“As buffering species disappear, rates of disease spread can accelerate,” says Drew Harvell, professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Cornell University and a co-author of the study, “Impacts of Biodiversity on the Emergence and Transmission of Infectious Diseases,” which is published online in the current issue of Nature. Felicia Keesing, of Bard College, is the paper’s lead author.
“More broadly, biodiversity per se seems to protect organisms, including humans, from transmission of infectious diseases in many cases,” the authors note. “Preserving biodiversity in these cases, and perhaps generally, may reduce the incidence of established pathogens.”
The authors argue that, in a diverse ecosystem, often only a fraction of organisms are susceptible to particular diseases or parasites – the presence of buffering species means the spread of a malady is muted. One example is Lyme Disease, which can be transmitted to humans by ticks carried by white-footed mice. In intact communities with opossums, the ticks attack opossums, but they fail to survive on opossums, thus reducing the transmission rate of Lyme Disease.
“This discovery of the buffering effect is most clear on land where we know all the links in the transmission of some diseases. In the oceans, we are dealing with a vast new equation relating to disease spread, climate change and biodiversity,” Harvell said. “Disease outbreaks are being accelerated by climate warming before we even know the links in the disease transmission chain.”
The report recommends stringent oversight of farming animals on land and fishes in the oceans to limit the chances of diseases spreading from farmed animals to people or wildlife.
The research is funded by the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health Ecology of Infectious Disease Program and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
For information about environmental research and sustainability at Cornell, visit: http://www.sustainablefuture.cornell.edu/research/environment.phpCornell’s David R. Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future:
Joe Schwartz | Newswise Science News
Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology
Pan-European study on “Smart Engineering”
30.03.2017 | IPH - Institut für Integrierte Produktion Hannover gGmbH
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine
30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine
30.03.2017 | Medical Engineering