Harsh realities in the “circle of life” In Hollywood, nature is often depicted whimsically as a circle of life devoid of mass suffering. But in reality, disease and death are often part and parcel of the natural world. This was on full display on the beaches of Mauritania, where more than a hundred dolphins, eight marine turtles, and five beaked whales recently washed up on shore dead from a probable virus. Meanwhile, veterinarians in Bangladesh are frantically seeking solutions to how they can stop the spread of anthrax that is threatening a large number of their nation’s elephants before it spread to humans. While the natural world may not reflect the Hollywood prototype, here’s hoping scientists will at least help it mimic a classic happy ending.