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four wolves cluster together in the snow next to a tree. one wolf at the front looks out into the distance.
Toxoplasma-Infected Wolves More Likely to Lead Packs, Study Finds
The parasite appears to make infected wolves less risk-averse, potentially influencing the behavior of packs.
Toxoplasma-Infected Wolves More Likely to Lead Packs, Study Finds
Toxoplasma-Infected Wolves More Likely to Lead Packs, Study Finds

The parasite appears to make infected wolves less risk-averse, potentially influencing the behavior of packs.

The parasite appears to make infected wolves less risk-averse, potentially influencing the behavior of packs.

Disease ecology
Three flying foxes (a type of bat) hanging upside down on a bare branch
Climate Change, Deforestation Drive Bat Virus Spillover Into Humans
Amanda Heidt | Nov 17, 2022 | 4 min read
Bats that experience food shortages due to climate change and habitat loss end up roosting in urban settings, where they shed more of the deadly Hendra virus. 
a black wolf and a gray wolf follow a third gray wolf, whose head is tilted back to watch, as they trot through a snowy background, with light colored, barren trees in the background.
Black and Gray Wolf Pairings Stem Disease, Stabilize Population: Study
Katherine Irving | Oct 20, 2022 | 4 min read
The black fur allele has fitness costs but also confers higher immunity against canine distemper virus, making mix-and-match mating key to population survival.
Countless bats swarming in the evening dusk
Bat Coronaviruses May Infect Tens of Thousands of People Yearly
Andy Carstens | Aug 10, 2022 | 2 min read
Parts of Southeast Asia where human and bat population densities are highest could be infection hotspots, a study finds.
Photo of Colin Carlson
Colin Carlson Works to Predict and Prevent Viral Spillover
Catherine Offord | Jul 18, 2022 | 3 min read
The Georgetown University biologist studies how climate change contributes to the emergence of new zoonotic threats.
Spike Structure Gives Insight into SARS-CoV-2 Evolution
Abby Olena, PhD | Jul 16, 2020 | 3 min read
Researchers demonstrate that the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein is more stable and binds the human ACE2 receptor with much higher affinity than the spike protein of its closest known relative, bat coronavirus RaTG13.
Infographic: The Lifecycle of African Swine Fever Virus
Katarina Zimmer | Jan 13, 2020 | 1 min read
Understanding how domestic pigs can be infected with the deadly virus could be key to protecting them from it.
Infographic: A Deadly Pig Virus’s Escapes from Africa
Katarina Zimmer | Jan 13, 2020 | 1 min read
African swine fever virus has left the continent on three occasions, causing outbreaks in Europe, the Americas, and most recently, East Asia.
Vaccine Exemptions May Allow for Large Measles Outbreaks
Abby Olena, PhD | Aug 21, 2019 | 4 min read
Mathematical models reveal that current vaccination rates in Texas schools could pave the way for the virus to spread to hundreds of people.
animals catch cancer infographic
Infographic: When Cancers Become Parasites
Katarina Zimmer | Apr 1, 2019 | 3 min read
Only a handful of contagious cancers are known to exist, yet they have attracted an increasing number of researchers worldwide trying to understand how and why they arise.
Gene Drive–Equipped Mosquitoes Released into Lab Environment
Jef Akst | Feb 20, 2019 | 2 min read
The large-scale experiments aim to test how the technology would fare in the wild, if deployed to knock down populations of the pests.
Image of the Day: White Stripes
Carolyn Wilke | Jan 23, 2019 | 1 min read
Black-and-white painted skin can help protect from insect bites.
Questions Raised About Pertussis Reemergence
Abby Olena, PhD | Dec 20, 2018 | 4 min read
Scientists debate why the number of whooping cough cases is up, and whether the effectiveness of a vaccine introduced within the last two decades is to blame.
extracting saliva from mosquitos
Zika Likes it Warmer than Dengue: Study
Anna Azvolinsky | Aug 15, 2018 | 4 min read
Climate change may open up new habitats suitable for the virus’s spread.
Image of the Day: Call the Coral Doctor
The Scientist Staff | Jun 22, 2017 | 1 min read
Scientists surveyed coral colonies in Hawaii for disease after a mystery pathogen caused tissue from the common rice coral (Montipora capitata) to degenerate.   
Researchers Focus on Sea Otter Deaths
A. J. S. Rayl | Feb 18, 2001 | 9 min read
In trouble? The sea otter is dying from parasitic diseases for which the only known hosts are terrestrial mammals.
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