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After experiencing power outages during a 2007 ice storm in Springfield, Missouri, Dickerson Park Zoo officials improved their backup power and heating systems to keep animals  like Henry, pictured here -- safe and warm.

Flu at the zoo and other disasters: Experts help animal exhibitors prepare for the worst

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 23, 2014

When bad weather strikes or illness invades, zoos and aquariums are among the most vulnerable facilities affected, said University of Illinois veterinarian Yvette Johnson-Walker, a clinical epidemiologist who contributes to emergency response training efforts at animal exhibitor institutions.

Published Date: October 23, 2014


Scientists gear up to fight deadly snake fungal disease

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:July 15, 2014

Researchers have developed a faster and more accurate way to test for infection with Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola, a fungus that is killing snakes in the Midwest and eastern United States. The test also allows scientists to monitor the progression of the infection in living snakes.

Published Date: July 15, 2014


Regular exposure to artificial ultraviolet B light for two weeks doubled rabbits serum vitamin D levels, the researchers found.

Rabbits kept indoors could be vitamin D deficient

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:April 9, 2014

Rabbits that remain indoors may suffer from a lack of vitamin D, researchers report in a new study. In rabbits kept as pets or used in laboratory studies, the deficiency could lead to dental problems, undermine their cardiovascular health, weaken their immune systems and skew scientific findings.

Published Date: April 9, 2014


Professor and interim head of pathobiology Mark Kuhlenschmidt is part of a team that will develop a new system to study a parasite, Cryptosporidium, which causes a diarrheal disease in humans.

Illinois receives Grand Challenges Explorations grants

Author: Chelsey Coombs

Published Date:November 20, 2013

The University of Illinois is a Grand Challenges Explorations winner, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Daniel L. Rock, a professor of pathobiology, and Mark S. Kuhlenschmidt, a professor and the interim head of pathobiology, will pursue innovative global health and development research projects.

Published Date: November 20, 2013


A new study found that the targeted culling of deer prevents the rampant spread of chronic wasting disease to healthy deer.

Targeted culling of deer controls disease with little effect on hunting

Author: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

Published Date:October 21, 2013

Chronic wasting disease, the deer-equivalent of mad cow disease, has crept across the U.S. landscape from west to east. It appeared first in captive mule deer in Colorado in the late 1960s. By 1981, it had escaped to the wild. It reached the Midwest by 2002. Little is known about its potential to infect humans.

Published Date: October 21, 2013