Great news for aquatic mammal aficionados! Georgetown scientists have pioneered a non-invasive way to collect dolphin DNA through the animals’ blow.
What is blow, you ask? Just the dolphins’ exhalations. (Get your mind out of the gutter, creep.)
After training six bottlenose dolphins at the National Aquarium in Baltimore to exhale on command, Professor Janet Mann, Ewa Krzyszczyk (G ’13), and Eric Patterson (G ’13) collected DNA samples by holding test tubes over the animals’ blowholes. The group later published an article titled “Thar She Blows!” in the scientific journal PLoS ONE, which argues that the blow sampling method works just as well as traditional blood sampling.
Mann now plans to bring the method Australia’s Shark Bay, where she hopes to study a wild population of bottlenose dolphins.
As for us, we’ll be over here chuckling to ourselves about the terminology.
Photo: Blue & Gray