Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Marine disease on the rise?

14.04.2004



Humans can affect marine life in unexpected ways, as when large numbers of seals succumbed to canine distemper virus in 2000, presumably contracted from domestic dogs. Such human incursions cause even more damage by exacerbating the effects of naturally occurring parasitic and pathogenic diseases. While all indicators point to a real increase in disease in marine organisms, scientists have no baseline data to measure these increases against and so cannot directly test whether marine diseases are genuinely increasing. Now Jessica Ward and Kevin Lafferty report a new method in PLoS Biology that uses the recorded incidence of disease in the scientific literature to identify disease trends in major groups of marine organisms. Their analysis not only confirms fears but also throws up some unexpected results.

Ward and Lafferty conducted an online search of 5,900 journals published from 1970 to 2001 to measure the proportion of reports of disease in nine groups or marine organisms: turtles, corals, mammals, urchins, mollusks, seagrasses, decapods (crustaceans), sharks/rays, and fishes. Their approach also takes into account potential confounding factors, such as the effect of a particularly prolific author or a single disease event reported multiple times. They found a clear increase in disease in all groups except seagrasses, decapods, and sharks/rays. And they found that disease reports actually decreased for fishes. (One explanation for this decrease could be that drastic reductions in population density caused by overfishing present fewer opportunities for transmitting infection.)

These results confirm scientists’ perceptions about the rising distress of threatened populations and thus reflects a real underlying pattern in nature. That disease did not increase in all taxonomic groups suggests that increases in disease are not simply the result of increased study and that certain stressors, such as global climate change, will impact disease in complex ways. Ward and Lafferty have created a powerful tool to help evaluate trends in disease in the absence of baseline data. It is only by understanding the dynamics of disease outbreaks that scientists can help develop sound methods to contain them.


Jessica Ward | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.plosbiology.org/plosonline/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pbio.0020120
http://www.plosbiology.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study shows nanoscale pendulum coupling
05.07.2019 | University of Barcelona

nachricht New unprinting method can help recycle paper and curb environmental costs
26.06.2019 | Rutgers University

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: MOF@SAW: Nanoquakes and molecular sponges for weighing and separating tiny masses

Augsburg chemists and physicists report how they have succeeded in the extremely difficult separation of hydrogen and deuterium in a gas mixture.

Thanks to the Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) technology developed here and already widely used, the University of Augsburg is internationally recognized as the...

Im Focus: Better thermal conductivity by adjusting the arrangement of atoms

Adjusting the thermal conductivity of materials is one of the challenges nanoscience is currently facing. Together with colleagues from the Netherlands and Spain, researchers from the University of Basel have shown that the atomic vibrations that determine heat generation in nanowires can be controlled through the arrangement of atoms alone. The scientists will publish the results shortly in the journal Nano Letters.

In the electronics and computer industry, components are becoming ever smaller and more powerful. However, there are problems with the heat generation. It is...

Im Focus: First-ever visualizations of electrical gating effects on electronic structure

Scientists have visualised the electronic structure in a microelectronic device for the first time, opening up opportunities for finely-tuned high performance electronic devices.

Physicists from the University of Warwick and the University of Washington have developed a technique to measure the energy and momentum of electrons in...

Im Focus: Megakaryocytes act as „bouncers“ restraining cell migration in the bone marrow

Scientists at the University Würzburg and University Hospital of Würzburg found that megakaryocytes act as “bouncers” and thus modulate bone marrow niche properties and cell migration dynamics. The study was published in July in the Journal “Haematologica”.

Hematopoiesis is the process of forming blood cells, which occurs predominantly in the bone marrow. The bone marrow produces all types of blood cells: red...

Im Focus: Artificial neural network resolves puzzles from condensed matter physics: Which is the perfect quantum theory?

For some phenomena in quantum many-body physics several competing theories exist. But which of them describes a quantum phenomenon best? A team of researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Harvard University in the United States has now successfully deployed artificial neural networks for image analysis of quantum systems.

Is that a dog or a cat? Such a classification is a prime example of machine learning: artificial neural networks can be trained to analyze images by looking...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on UV LED Technologies & Applications – ICULTA 2020 | Call for Abstracts

24.06.2019 | Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Toward molecular computers: First measurement of single-molecule heat transfer

22.07.2019 | Information Technology

First impressions go a long way in the immune system

22.07.2019 | Health and Medicine

New Record: PLQE of 70.3% in lead-free halide double perovskites

22.07.2019 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>