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posted by Fnord666 on Sunday December 03, @04:31PM   Printer-friendly
from the well-rats dept.

What neighborhood is your rat from?

Combs is a graduate student at Fordham University and, like many young people, he came to New York to follow his dreams. His dreams just happened to be studying urban rats. For the past two years, Combs and his colleagues have been trapping and sequencing the DNA of brown rats in Manhattan, producing the most comprehensive genetic portrait [DOI: 10.1111/mec.14437] yet of the city's most dominant rodent population.

As a whole, Manhattan's rats are genetically most similar to those from Western Europe, especially Great Britain and France. They most likely came on ships in the mid-18th century, when New York was still a British colony. Combs was surprised to find Manhattan's rats so homogenous in origin. New York has been the center of so much trade and immigration, yet the descendants of these Western European rats have held on.

When Combs looked closer, distinct rat subpopulations emerged. Manhattan has two genetically distinguishable groups of rats: the uptown rats and the downtown rats, separated by the geographic barrier that is midtown. It's not that midtown is rat-free—such a notion is inconceivable—but the commercial district lacks the household trash (aka food) and backyards (aka shelter) that rats like. Since rats tend to move only a few blocks in their lifetimes, the uptown rats and downtown rats don't mix much.

The researchers found they could tell what neighborhood rats had come from by analysing their DNA.


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  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 03, @04:37PM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 03, @04:37PM (#604696)

    There should be a Federal program to forcibly integrate these 2 populations.

    The hood rat shouldn't be punished for choosing the wrong parents.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by legont on Sunday December 03, @06:15PM (3 children)

      by legont (4179) on Sunday December 03, @06:15PM (#604737)

      Based on NY subway advertisements, there is already raccoon diversity program going. http://i.imgur.com/dZFCwH0.jpg?fb [imgur.com]

      --
      "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 03, @06:23PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 03, @06:23PM (#604740)

        I'm surprised nobody has raised a stink over that.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 03, @10:18PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 03, @10:18PM (#604815)

          Yea.. I smell a rat!

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Sulla on Sunday December 03, @08:05PM

        by Sulla (5173) on Sunday December 03, @08:05PM (#604775) Journal

        Can they make a law that says transmitting rabies is not a felony and just a way of life?

    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Monday December 04, @03:14PM

      by DannyB (5839) on Monday December 04, @03:14PM (#605076)

      Don't interbreed them. I think the real lesson here is that what the rich people say is correct. It is a matter of breed rather than environment. The upper class rats are truly superior, just as rich people are inherently superior to us working slobs and therefore we should accept what the rich tell us. Glad that is now cleared up. I welcome our new orange 1% overlords.

  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Sunday December 03, @04:38PM

    by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Sunday December 03, @04:38PM (#604698) Journal

    I have thousands of chromosomes.

    --
    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
  • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Sunday December 03, @04:53PM

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday December 03, @04:53PM (#604704) Journal

    I WANT TO BE RATMAN!! Da da da da da RATMAN!

    --
    #Hillarygropedme
  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 03, @04:55PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 03, @04:55PM (#604706)

    The worst rats are in D.C.

    Time for a new book: Fahrenheit 435

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 04, @12:24AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 04, @12:24AM (#604861)

      New book: How to cook a politician... first with words, then with fire :)

      Feed the homeless: roast a politician.

  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 03, @05:00PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 03, @05:00PM (#604707)

    And then there are the wall street rats.

    • (Score: 5, Funny) by Runaway1956 on Sunday December 03, @05:05PM (1 child)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday December 03, @05:05PM (#604710) Journal

      The Wall Street rats are probably the reason the downtown rats are distinct from the uptown rats. It's hard to tell who is boinking whom though . . .

      --
      #Hillarygropedme
      • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by Ethanol-fueled on Sunday December 03, @07:39PM

        by Ethanol-fueled (2792) Subscriber Badge on Sunday December 03, @07:39PM (#604772) Homepage Journal

        The uptown rats are light-colored but have very large hooknosed snouts, breed with only their own kind, and are best at hoarding anything they can find. They are an invasive species brought from Europe and with Middle-Eastern origin.

        The downtown rats are dark-colored, noisy, with a preference for spicy garbage, and breed with anything and at a lot more quickly a rate. They are an invasive species brought from Latin America and the Carribean.

  • (Score: 1) by JustNiz on Sunday December 03, @05:14PM (1 child)

    by JustNiz (1573) on Sunday December 03, @05:14PM (#604716)

    uptown grill,
    The've been living in a white bread world,
    now they're looking for a downtown van.
    But maybe someday when a ship comes in
    They'll understand where other rats have been

    • (Score: 2, Funny) by purple_cobra on Sunday December 03, @06:39PM

      by purple_cobra (1435) on Sunday December 03, @06:39PM (#604749)

      My first thought was "Uptown rat, he's been eaten by a Downtown cat", but it's Sunday, I'm bored and the prospect of work tomorrow does not make my brain sparkle.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 03, @05:33PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 03, @05:33PM (#604723)

    New York has been the center of so much trade and immigration, yet the descendants of these Western European rats have held on.

    Sounds sinister...

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by takyon on Sunday December 03, @05:38PM (1 child)

      by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Sunday December 03, @05:38PM (#604724) Journal

      There's definitely a DreamWorks [tvtropes.org] kids movie script to be twisted out of this science.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 2) by krishnoid on Sunday December 03, @09:51PM

        by krishnoid (1156) on Sunday December 03, @09:51PM (#604807)

        Start with this [youtube.com], add a little Adobe AfterEffects, and you've got a pilot teaser ready to go!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 04, @11:41AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 04, @11:41AM (#604985)

      They should build a wall inside the sewers and make the oter side pay for it.

  • (Score: 1, Troll) by jmorris on Sunday December 03, @07:22PM (6 children)

    by jmorris (4844) Subscriber Badge <jmorrisNO@SPAMbeau.org> on Sunday December 03, @07:22PM (#604764)

    It is acceptable to notice two distinct rat populations only a few miles apart that diverged in a few hundred years with only a minor barrier to genetic flow between the groups. It is NOT, repeat NOT acceptable... so STOP READING NOW OR YOU WILL BE EXPOSED TO CRIMETHINK ....


    It is not acceptable to think the thought that humans are animals too, and have been separated far more and for far longer. Race is not an imaginary concept, it is not a social construct, Evolution does not stop at the neck either. Human populations vary in almost every measurable way. Some slight variations, some very noticeable. Some stereotypes exist for a reason, because some variations are obvious enough people noticed them. Others are psych warfare between factions.

    It should not be crimethink to notice any of this. But it is. The obvious questions are: Why? And who said so? Because whoever made these rules are not anyone's friend and they are obviously anti-science and anti-reality.

    • (Score: 1) by Sulla on Sunday December 03, @08:17PM (2 children)

      by Sulla (5173) on Sunday December 03, @08:17PM (#604778) Journal

      Does the article state what percentage different the two species are from another? Or is this another giraffe or orca? What is the threshhold that determines whether something is a new species? Back from the green site there was an article about orca distribution between species ending up being less different than the races of man. This is not to say man is different species but that it is silly to differentiate them based on different standards. If we want to set the threshhold just outside of mans for convenience of not stepping on toes then thats fine, but then we probably should take another look at orcas and giraffes. Giraffes in particular before they go extinct because now we don't allow cross breeding to maintain genetic diversity.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by jmorris on Sunday December 03, @08:28PM (1 child)

        by jmorris (4844) Subscriber Badge <jmorrisNO@SPAMbeau.org> on Sunday December 03, @08:28PM (#604781)

        You might want to lookup the definition of "species" because in general two different species can't normally breed. There are exceptions, especially with artificial intervention. See Ligor, mule, etc.. Varieties / races can generally reproduce. It is currently thought that all human varieties can interbreed, and certainly no obvious exceptions exist; humans mate and make humans wherever they meet up across history.

        The situation you reference with giraffes is typical green nonsense, They go out of their way to declare as many sub-species and varieties as they can so they can then declare that minor variety threatened / endangered. Now they are being hoist upon their own petard as they find themselves barred from "mixing" giraffe to maintain stable and healthy breeding populations.

        • (Score: 1) by Sulla on Sunday December 03, @10:28PM

          by Sulla (5173) on Sunday December 03, @10:28PM (#604820) Journal

          Thats what I thought as well, but the recent deal with the orcas and giraffes confused me. So what it comes down to is that the same rule that differentiates species still applies, it is just ignored to push various agendas.

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by Azuma Hazuki on Monday December 04, @05:09AM (2 children)

      by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Monday December 04, @05:09AM (#604913)

      You're right, J-Mo, variations in ethnic and racial groups are real.

      And Ashkenazim have the highest IQ. You know, Jews? The ones whose very existence triggers you so hard you have to resort to putting ((())) around them?

      Odd. Since you seem to believe in some kind of twisted social-Darwinistic version of manifest destiny, shouldn't you be bowing down to your yarmulke'd masters and sucking some circumcised cock like a good little untermensch? I mean, it's where your argument logically leads to :D The fact that you don't or won't see this tells everyone here everything they need to know about you.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 04, @02:10PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 04, @02:10PM (#605031)

        There's good evidence that their IQ boost is due to bilingualism being more prevalent in their culture. IQ is meaningless as a measure of native intelligence.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 05, @09:20AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 05, @09:20AM (#605558)

          There is even better evidence that anti-semites, like the aforementioned jmorris and the slovenly Ethanol_fueled, are just fucking stupid. Which is why, I guess, that IQ must be meaningless. When you are that dumb, almost everything in meaningless, right? Since nothing means anything since it makes no sense and it somehow must be the fault of the Jews or the N****ers, or the SJWs, because it is just not right that someone should be soooooo stupid, and have it be their own stupid fault, is it? Suddenly, I have a tear for the jmorris. It is not easy, being that stupid. I will pray for him. Mostly I pray that his stupidity may be shortlived.

  • (Score: 2) by krishnoid on Sunday December 03, @09:53PM

    by krishnoid (1156) on Sunday December 03, @09:53PM (#604808)

    I want to know how their accents differ.

  • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Monday December 04, @04:17AM

    by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Monday December 04, @04:17AM (#604903) Homepage Journal

    These wats should howd a wowwee!

    "A wowwee? What's a wowwee?"

    A warge gathewing of wats for a puwpose.

    "Oh, you mean a rally!"

    That's what I said! A wowwee!

    *(Yes I know, Fievel was a mouse....)

    --
    --- That's not flying: that's... falling... with more luck than I have. ---
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