Marine mammal beachings along the French coast have been recorded by scientists since 1972. According to Nicolas Keck, a veterinary surgeon with the Hérault Departmental Laboratory, "beached dolphins are regularly found along the Mediterranean coast, for various reasons, primarily due to accidents and infections. The death rate is occasionally higher, generally as a result of the morbillivirus".
As Geneviève Libeau, a CIRAD researcher, explains: "dolphins are susceptible to the morbillivirus and develop the disease. Their high density in the Mediterranean and their gregariousness favour the spread of the morbillivirus. We have observed epidemic peaks linked to the number of births, since it is generally young dolphins and adults without immunity that are affected". In the main, the disease causes nervous, respiratory and digestive problems in contaminated cetaceans.
Assessing the epidemic
Since 2003, the Departmental Veterinary Laboratory (overseen by the Hérault Departmental Council) and CIRAD have been studying morbilliviruses. They are currently the only organizations conducting such analyses in France.
The fact that a morbillivirus was responsible was demonstrated by viral analyses of tissue samples from infected animals. By isolating genome fragments, CIRAD traced the origin of the virus: it stemmed from the epidemic that began in Spain.
Analyses are continuing, and will do so for some time. The aim is to monitor the evolution of the disease and identify the risk factors, so as to control the epidemic. However, there are no plans to develop a vaccine, given the difficulty of vaccinating wild animals.
Helen Burford | alfa
Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel
Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped
08.02.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.
The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...
Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.
Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...
A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.
Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
18.05.2018 | Information Technology
18.05.2018 | Information Technology