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Concept: Cellular network


The pervasive use of cell phones impacts many people-both cell phone users and bystanders exposed to conversations. This study examined the effects of overhearing a one-sided (cell phone) conversation versus a two-sided conversation on attention and memory. In our realistic design, participants were led to believe they were participating in a study examining the relationship between anagrams and reading comprehension. While the participant was completing an anagram task, the researcher left the room and participants overheard a scripted conversation, either two confederates talking with each other or one confederate talking on a cell phone. Upon the researcher’s return, the participant took a recognition memory task with words from the conversation, and completed a questionnaire measuring the distracting nature of the conversation. Participants who overheard the one-sided conversation rated the conversation as significantly higher in distractibility than those who overheard the two-sided conversation. Also, participants in the one-sided condition scored higher on the recognition task. In particular they were more confident and accurate in their responses to words from the conversation than participants in the two-sided condition. However, participants' scores on the anagram task were not significantly different between conditions. As in real world situations, individual participants could pay varying amounts of attention to the conversation since they were not explicitly instructed to ignore it. Even though the conversation was irrelevant to the anagram task and contained less words and noise, one-sided conversations still impacted participants' self-reported distractibility and memory, thus showing people are more attentive to cell phone conversations than two-sided conversations. Cell phone conversations may be a common source of distraction causing negative consequences in workplace environments and other public places.

Concepts: Cognitive psychology, Mobile phone, Reading comprehension, Cellular network, Push-button telephone, Distraction, Attention span, Anagram


Today¿s cell phones increase opportunities for activities traditionally defined as sedentary behaviors (e.g., surfing the internet, playing video games). People who participate in large amounts of sedentary behaviors, relative to those who do not, tend to be less physically active, less physically fit, and at greater risk for health problems. However, cell phone use does not have to be a sedentary behavior as these devices are portable. It can occur while standing or during mild-to-moderate intensity physical activity. Thus, the relationship between cell phone use, physical and sedentary activity, and physical fitness is unclear. The purpose of this study was to investigate these relationships among a sample of healthy college students.

Concepts: Obesity, Physical exercise, Exercise, Mobile phone, Internet, Cardiorespiratory fitness, Physical fitness, Cellular network


The interaction environment of a protein in a cellular network is important in defining the role that the protein plays in the system as a whole, and thus its potential suitability as a drug target. Despite the importance of the network environment, it is neglected during target selection for drug discovery. Here, we present the first systematic, comprehensive computational analysis of topological, community and graphical network parameters of the human interactome and identify discriminatory network patterns that strongly distinguish drug targets from the interactome as a whole. Importantly, we identify striking differences in the network behavior of targets of cancer drugs versus targets from other therapeutic areas and explore how they may relate to successful drug combinations to overcome acquired resistance to cancer drugs. We develop, computationally validate and provide the first public domain predictive algorithm for identifying druggable neighborhoods based on network parameters. We also make available full predictions for 13,345 proteins to aid target selection for drug discovery. All target predictions are available through Underlying data and tools are available at

Concepts: Pharmacology, Bioinformatics, Cellular network


Modern technologies not only provide a variety of communication modes (e.g., texting, cell phone conversation, and online instant messaging), but also detailed electronic traces of these communications between individuals. These electronic traces indicate that the interactions occur in temporal bursts. Here, we study intercall duration of communications of the 100,000 most active cell phone users of a Chinese mobile phone operator. We confirm that the intercall durations follow a power-law distribution with an exponential cutoff at the population level but find differences when focusing on individual users. We apply statistical tests at the individual level and find that the intercall durations follow a power-law distribution for only 3,460 individuals (3.46%). The intercall durations for the majority (73.34%) follow a Weibull distribution. We quantify individual users using three measures: out-degree, percentage of outgoing calls, and communication diversity. We find that the cell phone users with a power-law duration distribution fall into three anomalous clusters: robot-based callers, telecom fraud, and telephone sales. This information is of interest to both academics and practitioners, mobile telecom operators in particular. In contrast, the individual users with a Weibull duration distribution form the fourth cluster of ordinary cell phone users. We also discover more information about the calling patterns of these four clusters (e.g., the probability that a user will call the c®-th most contact and the probability distribution of burst sizes). Our findings may enable a more detailed analysis of the huge body of data contained in the logs of massive users.

Concepts: Mobile phone, Internet, Text messaging, Mobile network operator, Cellular network, Push-button telephone, Instant messaging, GSM


The direct monitoring of mosquito populations in field settings is a crucial input for shaping appropriate and timely control measures for mosquito-borne diseases. Here, we demonstrate that commercially available mobile phones are a powerful tool for acoustically mapping mosquito species distributions worldwide. We show that even low-cost mobile phones with very basic functionality are capable of sensitively acquiring acoustic data on species-specific mosquito wingbeat sounds, while simultaneously recording the time and location of the human-mosquito encounter. We survey a wide range of medically important mosquito species, to quantitatively demonstrate how acoustic recordings supported by spatio-temporal metadata enable rapid, non-invasive species identification. As proof-of-concept, we carry out field demonstrations where minimally-trained users map local mosquitoes using their personal phones. Thus, we establish a new paradigm for mosquito surveillance that takes advantage of the existing global mobile network infrastructure, to enable continuous and large-scale data acquisition in resource-constrained areas.

Concepts: Biology, Mosquito, Sound, Mobile phone, Mosquito control, Cellular network, Cell site, GSM


It is well documented that interacting with a mobile phone is associated with poorer performance on concurrently performed tasks because limited attentional resources must be shared between tasks. However, mobile phones generate auditory or tactile notifications to alert users of incoming calls and messages. Although these notifications are generally short in duration, they can prompt task-irrelevant thoughts, or mind wandering, which has been shown to damage task performance. We found that cellular phone notifications alone significantly disrupted performance on an attention-demanding task, even when participants did not directly interact with a mobile device during the task. The magnitude of observed distraction effects was comparable in magnitude to those seen when users actively used a mobile phone, either for voice calls or text messaging. (PsycINFO Database Record

Concepts: Mobile phone, Rotary dial, Text messaging, Cellular network, Push-button telephone, GSM


This study used a within-subjects design to assess the effect of three common cellular telephone (cell phone) functions (texting, talking, listening to music) on planned exercise. Forty-four young adults (n = 33 females, 21.8 ± 1.3 years) each participated in four, separate, 30-minute exercise conditions on a treadmill in a random order. During each condition, the treadmill speed display was covered and grade was fixed at zero. However, participants were able to alter treadmill speed as desired. Throughout the texting and talking conditions, research personnel used a pre-determined script to simulate cell phone conversations. During the music condition, participants used their cell phone to listen to music of their choice. Finally, participants completed a control condition with no cell phone access. For each condition, average treadmill speed, heart rate and liking (via visual analog scale) were assessed. Treadmill speed (3.4 ± 1.3 miles∙hour-1), heart rate (122.3 ± 24.3 beats∙min-1) and liking (7.5 ± 1.5 cm) in the music condition were significantly (p ≤ 0.014) greater than all other conditions. Treadmill speed in the control condition (3.1 ± 1.2 miles∙hour-1) was significantly (p = 0.04) greater than both texting and talking (2.8 ± 1.1 miles∙hour-1 each). Heart rate during the control condition (115.4 ± 22.8 beats∙min-1) was significantly (p = 0.04) greater than texting (109.9 ± 16.4 beats∙min-1) but not talking (112.6 ± 16.1 beats∙min-1). Finally, liking during the talking condition (5.4 ± 2.2 cm) was greater (p = 0.05) than the control (4.3 ± 2.2 cm) but not the texting (5.1 ± 2.2 cm) conditions. In conclusion, using a cell phone for listening to music can increase the intensity (speed and heart rate) and liking of a bout of treadmill exercise. However, other common cell phone uses (texting and talking) can interfere with treadmill exercise and reduce intensity.

Concepts: Sound, UCI race classifications, Mobile phone, Text messaging, Tour de Georgia, Cellular network


Sexting (sending/receiving sexually explicit texts and images via cell phone) may be associated with sexual health consequences among adolescents. However, to date, no published data from a probability-based sample has examined associations between sexting and sexual activity.

Concepts: Sexual intercourse, Human sexual behavior, Mobile phone, Sexuality, Pornography, Cellular network, Robert Altman


Cell phone use has become more widespread over the past decade. Young adults are frequently early adopters of new technologies, including cell phones. Most previous research examining sexting, the act of sending sexually explicit or suggestive images via text message, has focused on the legal or social consequences of this behavior. The current study focused on the public health implications of sexting by examining associations between sexting, substance use, and sexual risk behavior in youth.

Concepts: Mobile phone, Rotary dial, Text messaging, Cellular network, Push-button telephone


Digital single-molecule technologies are expanding diagnostic capabilities, enabling the ultrasensitive quantification of targets, such as viral load in HIV and hepatitis C infections, by directly counting single molecules. Replacing fluorescent readout with a robust visual readout that can be captured by any unmodified cell phone camera will facilitate the global distribution of diagnostic tests, including in limited-resource settings where the need is greatest. This paper describes a methodology for developing a visual readout system for digital single-molecule amplification of RNA and DNA by (i) selecting colorimetric amplification-indicator dyes that are compatible with the spectral sensitivity of standard mobile phones, and (ii) identifying an optimal ratiometric image-process for a selected dye to achieve a readout that is robust to lighting conditions and camera hardware and provides unambiguous quantitative results, even for colorblind users. We also include an analysis of the limitations of this methodology, and provide a microfluidic approach that can be applied to expand dynamic range and improve reaction performance, allowing ultrasensitive, quantitative measurements at volumes as low as 5 nL. We validate this methodology using SlipChip-based digital single-molecule isothermal amplification with λDNA as a model and hepatitis C viral RNA as a clinically relevant target. The innovative combination of isothermal amplification chemistry in the presence of a judiciously chosen indicator dye and ratiometric image processing with SlipChip technology allowed the sequence-specific visual readout of single nucleic acid molecules in nanoliter volumes with an unmodified cell phone camera. When paired with devices that integrate sample preparation and nucleic acid amplification, this hardware-agnostic approach will increase the affordability and the distribution of quantitative diagnostic and environmental tests.

Concepts: DNA, Molecular biology, Nucleic acid, Mobile phone, Cellular network, Camera phone, Multimedia Messaging Service, Sharp Corporation