The Atlantic

New York City Has Genetically Distinct ‘Uptown’ and ‘Downtown’ Rats

A graduate student sequenced rats all over Manhattan, and discovered how the city affects their genetic diversity.
Source: Lucas Jackson / Reuters

New York City is a place where rats climb out of toilets, bite babies in their cribs, crawl on sleeping commuters, take over a Taco Bell restaurant, and drag an entire slice of pizza down the subway stairs. So as Matthew Combs puts it, “Rats in New York, where is there a better place to study them?”

Combs is a graduate student at Fordham University and, like many young people, he came to New York yet of the city’s most dominant rodent population.

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