Researchers Study Virus Which May Be The Cause Of Starfish Wasting Syndrome

Francis YupangcoBy Francis Yupangco 4 years ago
Home  /  Conservation  /  Researchers Study Virus Which May Be The Cause Of Starfish Wasting Syndrome

seastarI’ve been sadly following the Starfish Wasting Syndrome since it started shocking researchers and scientists with alarming rates of starfish mutilation and deaths since 2013. Scientists first starting noticing the disease along the North American West Coast. The degenerating disease is devastating starfish populations and scientists couldn’t figure out why. Although the disease has been present sine the 1970’s, never have soo many starfish been affected at one time. When the disease affected starfish in aquariums, scientists were able to better understand the root. By analyzing the DNA of infected and healthy starfish of different species, scientists found the virus SSaDV was most usually present in both the healthy and unhealthy starfish. However, the research in general showed that the levels in the unhealthy starfish was much greater than in healthy versions. The study was inconclusive as some of the starfish who were infected with the disease actually had no traces of the virus in their system. However, it seems to be a go lead to try and uncover what is happening to the starfish and why now, all of a sudden, starfish populations are being decimated at such high levels. MORE

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  Conservation, Fish, Science
Francis Yupangco
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 Francis Yupangco

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Francis is a marine biologist with an MBA and over 20 years of professional aquarium experience. Francis is the former Aquatic Development Manager at Hagen USA., makers of Fluval brand aquarium products. He co-stars on Nat Geo WILD's reality TV series Fish Tank Kings where he is the resident "Fish Geek" and was Director of Marketing at Living Color Aquariums. He is an avid explorer having visited over 45 countries and lived in 7. At 17, he was among the youngest aquarists ever hired by the Vancouver Aquarium, where he worked for 7 years. His aquatic biology experience ranges from larval fish rearing to the design, construction and operational management of renowned public aquariums around the world. Francis is currently head of marketing at the world's largest vertically integrated fish farming company.

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