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Montana Mice May Hold the Secret to Virus Spillover

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Amy Kuenzi, a professor of biology at Montana Technological University, and her colleague Angie Luis, a professor of biology at the University of Montana, are among a growing number of researchers working to predict where viruses may be likely to spill over from animals to humans. Sixty percent of human diseases, including the Sin Nombre hantavirus, originate in animals, and two-thirds of those originate in wildlife.

By understanding hantavirus and the complex ecology that governs it, Kuenzi and Luis also hope to create a model system to better understand the ecology of many other viruses, including coronaviruses.

 

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Throughout the pandemic, SARS-CoV-2 has transmitted easily from humans to other species. Some scientists now believe that animals could spread new variants back to us.

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