Theo van de Lee has already received an avalanche of mail. Envelopes stuff with rat droppings are coming in from all corners of the country.
No, this is not hate mail but solicited mail and all in the interests of science. Van der Lee and his colleagues Bastiaan Meerburg and Marga van Gent-Pelzer aim to study the DNA in the droppings to get a picture of the resistance of wild rats to rat poison. More than 70 postcode areas are already represented (see www.bruinrat.nl, a Dutch webpage). One smart alec sent in a whole rat. A dead one, luckily. Meerburg aims at 1000 contributions and appeals to all WUR colleagues to do their bit for the cause. RK