The Ebola virus has killed some 1,300 people in Central Africa over the last 30 years. In most of these cases where it has been possible to trace the source of the outbreak, it has been associated with the consumption of contaminated apes or antelopes. But very little has been known about contagion in natural populations.
In the present study an international research team, including a group from Uppsala University in Sweden, has tracked two outbreaks and followed their spread among a gorilla population in Lossi Reservation in the Republic of Congo. The gorilla populations have been monitored by some of the scientists since 1995. As a result of this, 17 gorilla groups with a total of 238 individuals have grown accustomed to the presence of humans. However, two outbreaks of Ebola virus, one between October 2002 and January 2003 and the other between October 2003 and January 2004, led to the death of 221 of them (93%). To examine whether this high mortality rate also affected the area outside the reservation, the researchers carried out a study of a larger area (2,700km2) and found that 96 percent of the gorillas had disappeared. A total of 5,000 gorillas are estimated to have died from Ebola.
“These figures unfortunately represent merely a portion of the area that the virus has infected, and gorillas are continuing to die in this region,” says Carles Vilà.
Careful monitoring has revealed that the transmission between gorilla groups has probably played a key role in the spread of the disease. This also means that the researchers reject the possibility that the outbreaks were the result of a massive transmission of the virus from a reservoir (e.g. mosquitoes or bats). An important conclusion of the study is therefore that vaccinating the as yet unaffected gorillas may be a key measure to stop the spread of Ebola among gorillas.
Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth
09.12.2016 | Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Plant-based substance boosts eyelash growth
09.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung IAP
Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
09.12.2016 | Life Sciences
09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine