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UTK Researcher Helps Confirm Bat Fungus Diagnosis

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University of Tennessee
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Bats killed by White-nose snydrome at Aeolus Cave in Vermont.

Knoxville, Tenn (AP/WMOT)  A University of Tennessee researcher has helped confirm a link between a fungus and the widespread death of bats.

Justin Boyles, a post-doctoral research associate, was one of the study’s authors. The study discovered that the fungus Geomyces destructans is causing White-nose Syndrome, a disease decimating the bat population.

Boyles says the research is a major step in determining how the disease develops and how to control it. He also says that bats make a valuable contribution, assisting American agriculture to the tune of three billion dollars a year.

Boyles and his colleagues had their findings published in the latest edition of "Nature."