May 1, 2013
Dung research: many rats resistant to poison
Bastiaan Meerburg of Livestock Research (left on the photo) asked the Dutch public last August to send rat droppings to his lab.
Meerburg wanted to use a DNA analysis to find out how many wild rats are resistant to rat poison. He received 361 envelopes containing rat droppings, and 169 of them turned out to be suitable for analysis. One quarter of the animals studied showed little or no sensitivity to rat poison. These resistant rats can reproduce better, swelling the numbers of resistant rats. Meerburg's group now wants to find out if the rats' genes mutate to arm them against the poison.