SCIENCE IN THE NEWS DAILY
In Wild Animals, Charting the Pathways of Disease
from the New York Times (Registration Required)
BOZEMAN, Mont. -- High in the Wallowa Mountains of northeastern Oregon, Raina K. Plowright and other researchers blindfolded and hobbled a herd of bighorn sheep in a corral so blood samples could be taken and their noses and throats swabbed.
"There's lots of places for pathogens to hide in the nasal cavity," said Dr. Plowright, a wildlife scientist with the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics at Penn State who is based in Bozeman.
Peering into the nostrils of wild sheep is part of the nascent field of eco-immunology, which seeks both to understand the immune systems of wild animals and to use that knowledge to gain a better understanding of human immune systems. Until recently, this kind of knowledge has been gleaned almost exclusively by studying pampered, genetically similar lab animals, which don't reflect a real-world scenario.
Connect With Us:
PODCASTS: From Balloons to Space Stations: Studying Cosmic Rays
Cosmic rays have mysterious qualities about them that scientists continue to research in order to better understand their origins and composition. Dr. Eun-Suk Seo, a professor of physics at the University of Maryland, and her colleagues, fly enormous balloons as large as a football stadium and a volume of 40-million-cubic feet for extended periods over Antarctica to study particles coming from cosmic rays before they break up in the atmosphere.
To view all multimedia content, click "Latest Multimedia."
Receive notification when new content is posted from the entire website, or choose from the customized feeds available.