DNA Sucked Into Air Filters Can Reveal What Plants And Animals Are Nearby

NEW YORK (AP) — Scientists have found that air quality monitoring stations pick up lots of DNA that can reveal what plants and animals have been in the area.

Researchers reported Monday that air monitoring stations set up to test for pollution also suck up DNA from the local environment.

They say this could be a useful way to see how biodiversity changes over time.

After testing air filters from stations in the UK, the scientists were able to identify more than 180 kinds of plants, animals and fungi in the area.

The filters picked up on species like hedgehogs, deer and owls that shed their DNA into the atmosphere.

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