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Deadly bird parasite evolves at exceptionally fast rate

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A new study of a devastating bird disease that spread from poultry to house finches in the mid-1990s reveals that the bacteria responsible for the disease evolves at an exceptionally fast rate. What's more, the fast-evolving microbe has lost a key chunk of its genome since jumping to its new host, scientists were surprised to find. The missing portion contained the genes that made up the microbe's immune system, researchers report in the February 9th issue of PLoS Genetics.

 

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