Seventh-grader Elan Filler worked with Duke University postdoctoral fellow Deborah Springer to find the environmental reservoir for Cryptococcus gattii, a fungal pathogen that causes dangerous infections in people with compromised immune function. Filler collected and grew samples, then sent them to Springer's lab for analysis. The team found that three tree species harbor the fungus in California. Filler presented the work for a school science project, and the findings were published in the journal PLOS Pathogens.
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