Cultural Dimension in the Future of Pervasive Computing

Cultural Dimension in the Future of Pervasive Computing

B.K. Mangaraj (XLRI Jamshepur, India) and Upali Aparajita (Utkal University, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-960-1.ch060
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Microorganisms are ubiquitous in their presence. They are present in air, soil, water, and all kinds of living creatures. Varieties of microbes have been linked to diseases of humans, animals, and plants. Advances in molecular biology, electronics, nanotechnology, computer sciences, and information technology have made it possible to hybridize these to create ubiquitous devices and biosensors that would indicate presence of microbial agents in water, foods, air, hospitals, animal farms, and other environments. Analyses of microbial genomes and phylogenies have become increasingly important in the tracking and investigation of events leading to spread of microbial diseases and biocrimes. The capability of microorganisms to communicate with similar as well as different microorganisms, the ability to react to the environmental changes, and most of all, the intelligence to manage themselves without the need for supervision during deployment and operation; makes them attractive agents for use in Biosensors. Biosensors such as genetically engineered bacteria have been proven useful. It appears possible to develop biosensors that could detect the presence of biocrime/bioterror agents in diverse environments. Ubiquitous computing technology has the potential to develop integrated small devices which could detect bioterrorism agents. Similarly, pervasive computing could be a tool to monitor the microbial pollution in water, milk, and other edible commodities. Microbial forensics has become an important field for research and development due to increased threats of biocrimes. Microbial forensics requires utilization of diverse data that are acquired through standard processes in distributed locations. Technologies for data production are evolving rapidly, especially with respect to instrumentation and techniques that produce high-resolution data about the molecular constituents of living cells (DNA, mRNA, proteins, and metabolites) that are used as microbial signatures/fingerprints. Both bioinformatics and computational biology have grown over the last 20 years, and diverse database systems and analytical tools have been developed and deployed. Some public domain resources, such as GenBank, have become very important resources of research on a global scale. Effective responses to natural, accidental, or intentional outbreaks of infectious diseases in humans, livestock, and agricultural crops, will require that the information be easily accessed in real-time or near real-time. Flexible, decentralized, modular information system architectures, able to adapt to evolving requirements and available on the Internet, are needed.

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