Bob Hoesch HoeschB at fws.gov
Fri Dec 23 12:43:10 EST 1994

In article <Uwc9uArCBh107h at chambers.ak.planet.co.nz> steve at chambers.ak.planet.co.nz (Steve Chambers) writes:
>From: steve at chambers.ak.planet.co.nz (Steve Chambers)
>Subject: Re: rats
>Date: Mon, 19 Dec 94 13:08:20 +1200

>>Does anyone know of any method to determine the age
>>of any rat? I did a study on aging using barrier-raised
>>rats, and a question put to me by my thesis commitee
>>was that would I be able to determine the age of say
>>a sewer/wild rat presented to me. I have no clue. 
>>Any idea?

>I've heard that age can be reliably determined by measuring the degree 
>of spontaneous racemization of amino acids in any protein not
>replaced during life - in teeth for example.  Sorry, I've no references
>and I've no idea what's the best way to go about it.

AA racemization can be used to date organic samples., but only on 
archaeological or geological time scales.  It's a slow process and does not 
take place to any measurable degree during, say, the lifetime of a rat.

Bob Hoesch
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory
Ashland, OR
HoeschB at fws.gov

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