Tuesday, May 13, 2008

party animal

Have just finished my piece on the platypus genome, which should hopefully be published in July.

Among the many things I learned here is the new finding that the platypus has hundreds of genes for pheromone receptors, 50% more than the mouse. If these serve the same function as in rodents, we must conclude that platypus is the wildest party animal that ever roamed our planet. But there is of course the more boring possibility that it uses the receptors for a different purpose altogether, e.g. for finding food under water.

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