Many pathogens are able to infect multiple species within a community and are commonly transmitted across species. Cross-species transmission is often associated with pathogen emergence and therefore has been considered as a negative factor for humans, wildlife, and species of agricultural importance.
Many pathogens like malaria, Lyme disease or West Nile encephalitis that infect multiple hosts are commonly transmitted by vectors, and their transmission rate is often thought to depend on the proportion of hosts or vectors infected (i.e. frequency dependence). A study, to appear in the July 2005 issue of The American Naturalist, by Volker H. W. Rudolf and Janis Antonovics provides an important conceptual counterexample to the idea that sharing pathogens necessarily affects host populations negatively.
They show that if there is frequency-dependent transmission, a host can be rescued from pathogen-mediated extinction by the presence of a second host with which it shares a pathogen. Sharing a pathogen among one or more alternative species may actually be limiting the spread of the pathogen in any one particular host population. Thus, an epidemic on one species may result because of loss or reduction in the abundance of species in the community, without any numerical or genetic change in the host or pathogen. Studying only the target species or the abiotic environment would not reveal the cause of the epidemic.
Carrie Olivia Adams | EurekAlert!
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More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
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Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
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Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
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