This is the Crossbow TelosB wireless remote platform, and it did an important job for science in January of last year -- it monitored the close proximity interactions among 788 students and staff at one US high school to track a virtual flu. After collecting over 762,000 sneeze-worthy anecdotes among the module-toting teachers and teens, Stanford researchers ran 788,000 simulations charting the path the virus might take and methods the school might try to keep it in line. Sadly, the scientists didn't manage to come up with any easy answers, as virtual vaccination seemed to work equally well (or poorly) no matter who got the drugs, but that if only we could actually monitor individuals in real life as easily as in a study, prevention would be much easier. But who will bell the cat, when it's so much less political to ionize?

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Scientists attempt to predict flu spread, give ZigBee radios to 700 high school students