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A brief article in the current New Scientist (October 2013) hints at why the Chytrid fungus is so devastating to amphibian populations. The work is reported by Rollins.Smith Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.1243316) The fungus kills by upsetting the fluid balance in skin cells, which leads to heart failure. What is odd is that the animal's immune system seems unable to get on top of this fungal threat. The new research suggests that Chytrid is able to inhibit the production of lymphocytes (white blood cells) and also induce apoptosis (self destruction) of these immune cells. Chytrid could do this alive or dead and even from the other side of a semi-permeable membrane. This suggests a small soluble molecule is responsible. It is hoped that further work may lead to some way of mitigating the effects.