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Mysterious brain disease killing bald eagles traced to unknown cyanobacterium

Mysterious brain disease killing bald eagles traced to unknown cyanobacterium

Science
March 25 (UPI) -- North America's bald eagles, once severely threatened by DDT exposure, have rebounded dramatically over the last 50 years. In pockets of the American South, however, scientists have found local eagle populations suffering from outbreaks of a mysterious neurodegenerative disease, called avian vacuolar myelinopathy Advertisement Now, nearly 30 years after an outbreak of AVM killed hundreds of eagles in Arkansas, scientists have traced the origins of the deadly disease to a previously unknown cyanobacterium that grows exclusively on an invasive aquatic plant. The revelation -- detailed Thursday in the journal Science -- was made possible by a series of vital breakthroughs, and a fruitful collaboration between scientists in Georgia and Germany. Several years ago, a group of...