shown us that cancer is a genetic disease," said Velculescu.

He explained that a malignancy occurs when specific genes in healthy cells undergo unhealthy mutations. He says that the research approach holds great promise for providing an understanding of the genomic contributions to cancer. A mutation is really like a typo in a blueprint that's 3 billion letters long, according to the researcher.

Velculescu's team outlined the findings in the Sept. 8 issue of the journal Science.

A new $100 million federal initiative, The Cancer Genome Atlas project, seeks to change all that by mapping the myriad genetic "typos" that cause specific tumor types to form. The project described in Science is the first major step in that effort, according to the Healthday coverage.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Berlin at night

Take a look at photos from flickr: Berlin at night.