Friday, June 24, 2005

The S.O.S. Minnow

According to this story over at the innovations report, the many minnows in Europe are sharing more than just a name. A study done by researchers in the US and the UK concluded that a parasite-ridden Asian minnow known as the topmouth gudgeon (Pseudorasbora parva) is responsible for spreading parasites to Europe's now-endangered small sunbleak minnow (Leucaspius delineatus). The parasite, which is not only killing many of the sunbleaks but also practically eliminating their reproductive capabilities, is known only as a "rosette-like intracellular eukaryotic parasite" that is "closely related to an odd group of fungus-like organisms called choanoflagellates". The research was recently published in the journal Nature, but unless you have a subscription you are restricted to reading a brief summary and some supplementary information.

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