APS tip sheet: Dark matter's galactic emissions and game theory of vaccination

December 11, 2019

A Bright Day for Dark Matter

December 11, 2019 - An abundance of mysterious gamma radiation exists in the center of the Milky Way, called the Galactic Center GeV Excess. Previous research determined that this enigmatic radiation likely came from sources like pulsars -- neutron stars that emit electromagnetic radiation. Now, a new analysis suggests earlier studies underestimated potential dark matter's role in the creation of the gamma radiation cluster. Scientists Rebecca Leane and Tracy Slatyer reexamined the earlier research, testing the method that previously claimed the gamma ray glow was likely from pulsars. They found that the earlier method could potentially overlook dark matter signals, misidentifying them as pulsar signals. The results suggest that dark matter may still be contributing to gamma radiation from the Milky Way's center.
Revival of the Dark Matter Hypothesis for the Galactic Center Gamma-Ray Excess

Rebecca Leane* and Tracy Slatyer



Game Theory of Vaccination

People are more likely to vaccinate when faced with costly treatment

December 4, 2019 - Vaccines prevent disease by training the immune system to fight specific germs. They also indirectly reduce the spread of disease through a concept known as herd immunity -- which is when enough of a community is vaccinated against a disease that even unvaccinated people receive some protection. Individual vaccination rates are falling in the United States and herd immunity is in decline, leading to a public health crisis. Recently, scientists Ariful Kabir, Marko Jusup, and Jun Tanimoto combined epidemiology and game theory to determine which behavioral incentives motivate people to vaccinate. Using a model, they found that individuals are more likely to vaccinate against a disease if contracting that disease leads to expensive medical treatment. These results could inform public policy and decision-making about vaccination outreach.

Behavioral incentives in a vaccination-dilemma setting with optional treatment
K. M. Ariful Kabir*, Marko Jusup, and Jun Tanimoto

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American Physical Society

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