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Latest Rat Stories

Internal GPS Guides Rats To Rewards
2013-04-18 08:48:04

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Scientists at Johns Hopkins University studying rats' ability to navigate familiar territory found that remembered spatial information is used by one particular brain structure to imagine routes that the rats then follow. Understanding why damage to that structure disrupts specific types of memory and learning could have implications for people with Alzheimer's disease and age-related cognitive decline. The model developed for this...

Do Your Genes Make You Lazy?
2013-04-09 18:17:12

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online If you´ve ever had a hard time getting motivated to go to the gym or get off the couch and head outside for a jog, it could be your genetics. According to a new study in the American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, a team of Missouri researchers were able to selectively breed rats that had either an active or lazy disposition. “We have shown that it is possible to be genetically...

2013-04-04 15:05:26

Rodents recognize objects using sophisticated perceptive strategies Sight is such a spontaneous activity that we are unaware of the complexity of the brain mechanisms it implies. For instance, we easily recognize objects, which appear to look always the same, without realizing that we observe them from ever-changing points of view and that their image — the luminance profile cast onto the retina —varies significantly each time we look at them. To maintain such "invariance"...

Rats Sniff To Communicate Complex Social Information
2013-03-08 09:43:34

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Checking out their environment by sniffing is a common behavior for dogs, cats and a number of other mammals. A new study from Case Reserve University School of Medicine reveals that sniffing also serves as a method of communication in rats. This unexpected discovery may help to identify brain regions critical for interpreting communication cues as well as help identify which brain malfunctions can lead to complex social...

Brain-To-Brain Interface Lets Rats Share Their Thoughts
2013-03-01 09:47:03

Alan McStravick for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online In an article written earlier this month for redOrbit, this writer highlighted work being done in the Nicolelis laboratory headed by professor of neurobiology Miguel Nicolelis at Duke University School of Medicine. His previous research reported on the ability to enable a rat to “touch” infrared light through the use of a cortical stimulation technique. For the second time this month, the Nicolelis team has released an...

Rat Memory Study Could Open The Door To Treat Alzheimer's Disease
2013-02-27 16:03:14

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Researchers from Indiana University have found that rats have a capacity for “source memory,” a finding that could have implications for both future animal studies and the treatment of human memory disorders. According to the IU team´s report in Current Biology, a rat is capable of remembering how it got a certain food reward. "Researchers can now study in animals what was once thought an exclusively human domain,"...

Women More Talkative Than Men Because Thier Brain Is Designed That Way
2013-02-22 12:17:19

Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online We´ve all heard the oft-repeated statistics about women talking more than men. And to back up those statistics, one previous study has shown that a part of the brain responsible for processing communication is simply larger in a woman than a man. Now, a new study adds to those claims by moving a step further, showing that the female brain is actually designed with communication in mind. Performed by doctors at the...

Running The Rat Race: Observing Their Aerobic Capacity
2013-01-16 18:20:11

Alan McStravick for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online Last month, at the Wellcome Trust´s conference on ℠Rat Genomics and Models´, several different and interesting ongoing studies were presented to all in attendance. One study in particular, out of the University of Michigan (U of M), sought to explain how selectively bred rat models were able to yield both high and low capacity runners (HCR and LCR) and just what the implications, genetically, these models might...


Latest Rat Reference Libraries

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...

Jamaican Rice Rat, Oryzomys antillarum
2012-07-04 11:09:29

The Jamaican rice rat (Oryzomys antillarum) is an extinct species of rodent that was once found in Jamaica. This rat is thought to have been a divergence of O. couesi, which can be found in mainland Central America. It is thought that this rat went extinct in the late 19th century due to habitat destruction and by predation and competition from introduced species like the mongoose and the brown rat. Elliott Coues noted two specimens of Oryzomys in his 1877 monograph about North American...

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...

Greater Cane Rat, Thryonomys swinderianus
2012-05-16 12:22:36

The greater cane rat (Thryonomys swinderianus) is one of two species of cane rats found in Africa. They prefer to reside in reed beds or riverbanks south of the Saharan Desert. They have adapted well to urbanization and will also live on plantations. The nocturnal greater cane rat lives in small groups that are led by one alpha male and will make their burrows underground or in grasses. The diet of this cane rat consists of cane plants and grasses. When frightened, the greater cane rat will...

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Word of the Day
call-note
  • The call or cry of a bird or other animal to its mate or its young.
'Call-note' is newer than 'bird-call,' which originally referred to 'an instrument for imitating the note of birds' but now also refers to 'the song or cry of a bird.'
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