Battling a bat killer

Nov 17, 2010

Scientists are looking for answers -- including commercial bathroom disinfectants and over-the-counter fungicides used to fight athlete's foot -- to help in the battle against a strange fungus that threatens bat populations in the United States. That's the topic of an article in the current issue of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), ACS' weekly newsmagazine.

C&EN Senior Correspondent Stephen K. Ritter notes that despite their poor public image, bats are beneficial. They pollinate plants, spread seeds, and eat vast numbers of insects that otherwise could destroy food crops and carry human diseases.

Ritter describes a fast-spreading fungal disease called white-nose syndrome, named for its effects in discoloring the noses of infected bats.

The has killed more than 1 million hibernating bats in caves and abandoned mines in the U.S. during the past four years, the worst die-off of wildlife in North American history. The fungus damages the bats' wings and causes restless behavior during winter months, making survival unlikely.

The article describes how scientists are struggling to understand the disease while trying to prevent it from spreading and discusses how scientists are seeking possible chemical solutions to eradicate the fungus without damaging the environment or harming healthy .

Explore further: Rooting out horse-meat fraud in the wake of a recent food scandal

More information: "Battling Bat Fungus" This story is available at pubs.acs.org/cen/science/88/8846sci1.html

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Deadly bat disease is spreading west

Jun 22, 2010

A disease killing more than 1 million with a mortality rate close to 100 percent continues to sweep across the country. First detected in New York in 2006, it is now found in 14 states in the East and South, leaving starvation ...

Scientists unravel the mystery of white-nose syndrome

Jun 03, 2009

The mysterious disease that has killed more than 90 percent of wintering bats in some caves and mines from Vermont to Virginia during the last three years has raised numerous questions about the nature of the disease and ...

Recommended for you

Base-pairing protects DNA from UV damage

57 minutes ago

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich researchers have discovered a further function of the base-pairing that holds the two strands of the DNA double helix together: it plays a crucial role in protecting ...

Smartgels are thicker than water

1 hour ago

Transforming substances from liquids into gels plays an important role across many industries, including cosmetics, medicine, and energy. But the transformation process, called gelation, where manufacturers ...

Separation of para and ortho water

Sep 18, 2014

(Phys.org) —Not all water is equal—at least not at the molecular level. There are two versions of the water molecule, para and ortho water, in which the spin states of the hydrogen nuclei are different. ...

User comments : 0