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Drake's Bay Oyster Co. owner Kevin Lunny holds a Pacific oyster. Photo: Eric Risberg/AP

A strain of herpes is threatening Pacific oysters worldwide, according to Smithsonian Magazine.

  • Humans cannot contract the virus, Ostreid herpesvirus 1 (OsHV-1) from eating the oysters, but it can be transferred to other bivalve species.
  • An outbreak of OsHV-1 began in France in 2008, and has spread to England (where it killed over 8 million oysters in 2010), New Zealand and Australia. It was detected in Tomales Bay, California, but has not yet spread in U.S. waters.
  • Oysters cannot be vaccinated. Instead, "disease-resistant oyster lines" are being bred in places the virus already exists and researchers are trying to identify any genes involved in resistance to the virus, writes University of Maryland, Baltimore County professor Colleen Burge.

Why it matters: Oysters are a multi-billion-dollar industry. Aside from being high in demand for eating, they filter sea water and oyster reefs are home to numerous species.

Go deeper

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
4 mins ago - Economy & Business

Work-wherever turns to work-whenever

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The pandemic killed the 9-to-5 workday for many.

The big picture: So much of our society — from after-school child care programs to the most coveted time slots for television shows — is structured around working from 9 to 5. But our countrywide experiment in remote work has demonstrated that the hours we are logged on don't matter as long as the work gets done.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
32 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Biden's plan to upend Trump's environmental legacy

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden will on Wednesday order a government-wide review of over 100 Trump-era policies and direct agencies to prepare a suite of emissions and energy efficiency rules.

Why it matters: New information from transition officials offers the full scope of Biden's imminent, inauguration-day burst of environmental and energy policy moves.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
33 mins ago - Health

The public health presidency

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Joe Biden will take office today facing a challenge none of his modern predecessors have had to reckon with — his legacy will depend largely on how well he handles a once-in-a-century pandemic that's already raging out of control.

The big picture: Public health tends to be relatively apolitical and non-controversial. The limelight in health care politics typically belongs instead to debates over costs and coverage. But that will all change for the Biden administration.

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