Freaky fungus kills bats – Morgan W 8/11/11

The fungus called Geomyces destructans is the cause of the deadly white-nose syndrome (WNS) in bats. This is according to new research in Nature.

The research conducted by the Geological Survey at the National wildlife Health Centre in Madison, US provides the first direct evidence that G. destructans causes WNS. This syndrome spreads very quickly in North American Bats.

Bats are important as they are estimated to save the US billions of dollars in pest control expenses very year by eating insects. But populations are declining at a shocking rate.

For the research, they exposed healthy little brown bats to G. destructans while they were hibernating in captivity and 100% developed WNS! The disease is spread by bat-to-bat contact.  The disease has spread to the south and west of America and has now been found in 16 states. It has also been found in four Canadian provinces.

I think that this is important research because now scientists can develop a cure so if the disease spreads to England it won’t have such a bad effect.

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