How Killer Fungus Burns Up Bats From the Inside
Hibernating bats with white-nose syndrome expend twice as much energy as healthy ones, a new study says.
A deadly invasive fungus has been wiping out hibernating bats for years in the U.S., eating away at their wings and muzzles. But it's been unclear exactly how the interloper kills its victims, making efforts to save infected bats take a bit of guesswork.
Now, a recent study has cracked the mystery. White-nose syndrome—so called because researchers first observed the white fungus growing on bat noses in Albany, New York—causes severe dehydration and tampers with a bat's body chemistry. This discovery, which confirms previous studies, could point the way to possible treatments or strategies to minimize the disease's impact on North America's bats. (See "Deadly Bat Fungus Spreading in U.S.")
The fungus has spread along eastern North America