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Sea star 'wasting disease' cause may have been found




This undated photo released by the Rocky Intertidal Lab at the University of California-Santa Cruz shows a starfish suffering from
This undated photo released by the Rocky Intertidal Lab at the University of California-Santa Cruz shows a starfish suffering from "sea star wasting disease" - it's missing one arm and has tissue damage to another. Marine scientists are finding a large number of dead starfish along the West Coast stricken with the disease that causes the creatures to lose their arms and disintegrate. The affliction causes white lesions to develop, which can spread and turn the animals into "goo," and has killed up to 95 percent of a particular species of sea star in some tide pool populations. "They essentially melt in front of you," said Pete Raimondi, chairman of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at University of California, Santa Cruz's Long Marine Lab.
Laura Anderson/AP

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About a year ago, Take Two started reporting on a mysterious ailment that was killing off sea stars all along the Pacific Coast.

It had been described by researchers as a "wasting disease" but no one had been able to put a finger on what was causing it.

Now a group of scientists think they have the answer.

Their findings were published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Co-author Kevin Lafferty is a Marine ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey at the University of California at Santa Barbara. He joins Take Two for more. 

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