15 Jan '12, 5am

Human Bacteria Killing Coral in Florida Keys:

James W. Porter, University of Georgia White pox samples collected in an effort to identify causes for coral decline in the Keys. We’ve all heard about bird flu, swine flu, H.I.V., ebola — diseases that jump species with alarming agility and wreak havoc on humanity’s unprepared immune system. But have you ever stopped to consider the capacity of the human species to infect other life forms? If humans can contract bird flu, can birds get people flu? While only a handful of cases of reverse zoonosis have been documented, researchers at Rollins College in Florida and the University of Georgia have identified a human pathogen that, when set loose in the Caribbean through inadequately treated human sewage, infects and kills coral with devastating efficiency. According to new research published online in the Journal PLoS ONE, the bacteria, Serratia marcescens, which can cause me...

Full article: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/18/in-the-first-kn...

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