July 13, 2010


Skin Fight: Could Bacteria Carried by Amphibians Save Them from Extinction?

As many as one third of the world's 6,260 known amphibian species are in danger of going extinct.

The main killer—outside of ongoing destruction of habitat—is a fungal disease known as chytrid (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis).

Now researchers in California and Virginia have identified symbiotic bacteria living on amphibians' skins that protects them from the deadly fungal disease, and later this summer the scientists will collect some of the microbial samples, culture them in the lab, and use the product to inoculate some frogs in California's Sierra Nevada to see if the approach stops chytrid in the wild.

Scientific American - www.scientificamerican.com
12 Jul 2010
E Rex
Photo credit: Vance Vredenburg

Avian influenza (40): China (Tibet), wild birds, OIE - Archive Number 20100707.2271

New outbreaks
Outbreak 1 Shuanghu district, Naqu, TIBET
Date of start of the outbreak 9 May 2010
Outbreak status: Resolved (25 May 2010)
Epidemiological unit: Not applicable
Species Wild species
Cases 170
Deaths 170
Destroyed 0
Slaughtered 0

Affected Population: 141 brown-headed gulls (_Larus brunnicephalus_),
27 bar-headed geese (_Anser indicus_), one red-billed chough
(_Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax_) and one Eurasian wigeon (_Anas penelope_).

Sewage overflow promotes spread of West Nile virus

Sewage that overflows into urban creeks and streams during periods of heavy rain can promote the spread of West Nile virus, a study led by Emory University finds.

The analysis of six years of data showed that people living near creeks with sewage overflows in lower-income neighborhoods of Southeast Atlanta had a seven times higher risk for West Nile virus than the rest of the city.

"The infection rate for mosquitoes, birds and humans is strongly associated with their proximity to a creek impacted by sewage," says Gonzalo Vazquez-Prokopec, the Emory disease ecologist who led the study.

Top China mine pollutes river: report

Pollution from a mine owned by a top gold producer has severely contaminated a river in southeastern China, leading to a massive fish kill, the government and state media said Monday.

Seepage from a mining waste pond owned by the Zijinshan Copper Mine has contaminated the Ding River and a reservoir in Fujian, the province's environmental protection bureau said in a statement.

The leak was first detected on July 3, prompting the bureau to issue an emergency order to begin monitoring it, the statement said.

Google News - www.google.com (Source: AFP)
12 Jul 2010
Location: Ding River, Fujian Province, China - Map It


Climate Change
Photo credit: goingslo on flickr
It Ain't All Bad News
Huh, That's Interesting!