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Mystery Disease Found in Pacific Salmon

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Traces of viral activity have been found in a mysteriously dwindling population of Pacific salmon, hinting at an explanation for deaths that have so far baffled scientists.

In fish returning to Canada’s Fraser River, site of the die-off and home to one of North America’s last great sockeye salmon runs, researchers discovered patterns of gene expression usually seen when a body fights a virus.

The researchers suspect climate has a role in the answers to some of these questions.. Heat and stress can weaken fish, making them more vulnerable to disease. Changing temperatures also change the ranges of microbes and parasites, allowing them to move into new regions.

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