Social media is pretty much built for complaining, and there's nothing people like to complain about as much as being sick. If you come down with a flu, a bout of food poisoning, or a clammy sensation accompanied by a need for brains, chances are your Facebook friends and Twitter followers are going to hear about it. A team of epidemiologists led by researchers from Kansas State University are counting on it, in fact. The team is looking for ways to turn social media sites into high-tech monitoring and announcement systems for disease outbreaks than can stifle the spread of diseases by getting out in front of them early and getting the word out effectively about prevention.
Bats are in bad shape, America. A fungal disease, white nose syndrome, is wiping our nests of the furry flyers from sea to shining sea, and all efforts to contain it have been met with failure. The wonderfully well-intentioned hippies at The Nature Conservancy are pulling out all the stops to stem the tide of the disease, though, crafting the world's first artificial bat cave as what they hope will be a sanctuary against the deadly epidemic. The high-tech lab and crime fighting hot rod are, as always, sold separately.