May 13, 2010


Lake sturgeon have genes from parasite, signs of human STD

While trying to find a DNA-based test to determine the sex of lake sturgeon, Purdue University researchers found that the sturgeon genome contains trematode genes that didn't originally belong to it and may harbor a protozoan parasite that causes a sexually transmitted disease in humans.

. . . DeWoody said about 15 genes found in the lake sturgeon came from Schistosoma, a parasitic worm.

Lateral gene transfer from one organism to another is rare, especially in multicellular animals, he said, but could be part of some evolutionary process for the sturgeon.

Purdue University News Service -
11 May 2010
B Wallheimer
Photo credit: A Fahey/Purdue University

Dead porpoises washing ashore in B.C.

Marine biologists are trying to figure out why eight harbour porpoises have washed ashore near Victoria in the past week.

The most recent carcass was found on the beach near Beacon Hill Park Tuesday.

It's not unusual for harbour porpoises to wash ashore, but it's strange to see so many, according to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

CBC News -
11 May 2010
Photo courtesy of CBC
Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada - Map It


More Marine Mammal Strandings News
>>> Young minke whale washes up near South Jetty of Columbia bar -- a rare sight [Clatsop County, Oregon, USA - Map It ]
>>> Sick Sea Lion [San Diego, California, USA - Map It ]
>>> Gray Whale Spends Second Day at Dana Point Harbor [Dana Point Harbor, California, USA - Map It ]

Dead marine animals being tested; Oil not suspected as killer

Dr. Moby Solangi with the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies (IMMS) said reports of dead marine life have slowed down some in the last few days.

. . . IMMS is testing 60 dead sea turtles that have washed up along the Gulf shoreline in the last three weeks.

. . . Six other dolphins found from Louisiana to Alabama are also being tested, but show no obvious signs that the Gulf oil leak was to blame.

WLOX News -
11 May 2010
Photo credit: D Parker
Location: Mississippi, USA - Map It

Photo credit: D Bryden

Oil Affecting Wildlife News


Browse complete Digest publication library here.

Enzymatic Digestion of Chronic Wasting Disease Prions Bound to Soil
Environ Sci Technol. 2010 May 7. [Epub ahead of print]
SE Saunders et al.

Parasites, emerging disease and wildlife conservation
Int J Parasitol. 2010 May 6. [Epub ahead of print]
Thompson RC, Lymbery AJ, Smith A.

Fleas, hosts and habitat: What can we predict about the spread of vector-borne zoonotic diseases?
Flagstaff, AZ: Northern Arizona University. 159 p. 2010. Dissertation. [free full-text available]
MM Friggens

Winter Ecology of Buggy Creek Virus (Togaviridae, Alphavirus) in the Central Great Plains
Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases. May 2010, 10(4): 355-363.
CR Brown et al.

Prevalence and pathology of West Nile virus in naturally infected house sparrows, western Nebraska, 2008
Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2010 May;82(5):937-44.
VA O'Brien et al.