Up with the Resistance!

A cartoon of a bat wearing a resist shirt and holding a sign saying 'no fungus'. Drawing is by Kim O'Keefe.
Fight the fungus! (like this little resistor? You can wear her on a shirt!)

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a good week. I am now officially on winter break and I plan on enjoying myself immensely. I hope everyone else is able to enjoy their vacations and that you all have a wonderful holiday season.

I read an article about researchers who are trying to find the origin of White Nose Syndrome. Scientists at Northern Arizona University and the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wildlife Health Center used genomic sequencing to figure out where the fungus that causes the disease originally came from and how it is spreading. Up until now, there has been much speculation that the fungus originated somewhere in Europe or Asia. The scientists wanted to know its true origin, and hopefully gain some insight on how to stop it. By analyzing the genome of the fungus in samples from Europe, Asia, and North America, they found that there was a big difference between the fungus found on North America and the one in Europe and Asia. They discovered that there was a lot of diversity between the samples found in Europe and Asia, but almost none in North America. This helps prove the theory that the fungus was recently introduced to North America, and has been in Eurasia for much longer. One interesting fact is that the Eurasian bats have adapted and developed a resistance to the disease. This gives scientists hope that bats in the United States and Canada may be able to do the same.

If you would like to read the article, you can find it here.

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