News Feature: Fighting a fungal scourge

Amy McDermott

More than a decade ago, amphibian microbial ecologist Reid Harris watched a mother salamander as she marched in a figure-eight pattern through her clutch of soft, jellylike eggs. He knew that her strange walk, rubbing up against her brood, transferred beneficial bacteria from her skin onto the eggs to fight off fungal infection. Then something clicked. Harris wondered if she might also be showing him the solution to a scourge threatening hundreds of other amphibian species around the world.




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