March 11, 2010


Bat Disease Found In Western Maryland Cave: White-Nose Syndrome is likely cause

Several dead bats and over two hundred visibly affected bats were found during a survey conducted in an Allegany County cave near Cumberland on March 5. The bats observed during the survey exhibited a white fungus concentrated around the muzzle of the infected bats. The findings are consistent with White-Nose Syndrome (WNS) and if confirmed, this will be Maryland’s first documented occurrence of the disease....

WNS, likely spread by contact among bats and their environment, is a disease suspected of killing more than a million bats in the northeastern United States. Bat carcasses and fungal samples were sent to the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wis. for verification. Positive laboratory confirmation of the fungus is expected to take several weeks.

Maryland Dept. of Natural Resources -
10 Mar 2010
Location: Maryland, USA - Map It

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Gene protects some Tassie devils from tumour

The discovery of a genetically different population of Tasmanian devils has raised hopes for the survival of the iconic Australian mammal threatened by a deadly cancer.

...Associate Professor Belov and colleague Dr Menna Jones of the University of Tasmania believe the difference in the MHC gene of the north-west population of devils means their immune systems "should be able to see the cancer and start a response to fight it".

She says this theory is supported by the arrival of the DFTD at West Pencil Pine in Tasmania's north-west.

Associate Professor Belov says anecdotal evidence from field studies shows in the three years the disease has been present in the West Pencil Pine region, only 26 devils have caught the deadly disease and all have the eastern MHC genotype.

ABC News -
10 Mar 2010
D Cooper
Photo courtesy of ABC News

Researchers seek 'super' bee cure for a deadly disorder

A team of researchers from universities across the nation are urgently trying to develop a strain of "super" honeybees to ward off a mysterious malady that has been decimating U.S. colonies for the past three years.

...Keith Delaplane, a national expert on honeybees and a Walter B. Hill Fellow at the University of Georgia, is leading a team of 21 researchers from 18 universities across the nation, with funding from the federal government, to discover and solve what's killing the bees.

The Washington Times -
05 Mar 2010
W Anderson
Photo courtesy of The Washington Times

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