Animal mysteries of life: naked mole rats

This one, from Harper’s Findings, caused my mouth to drop open:

DNA can be sampled from the air of a room in which naked mole rats have been dwelling.

It’s from Harper’s Weekly Review, of course, but I have some questions.

1) Whose DNA?

2) How do (presumably) scientists grab that DNA? Do they run around the room brandishing Q-tips?

3) Why is the DNA in the air? I mean, what did the mole rats do to shed DNA — if indeed, the DNA is the mole rats’? This isn’t clear at all.

4) Aren’t all mole rats naked?

5) What is a mole rat?

6) Should I continue?

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Animal news: some sea slugs have magic powers

From Harper’s Findings:

Two species of photosynthetic sacoglossan sea slugs can severe their own heads and then regenerate their bodies, though ecologists remain uncertain what prompts the decision to do so.

Well, yeah. That would be the next question.

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Cars seats and birth control

Huh? This, from Harper’s Findings:

…in the United States, car-seat laws were found to have a contraceptive effect and to be responsible since 1980 for a deficit of 145,000 U.S. births.

We need immigrants.



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