The mysterious disease has been linkurl:ravaging bat populations; in the northeastern US appears to be caused by a previously undescribed species of a common fungus, according to research published today (Oct. 30) in __Science__. White-nose syndrome (WNS) is a fungal infection that has killed 75% of some bat populations in Massachusetts, Vermont, New York, and Connecticut since it was first discovered in a cave in upstate New York in 2006. Though the specific cause of the mass die-offs remains unknown, the fungus is a likely suspect. "At this point, we have good circumstantial evidence that a particular fungus causes the WNS-associated skin infection," lead author and United States Geological Survey researcher David Blehert said in a __Science__ press release. "We've shown that out of 117 bats examined, 90% of them exhibited characteristic lesions of fungal skin infection." Researchers - among them several state and federal conservation and wildlife department scientists...

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