Rodent birth control

Image of a rat in the New York City subway By m01229 from USA - A REAL NYC rat!, from Wikimedia commons Image of a rat in the New York City subway By m01229 from USA, from Wikimedia commons

News out of Flagstaff, Arizona reports that a biotechnology company in the area, SenesTech, has developed a birth control for rats that was recently cleared by the Environmental Protection Agency. The new drug comes in the form of a sweetened liquid bait that has been shown to reduce rodent populations by as much as 40%. It works in female rats by inducing loss of eggs whereas in male rats it disrupts development of sperm.

The drug is also being tested in other feral animals such as dogs, cats, and mice.

While these findings are very exciting to those interested in controlling animal populations, it will be important for the company to ensure that the drug is formulated to prevent harm to any non-target species.

Source:

Arizona Central

Categories

More like this

We city dwellers tend to shudder at the sight of the beady-eyed, black rat. Its kind invades our subways, trash cans, and water systems and may carry dangerous diseases. But science writer Natalie Angier defends the oft-loathed rat in Tuesday's New York Times, pointing out that basic rat research…
Image of a naked mole rat By Roman Klementschitz, Wien - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=252701 Researchers trying to find cures for cancer find naked mole rats rather interesting. Not only are these animals long-lived by rodent standards, they are also…
Teens who routinely exercise (especially in organized activities like team sports) are less likely to smoke or abuse drugs or alcohol. This fact alone might make it seem like a no-brainer to include physical activities in substance-abuse prevention and treatment programs, but in fact little…
This is a guest post by Martina Mustroph, one of Greta's top student writers for Spring 2007 Rats are often useful models for understanding human behavior,. Testing drugs on rats before testing them on humans is particularly enticing because it is relatively free of ethical concerns (relative to…