They came from above
Opportunistic infections seem to pop up out of nowhere, but new strains are appearing in new places, striking otherwise healthy animals - including humans. A few microbiologists go hunting.
n the spring of 2000, veterinarian Craig Stephen walked up to the biology department at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo for what he thought would be a routine autopsy of a dead porpoise. "In my experience of doing stranded marine mammals, the vast majority of them, you don't get anything," says Stephen, who runs the university's Center for Coastal Health, "They've died, they've sunk, they've started to rot, they float back up, they get on the beach and then somebody finds them."