Monday, April 1, 2013

NYC's rat sterilization experiment


If rats had their own civil-rights lobby, it might be scurrying through Times Square right now, holding up teeny signs like, "Bureaucrats Out Of My Duplex Uterus."
That's because New York City is poised to slam down on the rodents with a revolutionary, biology-altering pilot experiment to shrink their natural populations. As you might've read in the Wall Street Journal, workers from an Arizona research company are conducting surveillance on rats in the subway system's garbage rooms. Soon enough, they plan to deploy bait stations loaded with chemicals that will neutralize the reproductive systems of female rats.
The next litter the ladies give birth to might be reduced by half. The following one could only involve two or three pups. After that, the mothers might not be able to conceive during any cycle in their lifetime. They'll be permanently shut out from experiencing the joy of raising (and occasionally eating) a squirming, squeaking mess of ratlets.
Should the world be outraged at this attempt to force-sterilize the rat horde of New York? And should New Yorkers be worried about this mysterious chemical that withers ovaries like sun-blasted grapes on the vine? The answer seems to be "nope" and "hardly," at least in this early stage. In fact, eating this anti-reproductive juice could be the best thing to happen to rats since New Yorkers invented and started dropping 99-cent pizza. Here's why.

Read more: The Atlantic
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