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Razib Khan's Unsupervised Learning

Aug 13, 2021

Jason Munshi-South is a biologist who studies a creature many of us have an ambivalent relationship to, the rat. His lab is at Fordham University, in the New York City area. Jason is an “urban ecologist,” so he studies the wildlife in and around cities. This is what drew him to the rat. Or, to be more frank, there was public demand for him to study rats, and he gave the people what they wanted.

We talk about:

  • The black rat vs. brown rat

  • The origins of the brown rat

  • How do rats and mice interact

  • The fact that cats don’t really scare rats

  • The phylogeography and genetics of brown rats

  • The genetics of the lab rat (which is a brown rat)

  • The rat as a model organism

If you want to know about the genetics of New York City rats, this is the podcast for you!

Transcript: because of subscriber demand and inquiry, I have autogenerated a transcript for this episode. You can view it here. In the future I’ll be getting an editor to manually fix the obvious transcription errors.