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Old 10-19-2010, 11:58 AM   #1
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bumblebee Scientists and Soldiers Solve a Bee Mystery

Scientists and Soldiers Solve a Bee Mystery
By Kirk Johnson
Published: October 6, 2010

The New York Times > Log In
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Now, a unique partnership — of military scientists and entomologists — appears to have achieved a major breakthrough: identifying a new suspect, or two.

A fungus tag-teaming with a virus have apparently interacted to cause the problem, according to a paper by Army scientists in Maryland and bee experts in Montana in the online science journal PLoS One.

Exactly how that combination kills bees remains uncertain, the scientists said — a subject for the next round of research. But there are solid clues: both the virus and the fungus proliferate in cool, damp weather, and both do their dirty work in the bee gut, suggesting that...
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Old 10-19-2010, 12:42 PM   #2
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My husband mentioned this article. I thought it had already been decided that a combination virus / fungus was the cause. Seems the military has ways to detect specifics.

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The Army software system — an advance itself in the growing field of protein research, or proteomics — is designed to test and identify biological agents in circumstances where commanders might have no idea what sort of threat they face. The system searches out the unique proteins in a sample, then identifies a virus or other microscopic life form based on the proteins it is known to contain. The power of that idea in military or bee defense is immense, researchers say, in that it allows them to use what they already know to find something they did not even know they were looking for.
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