Sea Star Wasting Summit

Microbial Ecology of Sea Star Wasting Disease

On Thursday and Friday, 14-15 January, Ian and Elliot participated in the “Sea Star Wasting Summit” at the Seattle Aquarium (sponsored by the Aquarium and Boeing Corporation). Collaborator Lesanna Lahner, chief vet at the Aquarium organized the symposium to bring together researchers across the geographic range of the disease to discuss research results and future priorities. Remarkably, this was the first time most of the research groups, including those who participated on the initial investigation, were under one roof, including pathologists, veterinarians, citizen scientists, ecologists, and parks managers.

The symposium comprised talks by most investigators about what they have seen and what they are seeing. Contrary to press releases, the cause of the wasting disease hasn’t fully been elucidated (however, we have a candidate pathogen, the Sea Star associated Densovirus), and the mechanisms by which the disease is actually caused by any pathogen or environmental condition has yet to be…

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