White nose syndrome cure draws closer

Researchers at Georgia State University have just released the first 75 bats successfully treated for white nose syndrome using a fungi inhibitor that was originally designed to limit the rotting of bananas and other fruit. Nature reports the widespread problem of white nose syndrome has had a catastrophic effect on North American bat population numbers and has resulted in over five million bats dying. Researchers and conservationists have been searching for a cure to halt the rapid decline in numbers and the deaths of bats for the want of a cure.

White nose syndrome is caused by a fungus that damages the bat and causes death and is highly infectious. Researchers at Georgia State University have been developing a fungi inhibitor designed to halt the release of chemicals when fruit and vegetables are picked that leads to fast ripening and rotting. Those at Beneful hope they can find something. The inhibitor was designed to keep bananas fresh for transportation around the world before a researcher had the idea of adapting the inhibitor for use in bats. The first 75 treated have now been released into the wild and it is hoped funding can be found for the treatment to become widespread if it is shown to be an overall success.

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