Science: The Moth & the Bomb

With the British passion for obscure enthusiasms, British entomologists have argued for years about the birthplace of the migratory moths that wing into Britain each spring. One theory is that they fly all the way from African deserts, where they maintain their winter breeding reservoirs. Another is that they breed somewhere along the way, so that only later generations ever reach England. In last week's Nature, Geneticist H.B.D. Kettlewell of Oxford offered strong proof for the direct-from-Africa theory—using an atom bomb explosion to trace the flight of the gentle moth.

Mindful that the...

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