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Then There's the Unique Species that Lives inNew York City Subways

This article in the Economist considers why rat control in Asia, where black rats are more common than the brown rats that spread in Europe, has been particularly difficult. Scientist Ken Aplin from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in Australia just completed work indicating broader genetic diversity than expected among black rats, which could indicate why different control methods are needed.

After studying DNA from 170 black rats, he determined that they emerged about 1 million years ago but split into six different lines, according to the article. This information could be used against them: "If particular behaviour patterns can indeed be matched to particular genetic groups, pest managers will be able to use genetic fingerprinting to work out the best strategy to combat the rats on their patches," the story says.

 

The Scan

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.