Nice Rats, Nasty Rats: Maybe It’s All in the Genes

On an animal-breeding farm in Siberia are cages housing two colonies of rats. In one colony, the rats have been bred for tameness in the hope of mimicking the mysterious process by which Neolithic farmers first domesticated an animal still kept today. When a visitor enters the room where the tame rats are kept, they poke their snouts through the bars to be petted.

The other colony of rats has been bred from exactly the same stock, but for ... Full Story »

Posted by Jerri Higgins
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Subjects: Health, Extra
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Posted by: Posted by Jerri Higgins - Jul 25, 2006 - 8:03 PM PDT
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Warren Keith Wright
4.1
by Warren Keith Wright - Oct. 1, 2008

One expects nothing less from the Science desk at the NYT than a high level of expertise, both in the reporting and the writing, and Wade does not disappoint. A lengthy chain of experimentation is accessibly described---though exactly how these researchers measure sociability, aggressivenes, &c., is probably of a technical complexity outside the range of an article this length. Since the intention is to describe this particular line of inquiry, perhaps it is understandable that "responsible spokespeople for the opposing viewpoint" are not sought out. But even this unitiated reader is a little skeptical about what one might call the Unified Gene Therapy of Behavior---that any one gene in the massive diversity of an animal genome ... More »

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Janice Dodge
3.5
by Janice Dodge - Oct. 1, 2008

This article is well written and interesting...as far as it goes. What it seems to understate is the overall usefullness of the discovery of a second DNA code. I think that the reader can accept the notion that discovery of a second DNA code may be a very useful advance in general understanding of how DNA directs the processes for an organism, but it might be helpful if the writer could put this discovery into the contexts which are no doubt in the grant funding proposal...the possible advances in medical knowledge.

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Jerri Higgins
4.0
by Jerri Higgins - Oct. 1, 2008

The article is interesting, seems to be well-researched, and provides links to a few side topics touched on within the article. This article seems to support one aspect of this topic, not offering an in-depth opposite argument.

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