Posts Tagged: rodents

The Rats Among Us

On Tuesday, Dr. Lipkin and his colleagues published their initial results in the journal mBio. Although the scientists examined just 133 rats, they found plenty of pathogens. Some caused food-borne illnesses. Others, like Seoul hantavirus, had never before been found in New York. Others were altogether new to science…So far, they have identified 18 unknown species related to viruses already shown to cause diseases in humans. Two of the new species were similar to the virus that causes hepatitis C.

One scientist told the Times that the discovery of these brand new, never-before-seen viruses in New York City rats is not "a call to wage war on rats [...]


In Spite Of Everything Life Somehow Still Manages To Delight On Occasion

I don't think I could do any better than "Man gets shock of his life when he buys two toy poodles for $150 only to be told by a vet that they are actually GIANT RODENTS pumped up with steroids to look like dogs," and, in fact, I'd be a fool to try. Between this and spring I am almost smiling today.


A Cat-Sized Chinchilla Objects to Media Narrative

"'Extinct' cat-sized Chinchilla found alive in shadows of Machu Pichu" — Jeremy Hance for Mongabay, part of the Guardian Environment Network

"This Guardian piece is pure clickbait!" cries the cat-sized chinchilla. “How dare they suggest our birth rate is but a scintilla."

"How droll, Guardian, putting 'extinct' in quotes," calls the cat-sized chinchilla, "when my family alone would fill boats, A whole 'extinct' flotilla."

"We’re 'found alive' from Peru to Katmandu," chides the cat-sized chinchilla. "So why does the Guardian willfully eschew my many cousins in Anguilla?"

"And 'cat-sized?' Really? That's the best you can do?" concludes the cat-sized chinchilla, "Well then, Mr. Hance, here's my headline for you: [...]


Of Mice and Men Must Die

"In research published online April 28 in Nature Methods, the scientists report that the presence of male experimenters produced a stress response in mice and rats equivalent to that caused by restraining the rodents for 15 minutes in a tube or forcing them to swim for three minutes. This stress-induced reaction made mice and rats of both sexes less sensitive to pain. Female experimenters produced no such effects." The senior author of the paper, Jeffrey Mogil, suggests that the "problem is easily solved" but curiously, he doesn't suggest the easiest solution of all, which is to simply ban men.