On the scent


Collecting environmen­tal DNA, or eDNA, from water samples is an establishe­d technique for tracking aquatic organisms. Now, new research into airborne animal DNA might do the same for flying animals. Two separate experiment­s, conducted at Hamerton Zoo Park in England and Copenhagen Zoo, have revealed that there is enough DNA in the air alone to identify all nearby animals. Using fans attached to a filter, the teams were able to collect genetic material from a variety of sources, including saliva, fur and faeces, and successful­ly detect the different species living inside and outside the zoos. This may prove to be a valuable, non-invasive method for tracing endangered animals, even when they can’t be seen.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom