Shades of grey

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - Wild January -

Of­ten grey squir­rels are seen merely as nui­sances that pil­fer bird food and de­bark trees. They’re held re­spon­si­ble for the plight of na­tive red squir­rels, too. But they are the clos­est many of us come to wild mam­mals, and at this time of year their fran­tic nose-to­tail mat­ing chases are very en­ter­tain­ing. Now the Sanger In­sti­tute in Cam­bridgeshire is se­quenc­ing the species’ en­tire genome, to­gether with that of its red rel­a­tive. The ul­ti­mate goal is to de­code the squir­relpox im­mu­nity of grey squir­rels in case it can be passed to reds.

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Sanger In­sti­tute: sanger.ac.uk

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