Gillespie Lab|News

Chimps Infected with Human Diseases Pose Possible Risk to Reintroduction Efforts
August 28, 2012

When a wild animal is rescued from poachers or wildlife smugglers, conservationists usually make an effort to rehabilitate it and return it to life in its native habitat. But what if the animal contracted a disease from humans during captivity that could then be transmitted back to the rest of its species? Should that animal still be released?

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Drug-Resistant Bacteria Is Found in Chimpanzees
August 27, 2012

Chimpanzees in African sanctuaries harbor human strains of the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus, according to a new paper in The American Journal of Primatology.

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African Chimps Carry Drug-Resistant, Human-Linked Staph
August 24, 2012

A large number of chimpanzees at two sanctuaries in Africa carry drug-resistant strains of bacteria that could spread to endangered wild ape populations if the infected chimpanzees were returned to their natural habitat, a new study suggests.

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Deadly human bacteria infects chimps, raising new worries
August 21, 2012

Chimpanzees in African sanctuaries are catching human strains of drug-resistant staph, a new study finds. Experts warn that infected chimps could spread the deadly bug to other apes if reintroduced to the wild — or the pathogen could jump back to humans in a more dangerous form.

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Deadly human bacteria now infects chimps
August 22, 2012

Chimpanzees in African sanctuaries are catching human strains of drug-resistant staph, a new study finds. Experts warn that infected chimps could spread the deadly bug to other apes if reintroduced to the wild -- or the pathogen could jump back to humans in a more dangerous form.

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Big Herds Attract Plenty of Parasites
June 5, 2012

Humans, of all species, should know that there are some big advantages to social living. Groups of animals can hunt together, defend one another, and keep each other clean and safe. But there are downsides to living in groups too. Animals in groups have to share food, space and mates. Group living also makes it easier to pass parasites between individuals.

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A glimpse of world's most elusive gorillas
May 9, 2012

Using camera traps, the Wildlife Conservation Society recently captured the above video of rare Cross River gorillas, in their habitat of Cameroon’s Kagwene Gorilla Sanctuary. They are the world’s rarest and least observed gorilla species: Fewer than 250 of them are left.

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Parasite Insights: Using Lice To Map Socialization
April 6, 2012

Weighing in at only 40 grams, brown mouse lemurs are one of the smallest species of primate in the world. Their diminutive size as well as their nocturnal, tree-dwelling lifestyle makes them difficult to track and observe. It would have been completely understandable if Sarah Zohdy, a graduate student at the University of Helsinki, had simply given up her quest to understand the social structure of these elusive creatures — but she didn’t.

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Clever Way to Track Tiny Nocturnal Primates: Decorate Their Lice With Distinctive Nail-Polish Markings
March 27th, 2012

Hey lemur, sit down right here. I’ve got my bottle of nail polish—oh no no, don’t need your hands, let’s look at your ears instead. While we’re at it, can you show me the lice on your eyelids and testes too?

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ScienceShot: Lice Reveal Clandestine Lemur Get-Togethers
January 6, 2012

Figuring out how brown mouse lemurs spend their time has almost been impossible, even with weekly trapping and releasing of more than 300 animals carrying an identifying microchip. Enter lice. Graduate student Sarah Zohdy of the University of Helsinki marked lice living on lemurs with dots of different colored nail polish and then recorded when and where the insects turned up on other individuals.

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More recent news articles coming soon.