Gregory Ruthig, North Central College assistant professor of biology, co-authored an article, titled “Fast quantitative PCR, locked nucleic acid probes and reduced volume reactions are effective tools for detecting Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis DNA,” that was published in the journal Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, Vol. 97: 249–253, January 24, 2012.
The research involved designing a new way to detect the amphibian pathogen, Batrachochyrtium dendrobatidis (Bd), which is responsible for recent amphibian declines and extinctions in Africa, Australia, Europe, and North and South America. He and his colleague, Ben DeRidder at Grinnell College, developed a method using fast quantitative PCR that can detect the DNA of Bd on the skin of amphibians. This method uses less materials and takes less time than the technique that has been used previously and will hopefully make it easier for researchers to track and study this important threat to amphibian biodiversity. North Central College has purchased a fast quantitative PCR machine that will allow Ruthig and his students to continue testing in the Chicago region.
Ruthig joined North Central's faculty in 2011. He holds a B.S. in biology from Washington and Lee University and a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Virginia.