Fox-tracks and old papers

Producing science is what we do, and naturally we want our science to be used. And for some reason it is especially nice to see old stuff being used still several years after publication. The other week I posted on a paper building on one of our older Neandertal-studies. Here is another one, about getting DNA from tracks in snow. Not a big one, but a fun one.


Several years ago I, Love Dalén, and Beth Shapiro were working a part of a project in Madrid. What we were actually there for did not produce much, but a little thing on the side did. ”Let’s do a 24-hour paper”, Beth said at some point when we were there. ”That is something we sometimes did in Oxford, with the goal to write and submit a manuscript within 24 hours”. Some weeks (months?) prior to this, Love and I had been playing around with snow Love had gotten collected for him, snow from arctic fox tracks. And we actually found some arctic fox DNA in one of them. We wrote the paper (it took a little longer than 24 hours though, but it still was a fast paper), submitted it, got it published, and now several years later there is a company doing just this. When at best, science is as much a social thing as a career, and full of fun memories.

Arctic fox tracks in snow