Sunday, January 27, 2008

Mixing Animals

Mixing Animals
Putting bat DNA into mice sheds light on how limbs evolved.

By outfitting mice with a chunk of DNA that directs wing development in bats, scientists have created rodents with abnormally long forelimbs, mimicking one of the steps in the evolution of the bat wing. Their work gives weight to the idea that variations in how genes are controlled, and not just mutations in the coding regions of genes, are a driving force in evolution.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Amelia rat

Amelia rat was a strong and persistent little old lady rat from the day she arrived to the evening she left us. As she sat in my arms she struggled, fighting to her lost moment with such dignity and grace, her soft, loving pink eyes looking up at me while I snuggled and scratched her.

I found Amelia rat's tumor shortly before her nieces were born and fretted about what should be done, considering her age and temperament. Amelia was fragile but persistent when she wanted something, pushing her way out in front of the younger ratty girls and letting her intentions be known. Nothing could stop her from her navigating the house and play area. We would sit together in evenings, Amelia bruxing and boggling in my lap or against my forearm. Eventually she would start to fuss, her way of telling me she had enough and wanted to go back to her house. Amelia's nieces Drinky and Gabby and sister Isis took care of her. Gabby rat insistented to being her snuggle buddy while her newly adopted sister Elle rat would share the plush new hammock with her. Amelia rat could diffently hold her own.