Dolphins in distress

Dead and dying bottlenose dolphins are washing up along the Mid-Atlantic coast at an alarming rate. Since June, more than 120 dolphins have appeared on beaches from New York to Virginia—seven times the typical number. Early this month, the National Marine Fisheries Service declared the strandings “an unusual mortality event” requiring immediate attention. “All indications show there’s something serious going […]

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The world’s largest virus

A huge virus discovered in sediment on the Chilean coast and another in an Australian pond are not only the largest scientists have ever seen, but also among the most baffling. A single so-called pandora virus is 1,000 times the size of the influenza virus and holds 2,556 genes, compared with the flu’s 13. Only 6 percent of its genes […]

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Resurrecting an ancient virus

French researchers have revived a dormant and previously unknown virus from a 30,000-year-old sample of Siberian permafrost. The pathogen poses no threat to humans, but its zombie-like return to an infectious state demonstrates the remarkable durability of microbes and raises the question of whether unknown, disease-causing viruses from some ancient era might be locked in ice. [This] is a good […]

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