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Koalas and Retrovirus (24) More files...
Koalas are the unexpected subjects in recent studies of evolution in action. Ancient viral infections have left their mark in the DNA of many animals including humans. In the case of these Australia marsupials the Koala retrovirus, or KoRV began inserting itself into their genome just 40,000 years ago and is now passed from generation to generation. A group of scientists summarized their research in Cell on October 10th. When discussing koala genetics one of the researchers says “What they are going through is the process of what’s driven the evolution of every animal on the planet.”

At the Koala Hospital in Port Macquarie and the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital workers tend to animals suffering from Chlamydia and retrovirus. With medical care most koalas are returned to the wild but, sadly, many return. Habitat loss and overcrowding by human development has severely stressed the Koala population; according to Suzi, if these iconic animals are to be saved the best place to start is with saving their habitat.
Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) being treated for chlamydia, Port Macquerie, New South Wales, Australia  -  Suzi Eszterhas
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00540606 Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) being treated for chlamydia, Port Macquerie, New South Wales, Australia© Suzi Eszterhas
Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) with chlamydia being treated by hospital supervisor Cheyne Flanagan (left), Koala Hospital, Port Macquarie, Australia  -  Suzi Eszterhas
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00523093 Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) with chlamydia being treated by hospital supervisor Cheyne Flanagan (left), Koala Hospital, Port Macquarie, Australia© Suzi Eszterhas
Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) with chlamydia being treated by hospital supervisor Cheyne Flanagan (left), Koala Hospital, Port Macquarie, Australia  -  Suzi Eszterhas
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00523094 Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) with chlamydia being treated by hospital supervisor Cheyne Flanagan (left), Koala Hospital, Port Macquarie, Australia© Suzi Eszterhas
Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) with chlamydia being treated by hospital supervisor Cheyne Flanagan (left), Koala Hospital, Port Macquarie, Australia  -  Suzi Eszterhas
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00523092 Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) with chlamydia being treated by hospital supervisor Cheyne Flanagan (left), Koala Hospital, Port Macquarie, Australia© Suzi Eszterhas
Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) sick with chlamydia being treated, Koala Hospital, Port Macquarie, Australia  -  Suzi Eszterhas
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00523091 Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) sick with chlamydia being treated, Koala Hospital, Port Macquarie, Australia© Suzi Eszterhas
Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) sick with chlamydia being treated, Koala Hospital, Port Macquarie, Australia  -  Suzi Eszterhas
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00523090 Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) sick with chlamydia being treated, Koala Hospital, Port Macquarie, Australia© Suzi Eszterhas
Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) male sick with chlamydia being examined by veterinarian Michael Pyne and hospital manager Patricia Swift, Currumbin Wildlife Hospital, Queensland, Australia  -  Suzi Eszterhas
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00523125 Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) male sick with chlamydia being examined by veterinarian Michael Pyne and hospital manager Patricia Swift, Currumbin Wildlife Hospital, Queensland, Australia© Suzi Eszterhas
Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) being treated for chlamydia, Port Macquerie, New South Wales, Australia  -  Suzi Eszterhas
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00540612 Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) being treated for chlamydia, Port Macquerie, New South Wales, Australia© Suzi Eszterhas
Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) male sick with chlamydia, Currumbin Wildlife Hospital, Queensland, Australia  -  Suzi Eszterhas
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00523128 Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) male sick with chlamydia, Currumbin Wildlife Hospital, Queensland, Australia© Suzi Eszterhas
Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) male sick with chlamydia, Currumbin Wildlife Hospital, Queensland, Australia  -  Suzi Eszterhas
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00523126 Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) male sick with chlamydia, Currumbin Wildlife Hospital, Queensland, Australia© Suzi Eszterhas
Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) male with KoRv retrovirus being weighed, Currumbin Wildlife Hospital, Queensland, Australia  -  Suzi Eszterhas
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00523118 Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) male with KoRv retrovirus being weighed, Currumbin Wildlife Hospital, Queensland, Australia© Suzi Eszterhas
Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) koala with KoRV retrovirus being examined by hospital manager Patricia Swift, Currumbin Wildlife Hospital, Queensland, Australia  -  Suzi Eszterhas
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00523116 Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) koala with KoRV retrovirus being examined by hospital manager Patricia Swift, Currumbin Wildlife Hospital, Queensland, Australia© Suzi Eszterhas
Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) sick with KoRv retrovirus being held by Hospital Manager Patricia Swift, Currumbin Wildlife Hospital, Queensland, Australia  -  Suzi Eszterhas
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00525261 Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) sick with KoRv retrovirus being held by Hospital Manager Patricia Swift, Currumbin Wildlife Hospital, Queensland, Australia© Suzi Eszterhas
Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) conservationist, Patricia Swift, with sick koala with retrovirus, Currumbin Wildlife Hospital, Queensland, Australia
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00583759 Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) conservationist, Patricia Swift, with sick koala with retrovirus, Currumbin Wildlife Hospital, Queensland, Australia© Suzi Eszterhas
Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) koala with KoRv retrovirus being examined by hospital manager Patricia Swift, Currumbin Wildlife Hospital, Queensland, Australia  -  Suzi Eszterhas
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00523115 Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) koala with KoRv retrovirus being examined by hospital manager Patricia Swift, Currumbin Wildlife Hospital, Queensland, Australia© Suzi Eszterhas
Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) sick with KoRV retrovirus climbing an artificial tree near hospital manager Patricia Swift, Currumbin Wildlife Hospital, Queensland, Australia  -  Suzi Eszterhas
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00523117 Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) sick with KoRV retrovirus climbing an artificial tree near hospital manager Patricia Swift, Currumbin Wildlife Hospital, Queensland, Australia© Suzi Eszterhas
Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) male sick with chlamydia, Currumbin Wildlife Hospital, Queensland, Australia  -  Suzi Eszterhas
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00523127 Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) male sick with chlamydia, Currumbin Wildlife Hospital, Queensland, Australia© Suzi Eszterhas
Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) female named Sue sick with chlamydia being fed by volunteer, Koala Hospital, Port Macquarie, Australia  -  Suzi Eszterhas
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00523106 Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) female named Sue sick with chlamydia being fed by volunteer, Koala Hospital, Port Macquarie, Australia© Suzi Eszterhas
Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) female named Sue sick with chlamydia being fed by volunteer Gabriella Rivett, Koala Hospital, Port Macquarie, Australia  -  Suzi Eszterhas
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00523112 Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) female named Sue sick with chlamydia being fed by volunteer Gabriella Rivett, Koala Hospital, Port Macquarie, Australia© Suzi Eszterhas
Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) female named Sue sick with chlamydia being fed by volunteer Roz Anderson, Koala Hospital, Port Macquarie, Australia  -  Suzi Eszterhas
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00523105 Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) female named Sue sick with chlamydia being fed by volunteer Roz Anderson, Koala Hospital, Port Macquarie, Australia© Suzi Eszterhas
Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) male sick with knee infection being fed by volunteer April Ferguson, Koala Hospital, Port Macquarie, Australia  -  Suzi Eszterhas
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00523103 Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) male sick with knee infection being fed by volunteer April Ferguson, Koala Hospital, Port Macquarie, Australia© Suzi Eszterhas
Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) female named Sue sick with chlamydia being fed by volunteer, Koala Hospital, Port Macquarie, Australia  -  Suzi Eszterhas
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00523113 Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) female named Sue sick with chlamydia being fed by volunteer, Koala Hospital, Port Macquarie, Australia© Suzi Eszterhas
Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) female sick with chlamydia being brought down with a long pole by Koala Hospital rescue  team, Port Macquarie, Australia  -  Suzi Eszterhas
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00523102 Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) female sick with chlamydia being brought down with a long pole by Koala Hospital rescue team, Port Macquarie, Australia© Suzi Eszterhas
Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) female sick with chlamydia being treated by Koala Hospital rescue team, Port Macquarie, Australia  -  Suzi Eszterhas
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00523101 Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) female sick with chlamydia being treated by Koala Hospital rescue team, Port Macquarie, Australia© Suzi Eszterhas
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