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Sea star population slowly recovers from wasting syndrome

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This undated photo released by the Rocky Intertidal Lab at the University of California-Santa Cruz shows a starfish suffering from "sea star wasting disease" - it's missing one arm and has tissue damage to another. Marine scientists are finding a large number of dead starfish along the West Coast stricken with the disease that causes the creatures to lose their arms and disintegrate. The affliction causes white lesions to develop, which can spread and turn the animals into "goo," and has killed up to 95 percent of a particular species of sea star in some tide pool populations. "They essentially melt in front of you," said Pete Raimondi, chairman of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at University of California, Santa Cruz's Long Marine Lab.
Laura Anderson/AP
This undated photo released by the Rocky Intertidal Lab at the University of California-Santa Cruz shows a starfish suffering from "sea star wasting disease" - it's missing one arm and has tissue damage to another.

The Sea Star Wasting Syndrome affected 20 species across the West Coast.

Over the last year, sea stars have been devastated by a syndrome that turns their bodies into goo. The Sea Star Wasting Syndrome has decimated populations up and down the West Coast, but they might be making a comeback.

Pete Raimondi, chairman of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the UC Santa Cruz Long Marine Lab, brings us the latest on how the species is faring. 

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