Sea Stars With Wasting Disease May Be Drowning

Sea Stars With Wasting Disease May Be Drowning
(AP Photo/Michael Probst)

For more than seven years, a mysterious wasting disease has nearly killed off sea star populations around the world. Some of these species stand at the brink of extinction.

New Cornell-led research suggests that starfish, victims of sea star wasting disease (SSWD), may actually be in respiratory distress – literally “drowning” in their own environment – as elevated microbial activity derived from nearby organic matter and warm ocean temperatures rob the creatures of their ability to breathe.

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