DNA insights reveal what Auckland’s rats are eating

Kiwi scientists are using cutting-edge DNA technology to reveal what rats around Auckland are eating, in new research that could aid conservation efforts. Photo / 123RF


Kiwi scientists are using cutting-edge DNA technology to reveal what rats around Auckland are eating, in new research that could aid conservation efforts.

The Massey University study draws upon a small Mars Bar-sized device, called the minION, which can be plugged into a laptop and quickly download a person or animal’s genetic make-up.

“We thought it would be interesting to see in great depth what rats were really eating in the wild on the mainland of New Zealand,” said Dr Nikki Freed, a molecular biologist involved in the joint project.

“This type of information might be interesting to look at when we start to talk about removing rats in the context of Predator Free New Zealand.” Read more

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Updated: 11/09/2017 — 06:48

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