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Thread: Treatment for white-nose syndrome

  1. #1
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    Treatment for white-nose syndrome

    From Laboratory Equipment News

    Scientists may have discovered a solution to combat the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome in bats.

    White-nose syndrome has been wiping out populations of bat species throughout North American since 2006. It first emerged in New York state, but has since been reported as far south as Florida and Texas, and out west in Washington. The disease can result in up to 90 percent mortality in some populations.

    The fungus, Pseudogymnoascus destructans (P. destructans), grows on the wings, snout and ears of hibernating bats. The fungus disrupts bats as they hibernate, causing them to wake up and burn the limited fat stores they need to survive winter.

    ...

    A team from the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture and the University of New Hampshire conducted a genomic analysis on P. destructans and identified a potential “Achilles heel” – the fungus is highly sensitive to UV light.
    Nature Communications
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    Good news , for bats, anyway, I prefer bats to fungus, uv is used to combat fungus in aircon systems etc and seems to prevent spores from developing, but some yeasts are not affected. I wondered about black fungus in damp buildings because you seem to find it only in dark places. Some sources say it's just low air movement but I wonder if uv should be used much more, it's so easy at least in the tube light technology. Bats seem to choose dark, still air, damp places, and so do funguses or fungi so it makes me wonder if some uv lamps are a good investment, after all I believe uv also stops cockroaches breeding.
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    I believe this high sensitivity to UV is specific to this fungus and this is not being suggested as a general anti-fungal method.

    The article also mentions that might not even be applicable in wide-spread use.
    Now that researchers have a tool to fight the fungus, the next step is determining how to best use it. Treating hibernating bats with UV light multiple times throughout the winter would be difficult on a large-scale, and could disrupt the animals’ hibernations anyway. Follow-up research led by corresponding author Daniel Lindner, funded by a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, is already underway.
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    Good news , for bats, anyway, I prefer bats to fungus, uv is used to combat fungus in aircon systems etc and seems to prevent spores from developing, but some yeasts are not affected. I wondered about black fungus in damp buildings because you seem to find it only in dark places. Some sources say it's just low air movement but I wonder if uv should be used much more, it's so easy at least in the tube light technology. Bats seem to choose dark, still air, damp places, and so do funguses or fungi so it makes me wonder if some uv lamps are a good investment, after all I believe uv also stops cockroaches breeding.
    Doubtful at doses less than what it would take mammals to stop breeding.
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    I was pleasantly surprised by this.

    Swift, I completely disagree with the sentiment that this isn't applicable for wide spread use.

    You know they make IR and UV glow sticks right?

    Huck a $5 glow stick into their hibernariums once a month during the winter.

    Prep other sites ahead of time during the summer.

    Things impossible to research scientists and things impossible for engineers are often very different subsets of the same problem.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDon View Post
    Doubtful at doses less than what it would take mammals to stop breeding.
    Maybe it's aprocrophal but I recall a single uv "fluorescent" in a kitchen will get rid of cockroaches, not by killing them but nhibiting breeding. I can see that fungi would not like uv, they are prevented by daylight it seems.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    Maybe it's aprocrophal but I recall a single uv "fluorescent" in a kitchen will get rid of cockroaches, not by killing them but nhibiting breeding. I can see that fungi would not like uv, they are prevented by daylight it seems.
    Well, just to explain where I'm coming from, I used to work at a place that sold, bred, and grew corals. We had so much actinic light going, on three different occasions in three years I had welder's flash to the point the world looked like the music video by Aha, Take On Me.

    Might be why I started getting cataracts in my early fifties.

    Anyway, due to the heat, humidity and constant supply of stray organics the place was freakin' overrun with cockroaches.

    As in I checked my coat for hitchhikers when I got off work in the evenings.

    I'm going to have to give that one a big mythbuster thumbs down.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDon View Post
    Swift, I completely disagree with the sentiment that this isn't applicable for wide spread use.
    I'm only quoting the article.

    I do see (at least) two problems. One is going into enough hibernariums to have a significant (positive) effect on the population. But I also agree with you this is probably a solvable problem. I know of at least one cave within 10 miles of my house that is a bat hibernation site (in the nearby National Park) and I'd happily volunteer to go there once a week and shine a UV lamp around. I'm sure there are a lot of people who would do likewise.

    The bigger problem is if the UV and/or the visitors with the UV disrupts their hibernation. If that is the case, you would just be substituting one problem for another. I think that question will only be answered by further study.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    I'm only quoting the article.

    I do see (at least) two problems. One is going into enough hibernariums to have a significant (positive) effect on the population. But I also agree with you this is probably a solvable problem. I know of at least one cave within 10 miles of my house that is a bat hibernation site (in the nearby National Park) and I'd happily volunteer to go there once a week and shine a UV lamp around. I'm sure there are a lot of people who would do likewise.

    The bigger problem is if the UV and/or the visitors with the UV disrupts their hibernation. If that is the case, you would just be substituting one problem for another. I think that question will only be answered by further study.
    I think the last few lines of The Walrus and The Carpenter might have some significance here.

    Anyway, while in a thought exercise the concept of the UV team may seem disruptive, you have the certainty of death on one hand and the maybe of death on the other.

    Pick your teams well would be the start. One-man bands, compulsive ring bangers and those with Tourette's need not apply. How about folks as concerned as the researchers, let's say? Or even the researchers themselves?

    We're only talking about a three second exposure to UV here.
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

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