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Rats News

Cause of the Great Plague of London identified

London - In 1665 London was ravaged by a deadly plague that was only stopped by an equally great fire. New evidence, from examining bones of the victims, has pinpointed the causative organism.

Tanzanian rats with nose for trouble train to save lives

Morogoro - They have proven their worth in detecting landmines but Africa's giant pouched rats have a lesser-known but equally critical vocation - saving lives by speeding up tuberculosis detection.

Rat heart muscle used to make robot stingray

An artificial stingray has been made by technologists and its ‘heart’ is cardiac muscle extracted from a rat. Light is used to cause the heart muscle to contract, thereby creating movement.

Got rats? This Chicago neighborhood decides to get cats

Chicago - Crews in Chicago will soon tear down an old hospital, and once that wrecking ball starts swinging, that can only mean one thing: Rats. Lots and lots of rats. Scurrying away from the building they lived in.

Training rats to sniff out TB sufferers

East African researchers are considering using the highly developed sense of smell of rats to screen for tuberculosis among prisoners in the crowded prisons in Tanzania and Mozambique.

Rats pose serious health threat to people and poultry

Vancouver - Rats pose serious health threats to communities and farms, according to a new study. This is because rats readily pick up diseases from one environment and spread them to another. Most at risk are humans and poultry.

This is how rats can get into your toilet

Have you ever wondered how a rat can make its way into your toilet bowl? They do it quite easily, and this is how they are able to do it.

The deadly kill of the boa constrictor revealed

The widely held view as how boa constrictors kill their prey has been overturned in a new study. The idea that the snakes suffocate their victims has turned out not be so.

Rats dream about the places they want to go

London - According to new research, rats dream about places that they want to go next. This is a theory from neuroscientists following some classic maze and hidden food experiments.

Farmers eat rats, trade tails for rice in Philippines

Farmers in Philippines hit by El Niño triggered drought are trading rat tails for rice as part of a government program and eating their meat.

Neuroprosthetic helps 'blind' rats 'see'

Tokyo - Rats that have lost their eyesight can sense direction with the aid of a neuroprosthesis. This consists of a geomagnetic compass and a microstimulator with electrodes implanted in the animals’ brains, according to a new study.

Plague carrying Oriental fleas found in New York

New York City - Scientists have found Oriental rat fleas, the insects that can carry plague bacteria, on New York City-dwelling rodents.

It wasn't rats but gerbils that caused the Black Plague

A new study looking at the climatic conditions that prevailed during outbreaks of bubonic plague in Europe has concluded that it isn't rats, but gerbils that caused the pandemics.

Seoul hantavirus has reached the Netherlands

Scientists have reported evidence of Seoul hantavirus (SEOV) in the rat population in the Netherlands. Other reports suggest that the virus has occurred in other European countries, including the U.K.

Rats with spinal injuries learn to urinate freely

Baltimore - Rats, in a new study, regained bladder control following a new treatment that coaxed severed nerves to grow back. It is hoped that the research can be applied to humans.

Spinal cord regenerated

Washington - Scientists based at the University of California, San Diego, have demonstrated that neural progenitor cells grafted into injured rat spinal cords can grow long axons and connect to host neurons.

Researcher figures out how many rats are in NYC

New York City - Legend has it that there's a rat in New York City for every person, more than eight million in total. That's quite a lot of rats — too many, in fact.

Rats of New York found carrying a range of new viruses

New York - Scientists have detected more than a dozen new viruses lurking in rodents inhabiting the Big Apple. To add to this, the rats were found to be carrying many pathogenic bacteria.

New study looks closely at the rats of New York

The rats of New York City are so numerous that it is said there are at least 8.4 million of them. These illusive pests are rarely seen in the daylight hours, but at night, like zombies in the movies, they come out to feed.

Rats learn fear through odors

A new study has found that rodent pups can learn to fear a stimulus through the odor signals given by their mother. The findings suggest a mechanism for how animals might inherit the experiences of their parents.

Louvre Museum gardens plagued by rat infestation

Paris - The beautiful gardens leading to the world-famous Louvre Museum have recently been attracting more and more rats. Garbage and food items left behind by tourists have been largely blamed for the problem.

Gut microbes help to detoxify rat diets

Gut microbes in Mojave Desert rats help the animals metabolize creosote toxins, according to some new research. The results demonstrated that gut microbes can enhance their rodent hosts’ ability to digest the creosote toxins.

Study linking GMO crops and tumors in rats is re-published

Caen - A study that found health problems in rats exposed to genetically engineered maize proved controversial a few years ago. The fervor led to the study being withdrawn. It has now been re-edited and re-published.

San Francisco's 'Rat Girl' is causing problems (Video)

San Francisco - A 43-year-old woman known as "Erica J," or by the nickname "Rat Girl," has been actively breeding rats in a residential hotel in Minna Street and then releasing them "into the wild," so to speak, in the local parks.

Rat-infested ghost ship may be heading for Britain

It sounds like a plotline to a Stephen King story — a ghost ship afloat on the high seas is drifting toward the British Isles; its only passengers are cannibal rats who have had nothing to eat but each other since the ship was set adrift.

Scientists print retinal cells

Scientists have printed healthy rat retinal cells using a simple ink-jet printer. They hope this the the first step towards tissue printing.

Brain chip helps injured rats to move

With a futuristic brain patch, brain-injured rats regained the ability to reach out and grab a bit of food. This new technology might one day help people will spinal injuries.

Experts plan mass rat cull to ‘save seabirds’

A plan has been unveiled to kill over 3,000 rats on two of the Isles of Scilly has been announced. The aim is to protect seabirds from the rodents.

Cryogenic success using rats

Researchers have successfully injected a compound into rats in a cold room. The bodies slowed down; however, when the rats were revived, they were healthy.

Blind mole rats are resistant to many cancers

A new study of blind mole rats demonstrates that the animals are incredibly cancer-resistant. Research indicates that adaptations that help the rodents survive in low-oxygen environments play a key role in their longevity and cancer resistance.
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Rats Image

File photo: A laboratory rat is a rat of the species Rattus norvegicus (brown rat) which is bred and...
File photo: A laboratory rat is a rat of the species Rattus norvegicus (brown rat) which is bred and kept for scientific research
NYC subways have been trying to eradicate the rats for years  but with little success.
NYC subways have been trying to eradicate the rats for years, but with little success.
Paul Lowry from New York.
rats drinking milk at the Rat Temple in India
rats drinking milk at the Rat Temple in India
The Lyubov Orlova sits in port in Newfoundland  Canada after being seized for unpaid debts and not p...
The Lyubov Orlova sits in port in Newfoundland, Canada after being seized for unpaid debts and not paying its crew. It was eventually towed out of harbor but ended up adrift in the North Atlantic and unaccounted for.
Wikimedia Commons/Dan Conlin
You can t call them lazy. Once a female rat reproduces  she could have 15 000 descendants by the end...
You can't call them lazy. Once a female rat reproduces, she could have 15,000 descendants by the end of just one year!
National Geographic screen grab
A very unhealthy looking urban rat  but don t worry  there are plenty more where this one came from.
A very unhealthy looking urban rat, but don't worry, there are plenty more where this one came from.
Creative Commons
Using dry ice to control rat populations has proven to be cost effective and safe for the environmen...
Using dry ice to control rat populations has proven to be cost effective and safe for the environment, but the EPA says it is illegal under federal law.
The view from Compass Hill on Canna  overlooking Canna Bay
The view from Compass Hill on Canna, overlooking Canna Bay
Wikimedia Commons
A sign in the New York City subway advises passengers that rodenticide was applied.
A sign in the New York City subway advises passengers that rodenticide was applied.
Paul Lowry/Wikimedia Commons
A street rat looking for a meal.
A street rat looking for a meal.
Edal Anton Lefterov
Rats do carry a number of diseases  more than we realized.
Rats do carry a number of diseases, more than we realized.
National Geographic screen grab
Rat with mammary tumors.
Rat with mammary tumors.

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