A tryst, then the power to resist | Science News

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A tryst, then the power to resist

Surprising cross-breeding has helped some mice to survive warfarin poisoning

By
12:43pm, July 21, 2011

Mighty Mouse may have gotten a very important superpower — resistance to widespread rodent poisons — through some mistaken-identity sex.

Since the rat poison warfarin and others in its class of rodenticides went into use in the middle of the last century, various populations of mice and rats have turned up with abilities to survive exposure, explains evolutionary biologist Michael Kohn of Rice University in Houston. He and a U.S.-German research group have now found that some of the house mice (Mus musculus domesticus) in Germany and Spain take their resistance from a key gene’s alternative version that came from a comple

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