A ray of hope for our Sonoma sea stars (SR Press Democrat)

StarfishThe sea stars (starfish) along the Sonoma Coast have mostly died off from sea star wasting disease.

This sickness has killed off most of the sea stars in areas from Mexico into Canada. Modern epidemiologists have not been able to determine what is causing the die off.

Some specialists believe that sea star wasting disease is caused by two agents attacking the sea stars at once. It could be like AIDs, where a virus attacks and weakens the immunity of the individual, then a bacterial infection kills them off. Scientists believe that this disease is caused by a combination of a bacteria, a virus or pollution.

Molecular sampling of samples of sick sea stars is now being done at Cornell University under Professor Drew Harwell. Researchers are working to determine if the main cause of sea star wasting disease is a virus or a bacteria. There is no evidence that this disease is caused by radioactivity from the Fukushima nuclear plant.

Read more of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat article HERE.