Scientists Seize Animal Animal DNA For the First Time


But for many biologists, it is impossible to study mammals that travel long distances every day and care for humans. Enter eDNA. “If we want to restore the ecosystem, we must understand how our conservation efforts affect endangered species. But in order to do this we need to identify the most endangered, shy, and obscure species, “Michael Schwartz, senior scientist at the National Genomics Center of the US Forest Service for Wildlife and Fish Conservation in Missoula, Montana, wrote in an email at WIRED.” We need technologies. innovations, such as the ability to recognize natural DNA. “

Schwartz, who did not participate in the two new studies, has been using air, water, and soil samples to model large brown bats.Eptesicus fuscus), whose numbers have been eroded by white-nose, fungal infections that hit the United States in 2006. Schwartz and colleagues published a study in September. magazine Caring for Life which analyzed the models of eDNA from the soil and water outside the caves where the bats live. He also used an air-conditioning machine as part of the project to see if it could capture the plane’s DNA from the bats’ closed areas in Ohio. Six of the seven filtered specimens detected their DNA in the air, the study said, but the amount was small, even though 30 bats were kept in the cell.

Schwartz says co-workers are improving their air-conditioning systems and using a low-cost approach. DNA from snow. This does not only allow the USFS team to determine which mammals have recently migrated it’s over snow, but dig to also helps them to locate evidence that a species had passed through the area several months earlier. Schwarz’s team published the results of the project in journals Caring for Life in 2019. Using snow trails to identify shy enemies as the lynx is simple, effective, and reliable, he says.

Can an air-DNA sample method work genetically modified from any individual? It is a myth, yes, but no, says one expert. “It’s possible, but it can be very difficult,” says Melania Cristescu, an assistant professor of ecology at McGill University, who uses DNA to test living environments. Tiny DNA fragments from human hair, saliva, blood, or other substances left over are easier to analyze than oxygen. (Swiss researchers recently solved their parents’ secret by using it DNA from shipping stamps adhered to World War I postcards, indicating the stability of the molecule in certain conditions.) But it may take some time to discover a more complete example of flying genes, and researchers must be very careful not to allow their own DNA. pollution filter.

With aircraft-driven DNA, the weather is also a factor. Testing may no longer work if it is raining or windy, for example, because this can remove DNA molecules. It is also not known how the molecule reacts to heat or sunlight. “Does sunlight damage DNA? Maybe, but we do not know how much,” says Clare. “We do not know how far the wind can transmit DNA.



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