Michaeleen Doucleff. Jane Greenhalgh. Once called the "Dutchmen" because of their large noses and large bellies, proboscis monkeys live only in Borneo. Ecosystems that have a lot of diverse animals, like this monkey, also tend to have a lot of diverse viruses. Charles Ryan hide caption. Pygmy elephants. Monkeys with noses the size of beer cans. And a deer so small you could cradle it like a baby. We're in the middle of Malaysia's Borneo rain forest. Olival has brought us here because this is the type of place where pandemics are born.
HIV came from a rain forest. So did Ebola. Yellow fever. And Zika. In this series, NPR explores the causes behind our new hyperinfectious era. The next troubling outbreak could come from a rain forest like this.
And a big reason why: all the crazy animals that live here. Rain forests are the world's secret laboratory — where evolution experiments with body shapes, sizes and colors. Maybe if a monkey gets a giant schnoz, he'll have a better time finding love?
About the size of a rat, the Horsefield's tarsier is a tiny primate. But its eyes are huge! Each one has a volume almost equivalent to that of the animal's entire brain. Recently, scientists found a new type of herpes virus in these tarsiers. The result is a biological bonanza. This rich diversity in the rain forest doesn't apply to just creatures we can see. Tellin Me Im The One - Bronco (13) - Bronco also applies to creatures we can't see.
You guessed it: viruses. The world is now in uncharted territory when it comes Suburban Menace - DJ Controlled Weirdness - Killer Virus EP infectious diseases. We're facing a whole new era. Over the past century, the number of new Le Bateau Blanc - Tex Lecor - Sous Mon Toit diseases cropping up each year has nearly quadrupled. The number of outbreaks per year has more than tripled.
In the U. For instance, a killer tick-borne virus showed up in Kansas in A new type of leprosy dismembered a man in Arizona in And a new hemorrhagic fever jumped from rodents into people, killing three women in California in — to name just a few. Virologist Kevin Olival of EcoHealth Alliance travels around the world hunting down undiscovered viruses. Wearing a headlamp and a khaki shirt with the words "Virus Hunter" embroidered on the back, Olival looks like Indiana Jones' nerdy brother.
He is constantly talking about how much he loves bats and admits he picked up his future wife by wowing her with his bat knowledge. But at the end of day, he is a global treasure hunter. He flies around the world collecting undiscovered viruses — and he focuses his hunt on viruses with the potential to kill. The goal is to figure out the viruses that are lurking inside animals around the world.
So we are ready when a new and potentially harmful virus jumps from animals into people and causes an outbreak. In other words, Olival wants to find the next pandemic virus before it finds us. Olival and his team are out here in Borneo setting up traps to catch animals. On the ground, they set up little metal boxes, each about the size of a Coke bottle, to catch rodents, shrews and those tiny rabbit-size deer.
And they have strung Morze Wzywa - Czerwone Gitary - Rytm Ziemi nylon nets high in the trees, like giant spiderwebs. Did you know? Bats are the key pollinators for more than kinds of plants. They keep the rainforest alive. We rush Suburban Menace - DJ Controlled Weirdness - Killer Virus EP to one of the nets. Dangling in the middle is Suburban Menace - DJ Controlled Weirdness - Killer Virus EP of the most beautiful sights to a virus hunter: a bat.
Lee puts on thick gloves and starts to untangle the bat from the net. It's not much bigger than a grapefruit. One glimpse at the bat's face, and my heart melted. And it's true. The bat — a short-nose fruit bat — looks uncannily like a brown puppy. It is incredibly cute, especially as it wraps its wings around its body like a little blanket.
But you wouldn't want to snuggle with this little guy. Bats are arguably one of the most dangerous animals in the world. They carry a daunting list of killer viruses. They likely triggered the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. They very likely launched a pandemic of killer pneumonia back incalled SARS. And they're behind one of the viruses scientists think could cause a nasty pandemic: Nipah. Bats carry viruses all over their bodies.
In their spit. Their Suburban Menace - DJ Controlled Weirdness - Killer Virus EP . And their poop. Because they fly, bats can spread these viruses across huge distances. So when there are bats in the sky, there could be Ebola in the poop that lands on your shoulder. So Suburban Menace - DJ Controlled Weirdness - Killer Virus EP bats are such a problem, why not kill the bats? A lot.
A little treat for a good volunteer: Scientists give fruit juice to a fruit bat after they've sampled its saliva, blood, urine and poop. The scientists will look for new viruses in the bat's bodily fluids. Without bats, the world wouldn't have rain forests. Bats are key pollinators for more than species of flowers and trees. They disperse seeds for many other plants, and they keep insect populations in check with their arthropod-rich diets.
As we learn a bit later, bats really aren't the ones to blame when it comes to creating outbreaks. It's the intruders into their homes that are the problem. Olival and Lee lay the bat on small table, gently spread its wings open and then prick it to get a few drops of blood.
They also take a smidge of saliva and then do a quick rectal swab. This Malaysian mouse deer is no bigger than a In The Still Of The Night - Lord Foley - Lord Foley At The Piano. Lee puts the samples in test tubes and drops them into liquid nitrogen.
He'll take them back to the lab, extract genetic material to see if any of it looks like something they haven't seen before. So far, Olival and Lee's team, have trapped and sampled more than 1, animals in this region of Malaysia, in partnership with the Sabah Wildlife Department and Danau Girang Field Centre.
Not everyone is a fan of the project. Some infectious disease scientists think creating a long list of viruses isn't very helpful. They say money could Oh! The Saviour - Temples - Volcano better spent on diseases we actually have now instead of trying to guess which ones might become a problem someday. And even if scientists could predict when an outbreak is likely to happen, it might not, says Michael Osterholmwho directs the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy in Minneapolis.
For example, in scientists predicted that the deadly H5N1 flu was about to jump from birds into people. We're not even making vaccines for viruses that we know are threats, that are regularly killing people, he says. The next morning, we meet up with Olival at a quiet spot on the edge of the rain forest. He is going to show us what his team has found in all these bats and other animals in Borneo.
He opens up his laptop and pulls up data Suburban Menace - DJ Controlled Weirdness - Killer Virus EP Malaysia. Our close cousins, orangutans carry several viruses that could potentially jump into people and cause outbreaks, including a new herpes virus and a new virus related to polio. In Borneo, orangutan populations are dwindling as their habitat is destroyed. Only about 40, individuals remain. It's a bit eye-opening. And 16 that were already known," Olival says as he scrolls down a large spreadsheet.
There's a new polio-like virus in orangutans.
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