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Latest Old World rats and mice Stories

2009-02-18 09:06:25

A research project at Rice University has brought scientists to the brink of comprehending a long-standing medical mystery that may link cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and perhaps even Alzheimer's disease. And for that, we can thank the rat.The recent paper in Artery Research by Rice evolutionary biologist Michael Kohn and his team reports they have found that common rats with a genetic mutation have developed a resistance to rat poison, aka warfarin. That's good news for the rats,...

2009-02-06 09:44:06

A drug commonly used to help people recover from a stroke may one day help them improve their memories and learning abilities as well. In a study conducted in middle-aged rats, Arizona researchers discovered a key component in Fasudil, which has been used safely and effectively in people for more than a decade, improved memory and learning. Specifically rats who received the component performed better on a test in which they had to remember which arm of a maze contained a reward than rats who...

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2009-01-13 10:08:13

Rats Say: Manhattan Rules! If you leave it up to the rats, New York City beats New Orleans any day. This surprising finding comes from new research by Tel Aviv University zoologists and geographers, who are working together to invent a novel way to test urban designers' city plans. Instead of using humans as guinea pigs, the scientists went to their nearby zoo and enlisted lab rats to determine the functionality of theoretical and existing plans. They've already tried their theory in the...

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2009-01-01 12:10:00

Police say they are at a loss to explain who left 280 rats either dead or dying by the side of a road in Foster, R.I. Foster Police Chief Robert E. Coyne Jr. said after responding to calls about seemingly abandoned containers near an area road this week, officers found the rats trapped inside eight containers, the Providence (R.I.) Journal reported Thursday. The stench was pretty terrible, Coyne said of Tuesday's gruesome discovery. It was pretty gross. Veterinarian Dr. E.J. Finocchio, the...

2008-12-19 10:28:32

The fabled laboratory mouse "” from which we have learned so much about how the immune system works "” can teach us only so much about how we humans get sick and what to do about it, says a leading researcher at the Stanford University School of Medicine.The time has come for immunologists to start weaning themselves from experimental rodents and to embark on a bold, industrial-scale assault on the causes and treatment of specifically human disease, writes immunologist Mark Davis,...

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2008-11-24 13:24:29

Bacteria that can cause serious heart disease in humans are being spread by rat fleas, sparking concern that the infections could become a bigger problem in humans. Research published in the December issue of the Journal of Medical Microbiology suggests that brown rats, the biggest and most common rats in Europe, may now be carrying the bacteria. Since the early 1990s, more than 20 species of Bartonella bacteria have been discovered. They are considered to be emerging zoonotic pathogens,...

2008-11-23 15:47:19

Rats in Africa have been trained to use their sensitive noses for the benefit of humankind by sniffing out landmines and diagnosing tuberculosis. The rats involved in finding landmines in Mozambique have been bred to be the size of raccoons, The Boston Globe reports. While the squads of mine-sniffing rats were mocked at first, officials are now considering using them in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia and other countries where unexploded mines remain common. In Tanzania, trained rats...

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2008-10-27 18:20:00

Using a borrowed spy satellite to spot this species' distinctive burrow entrances, researchers track their numbers in hopes of protecting biodiversity on the Carrizo Plain in south-central California The Carrizo Plain National Monument in south-central California is the largest single native grassland remaining in the state. One of its denizens is a small creature known as the giant kangaroo rat, which has spent decades on both the federal and state endangered species lists while eking...

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2008-10-01 15:20:00

Scientists in the UK are studying the genes of mice with the goal of tracking human migration patterns throughout history. York University professor Jeremy Searle and colleagues collected genetic data of house mice from more than 100 locations across the UK. One strain in particular was noted to have arrived with the Vikings. Scientists say rodents provide a historic map of past human ventures because the small rodents often accompanied travelers when they set off in search of new places to...

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2008-09-19 19:30:00

For the first time ever, scientists will use satellites in space to monitor the fluctuations of endangered species populations. The scientists will use satellite photos to count and monitor giant kangaroo rats, a key indicator for the health of a dry plains environment. The photos will be obtained from the same satellites the Israeli defense forces use, and will be compared with 30 years of satellite images released this month by the U.S. Geological Survey.  Researchers aim to use this...


Latest Old World rats and mice Reference Libraries

Striped Field Mouse, Apodemus agrarius
2012-07-27 12:43:51

The striped field mouse (Apodemus agrarius) has a range that extends from Eastern Europe to Japan, and includes Siberia and Taiwan. It prefers a habitat within cornfields and other agricultural fields or human populated areas, and forests. It has many synonyms, or other names, including Apodemus albostriatus given by Bechstein in 1801 and Apodemus volgensis given by Kuznetzov in 1944. This mouse can reach an average body length of up to 4.9 inches, with a tail length of up to 3.5 inches...

Armored Rat, Hoplomys gymnurus
2012-07-17 14:40:46

The armored rat (Hoplomys gymnurus) is the only species within the Hoplomys genus. It is native to Latin America, with a range that extends from northern Honduras into northwestern Ecuador. It prefers a habitat at altitudes of up to 2,600 feet. It resides in burrows that can be up to 6.6 feet in length, and these burrows are typically located near a water source. The armored rat bears spines across its back, resembling a porcupine, and indeed, they are more related to the porcupine than...

Barbary Striped Grass Mouse, Lemniscomys barbarous
2012-06-25 17:15:04

The Barbary striped grass mouse (Lemniscomys barbarous) is native to northwest Africa. Its range includes Algeria, Tunisia, and coastal Morocco. It was thought that this range also included Sub-Saharan Africa, although the populations occurring here are now considered a distinct species known as Heuglin's Striped Grass Mouse. Along with Heuglin's and Hoogstral's Striped Grass Mouse, the Barbary striped grass mouse bears fur that is both darkly and lightly striped, while most other members...

Sand Rat, Psammomys obesus
2012-06-20 16:14:18

The sand rat (Psammomys obesus), also known as the fat sand rat, is found in North Africa, as well as the Middle East. Its range extended from Mauritania to the Arabian Peninsula. It prefers habitats within sandy deserts, but it can be found within saline marsh areas and areas with rocky ground. It will burrow under vegetation like saltbushes, where rats can often be found foraging. There are many medical uses for the sand rat. Because of their tendency to get diabetes mellitus when fed a...

Maned Rat, Lophiomys imhausi
2012-05-23 13:57:55

The maned rat (Lophiomys imhausi), also known as the crested rat, has a range that includes Tanzania, Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya, and Uganda. It prefers a habitat located in highland forests and woodlands in these areas, while in Somalia and Ethiopia it prefers to reside in areas nearly at sea level. These rats will nest in hollow tree trunks or rocky areas, as well as within cliff-faces. The maned rat can reach a length of up to twenty-one inches, including the tail. The soft undercoat of...

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Word of the Day
vermicular
  • Like a worm in form or movement; vermiform; tortuous or sinuous; also, writhing or wriggling.
  • Like the track or trace of a worm; appearing as if worm-eaten; vermiculate.
  • Marked with fine, close-set, wavy or tortuous lines of color; vermiculated.
  • A form of rusticated masonry which is so wrought as to appear thickly indented with worm-tracks.
This word ultimately comes from the Latin 'vermis,' worm.
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