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Extinction Countdown

Chlamydia Is Killing Koalas—Will Genetics Find a Cure?


Why do some koalas die from chlamydia and an AIDS-like retrovirus whereas others manage to avoid contracting the sexually transmitted diseases? The answer, it seems, may be in the genes. Scientists in Australia announced last week that they have sequenced the koala interferon gamma (IFN-g) gene, a discovery that they call the “holy grail” for [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Tunnels and Bridges Could Help Save Koalas from Extinction

Australia is debating whether or not to list koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) as a threatened or endangered species, and one of the ideas for saving them is to build tunnels to help the marsupials cross under roads without being killed by cars and trucks. We’re used to thinking about koalas living in trees, but they spend [...]

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Extinction Countdown

AIDS-like retrovirus threatens Australia’s koalas with extinction

Australian koala

Koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) may be one of the world’s cuter critters, but that doesn’t mean they have it easy. Not only have koala populations become heavily fragmented due to habitat loss, they face numerous threats that they never encountered before: household cats and dogs frequently kill koalas; hundreds die every year after being run over [...]

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