Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Biodiversity Loss Is Detrimental to Your Health: Intact Ecosystems Can Help Ward Off Infectious Disease

03.12.2010
Protecting biodiversity is more than an act of environmental preservation; it can be a matter of self-preservation, according to a study that shows healthy biodiversity in intact ecosystems helps ward off infectious disease.

“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.php

Cornell’s David R. Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future:
http://www.sustainablefuture.cornell.edu/index.php

Joe Schwartz | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.cornell.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Physics of bubbles could explain language patterns
25.07.2017 | University of Portsmouth

nachricht Obstructing the ‘inner eye’
07.07.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Abrupt motion sharpens x-ray pulses

Spectrally narrow x-ray pulses may be “sharpened” by purely mechanical means. This sounds surprisingly, but a team of theoretical and experimental physicists developed and realized such a method. It is based on fast motions, precisely synchronized with the pulses, of a target interacting with the x-ray light. Thereby, photons are redistributed within the x-ray pulse to the desired spectral region.

A team of theoretical physicists from the MPI for Nuclear Physics (MPIK) in Heidelberg has developed a novel method to intensify the spectrally broad x-ray...

Im Focus: Physicists Design Ultrafocused Pulses

Physicists working with researcher Oriol Romero-Isart devised a new simple scheme to theoretically generate arbitrarily short and focused electromagnetic fields. This new tool could be used for precise sensing and in microscopy.

Microwaves, heat radiation, light and X-radiation are examples for electromagnetic waves. Many applications require to focus the electromagnetic fields to...

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New 3-D imaging reveals how human cell nucleus organizes DNA and chromatin of its genome

28.07.2017 | Health and Medicine

Heavy metals in water meet their match

28.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Oestrogen regulates pathological changes of bones via bone lining cells

28.07.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>