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Rats

  1. Even Wild Mice Really Dig Running Around in Wheels

    Treadmills: not just for the chronically lazy anymore!

    When you buy a rodent or small creature as a pet, you're usually encouraged to buy that pet a little wheel—the logic being that they won't get to run around as much inside that tiny cage and will need something to burn off all their extra neurotic rodent energy. But apparently, it's not just captivity-bred animals who find wheels fun.

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  2. Study Shows Lab Rodents Lose Their Shit Around Men

    At least this is good news for female scientists? Maybe?

    A study published today in Nature is casting doubt on the results of countless pre-clinical trials performed using lab rodents. Researchers through the University of McGill have discovered that mice and rats freak the fuck out in the presence of men—so by the transitive property, I guess I am also a rodent?

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  3. Rats May Be off the Hook for that Whole “Spreading the Plague” Thing Thanks to New Research

    Good. Splinter needed a win.

    Rats have a bad reputation despite being adorable, intelligent, and proficient in the secret art of ninja. That might have something to do with the fact that rats and their fleas took the blame for the spread of the Black Plague in the 14th century, but new research may exhonorate them. Forensic scientists now say the plague infection was airborne.

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  4. Scientists Tickle Rats to Help Make Better Antidepressants

    How could you be sad while tickle-fighting a rat?

    Whether or not animals have a sense of humor has been investigated in many ways over the years, but one of the most adorable has to be in Jaak Panksepp and Jeffrey Burgdorf's experiments in tickling rats. Now, their work in adorable rodent tickle fights is helping to craft new "laughing pill" antidepressants.

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  5. New York’s Rat Portal Map Reminds You Everything Is Disgusting

    Who Runs The World? Rats!

    If you live in New York City or another large metropolis, you probably spend a fair amount of time avoiding, trying to kill, or freaking out over rats. Now New York's Department Of Health And Mental Hygiene has developed an interactive map to confirm our suspicions that New York is just a big rat city some humans occasionally live in.

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  6. This Rat Found the Ultimate Exercise Wheel, Is Also a Metaphor for Futility

    Run, little rat, run.

    This video shows a rat attempting to run down an upward moving escalator in the San Francisco Civic Center BART station. The sad music in the background really sets the tone as one singular rodent faces insurmountable odds as it tries to get home. Or maybe it's just exercising. Either way, it's fairly hypnotic.

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  7. New Theory About Easter Island Claims Success Where Others Cry Failure

    Yet another theory just cries, "Aliens!"

    Most people view Easter Island as a failure -- an example of the dangers of exhausting limited resources. Anthropologists Terry Hunt and Carl Lipo have written a new book, The Statues That Walked, that looks at it different. Their proposed theory states that rats, not humans, are to blame -- but also to thank.

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  8. Researchers May Have Found a Scientific Explanation For Near Death Experiences

    Now if we could just determine the reason for the angelic chorus that appears when I eat cake...

    Many on their deathbeds, in fiction and reality, report seeing a tunnel with a bright light at its end, an experience so common it's become a cliche. While some believe the light is heaven (which makes life a giant, smelly subway station, I guess?), researchers have found new evidence that these visions may stem from electrical surges in the brain.

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  9. Brain-to-Brain Connection Established Between Humans and Rats

    Step One: Learn to control rat brains. Step Two: CONTROL ALL THE BRAINS

    Harvard researchers have devised a way to create a functioning link between the brain of a human and a lab rat that lets a thought from the human test subject cause the rat to move its own tail. The research could prove to be a major expansion to the field of brain-computer interface (BCI), translating thoughts through a computer to another brain.

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  10. First Successful Interspecies Cell Transplants Could Pave the Way for Future Pig-to-Human Transplants

    Transplanting insulin producing cells from rats to mice isn't human medicine yet, but it's a hell of a first step.

    Researchers at Northwestern Medicine have successfully transplanted insulin-producing cells across species lines -- removing cells from rats and implanting them in mice -- without using drugs to prevent rejection of the foreign cells. While the transplant may seem like a small victory -- mice and rats are pretty similar, after all -- it marks a significant step forward in interspecies transplants that could one day save human lives by allowing the implantation of insulin-producing "islet" cells without necessitating the use of immunosuppressive drugs that can have dire side effects. 

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