Breast Cancer Research

Researchers from Western New York have found that women who developed breast cancer before menopause tend to cluster based on where they were born and where they lived at their menarche (start of menstruation). Using GIS technology, clustering data indicated that these women may have been exposed to something in the environment at those times in their lives that increased their risk of developing premenopausal breast cancer. Research also showed that there was less evidence of clustering of postmenopausal cancer cases.

For more information, please read the full article here.

Melissa Lawrence, Rutgers Student Intern, VERTICES, LLC


ESRI Expands Virtual Earth GIS Access


Microsoft Corporation recently made an agreement with Microsoft Virtual Earth to give GIS users the chance to gain faster access to their geographic information system (GIS) projects. As part of ArcGIS Online at the ArcGIS 9.3.1 release, ArcGIS Desktop and ArcGIS Server users will be able to connect directly to Virtual Earth and quickly start their GIS projects with ready-to-use content. By bringing Virtual Earth into their GIS projects, people will have a greater opportunity to perform spatial analysis based on dynamic data.

ArcGIS users can preview Virtual Earth street maps, imagery, and hybrid map layers at Read more about using ArcGIS and Virtual Earth at

Melissa Lawrence, Rutgers Student Intern, VERTICES, LLC

Prostate Cancer


Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men. When symptoms do occur, they may include urinary problems like not being able to urinate, having a hard time starting or stopping the urine flow, needing to urinate often, especially at night, weak flow of urine, urine flow that starts and stops, pain or burning during urination, difficulty having an erection, blood in the urine or semen, frequent pain in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs. These can be symptoms of cancer, but more often they are symptoms of non-cancerous conditions.

As you may or may not know, there is an ethnic disparity in prostate cancer morbidity and mortality. I found this study recently that was done in order to take a deeper look and see why such a disparity is found in the Deep South among black and white men and whether or not it is related to the dietary intake of the individuals.

Although the investigation did not result in significantly extravagant discoveries, it has added to the extant knowledge on the ethnic disparity in prostate cancer by delineating the problems that occurred in the Deep South.

For specific results regarding this article or investigation, please view it here.

Melissa Lawrence, Rutgers Student Intern, VERTICES, LLC

Apple fire blight risk map

Geographical location of east Azerbaijan in Iran
Geographical location of east Azerbaijan in Iran

Fire blight is the most dangerous disease on apple in the north-west of Iran (Azerbaijan province). Fire blight is caused by the bacterium Erwinia amylovora and affects over 130 plant species in the rose family. In the east Azerbaijan province Fire blight is a destructive bacterial disease of apples and pears that kills blossoms, shoots, limbs, and, sometimes, entire trees. Once the bacteria colonize the first few open blossoms, pollinating insects rapidly move the pathogen to other flowers, initiating more blossom blight.

With GIS, researchers were able to view the area of the province that climatic conditions were suitable for spreading and infecting the orchards. The results of this study showed that regions of west and north-west of province are of high fire blight risk.

For more information, read the full Case Study here.

Melissa Lawrence, Rutgers Student Intern, VERTICES, LLC

Why Don’t Kids Walk To School Anymore?


Ever thought about why kids don’t walk to school anymore? Or even ride a bike to school? Is it because we spoil them? They have become lazy? Too busy to take a walk to school? Well the surprising reality is that researchers have found that concerns about safety are the main reason that less than 13 percent of U.S. children walked or biked to school in 2004, compared to more than 50 percent who did so in 1969. These concerns are also strongly linked to the kind of physical environment children navigate between home and school.

Using Geographic Information System (GIS) data combined with a survey of 186 parents of 5th through 8th grade students, it was found that parents were most concerned about the speed and volume of traffic students would encounter en route to school; the possibility of crime; and the weather. Many parents felt that it may be too cold, or the bike lanes don’t seem safe enough. It was discovered that environment plays a big role on whether or not a parent allows their child to walk to school.

For more information on this study, please read the full article here.

Melissa Lawrence, Rutgers Student Intern, VERTICES, LLC

“Broken Windows” and the Risk of Gonorrhea


Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) have been proven to be associated with race/ethnicity, poverty, and substance use. Individuals have been targeted through counseling, education, and admonishing them to be abstinent or, failing that, to limit the number of sex partners and use condoms. Worldwide, these efforts have had modest success, and the United States remains the only developed country to have STD rates comparable to those of developing countries.


This study uses the theory of “Broken windows” to prove the point that there is a relationship between neighborhood conditions and gonorrhea. The theory suggests that the appearance of the physical environment provides direct messages that regulate individual behavior; it almost is like a signal to others that behaviors that are usually prohibited are tolerated.


To find out the results of this interesting study, please read the full article here.


Melissa Lawrence, Rutgers Student Intern, VERTICES, LLC

The Blind & Visually Impaired Phone & PDA Accessibility

Code Factory

Dr. Im recently attended a conference where he was informed of a company that strove to introduce ways to help disabled individuals. Code Factory is the company committed to the development of products designed to eliminate barriers to the accessibility of mobile technology for the blind and visually impaired. Code Factory provides its consumers with screen readers, screen magnifiers, and Braille interfaces for the widest range of mainstream mobile devices as well as Pocket PC phones and PDAs. Its product line support phones working on the GSM, CDMA and WCDMA networks.

Code Factory has followed a path of developing products that aims to set new standards in accessibility, but always stays in line with what the target market needed and wanted. Each line of products created to  innovate for the benefit, and respond to the needs, of the blind and visually impaired, thus moving accessibility forward.

For more information about what the Code Factory, please view the website by clicking here.

Melissa Lawrence, Rutgers Student Intern, VERTICES, LLC