Method to Improve Rats’ Skill at Driving Cars [research study]

Driver education for rats—and how to improve it—is the subject of this new study: “Enriched Environment Exposure Accelerates Rodent Driving Skills,” L.E. Crawford, L.E. Knouse, M. Kent, D. Vavra, O. Harding, D. LeServe, N. Fox, X. Hu, P. Li, Clark Glory, and Kelly G. Lambert [pictured here], Behavioural Brain Research, epub 2019. The authors, at […]

Grow Hair with Electricity on Rats and Nude Mice

Hair growth was electrically prodded into happening in/on rats and in/on nude mice, using a clever gizmo, says a new study. The news potentially raises excitement about growing hair akin to the excitement about disease treatment raised by numerous reports of cancer being cured in mice. The new study is: “Self-Activated Electrical Stimulation for Effective […]

Press Release of the Week: Psychotherapy for Depressed Rats

This week’s Press Release of the Week carries the headline: “Psychotherapy for depressed rats shows genes aren’t destiny“. Issued by Northwestern University, the press release begins by saying: CHICAGO — Genes are not destiny in determining whether a person will suffer from depression, reports a new Northwestern Medicine study. Environment is a major factor, and nurture […]

Can rodents conceive hyperbolic spaces?

This new study is an adventure in understanding understanding: “Can Rodents Conceive Hyperbolic Spaces?” Eugenio Urdapilleta, Francesca Troiani, Federico Stella, Alessandro Treves, arXiv1502.02435, February 9, 2015. Thanks to Mason Porter for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, at SISSA in Trieste, Italy, explain: “The grid cells discovered in the rodent medial entorhinal cortex have been […]

No harmful effects of 6 months of Coca-Cola on rat testes

Here’s another, very specific study of the effects, side-effects, and sometimes-wild fears about popular, refreshing beverages: “No harmful effect of different Coca-cola beverages after 6 months of intake on rat testes,” Ľubomíra Tóthová, Július Hodosy, Kathryn Mettenburg, Helena Fábryová, Alexandra Wagnerová, Janka Bábíčková, Monika Okuliarová, Michal Zeman, and Peter Celec, Food and Chemical Toxicology, vol. 62, 2013, […]

When rats meet the legal system: Vermin trials reappraised

“Everyone has heard of a kangaroo court. But how about a court for kangaroos? What about a court for caterpillars? Impossible though it seems, for 250 years French, Italian, and Swiss legal systems had just that. Their ecclesiastic courts tried insects and rodents for property crimes as legal persons under the same laws and according […]

Dour President Calvin Coolidge and the sex life of a rat

Richard Stephens, who is both a psychology professor at Keele University and an Ig Nobel Peace Prize winner (for his study “Swearing as a Response to Pain,”), explains the famous Coolidge Effect. Stephens writes, in his blog: The Coolidge Effect and the sex life of a rat John Calvin Coolidge Jr. was the 30th United States president, […]