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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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ScienceShot: Case Closed on Bat Fungus
26 October 2011 1:01 pm
A potential bat killer is guilty as charged. Scientists say they've finally fingered the culprit behind the deadly bat disease known as white nose syndrome: the fungus Geomyces destructans. Disease experts had previously cultured the fungus from the white dustings that cover the noses and wings of infected bats (shown). But it wasn't clear whether the potential pathogen was the main cause of the epidemic, which has spread plaguelike throughout the northeastern United States, or just a side effect. In a study published online today in Nature, researchers spread G. destructans samples onto healthy little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus), and all developed tell-tale lesions within several months. The fungus also seems to pass from bat-to-bat on contact: Close to 90% of healthy bats mixed in with sick cohorts in the lab developed white nose syndrome in just about 100 days. Effective treatments for this rapidly spreading contagion are a long way off, the group says. Still, unveiling the killer may make this Halloween a little less frightful for North American bats.
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