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A Nile rat sitting atop fruits
Genome Spotlight: Nile Rat (Avicanthis niloticus)
A reference sequence for this emerging model organism will facilitate research on type 2 diabetes and the health effects of circadian rhythm disruption.
Genome Spotlight: Nile Rat (Avicanthis niloticus)
Genome Spotlight: Nile Rat (Avicanthis niloticus)

A reference sequence for this emerging model organism will facilitate research on type 2 diabetes and the health effects of circadian rhythm disruption.

A reference sequence for this emerging model organism will facilitate research on type 2 diabetes and the health effects of circadian rhythm disruption.

rat
A scientific illustration of a Christmas Island rat
Genome Spotlight: Christmas Island Rat (Rattus macleari)
Christie Wilcox, PhD | Mar 24, 2022 | 4 min read
The near-complete genome of a recently extinct rodent elucidates the potential—and difficulties—of resurrecting species.
Red blood vessels that decrease in diameter as they radiate outward are pictured on a pink and white surface
Antisense Oligonucleotides Cross Rodents’ Blood-Brain Barrier
Abby Olena, PhD | Aug 18, 2021 | 3 min read
RNA-DNA complexes that were modified with cholesterol made it into the brains of rats and mice, where they knocked down target genes.
Illustration of two rats, one male and one female, that are surgically joined. The male has a uterus transplanted in, and both have embryos transplanted into their uteruses.
Study that Impregnated Male Rats Stirs Controversy
Andy Tay | Jun 25, 2021 | 7 min read
A combination of approaches, including uterus transplantation and the joining of two animals’ circulatory systems, allowed males to bear pups, according to a preprint. But some experts say the experiments were not justified.  
Pain Researcher Quits Academia, Takes Lab Home with Him
Jef Akst | May 1, 2021 | 6 min read
After resigning from the University of New England last year, Geoffrey Bove continues to study the effects of massage on rats in a facility he set up in his house.
Infographic: How the Brain Keeps Track of Time in Memories
Catherine Offord | May 1, 2020 | 2 min read
Signals from the lateral entorhinal cortex help create “time cells” in the hippocampus, according to some researchers.
rat sleep delta wave memory consolidation cortical neuron activity
Cortical Neurons May Consolidate Memories During Slow Wave Sleep
Emma Yasinski | Oct 18, 2019 | 3 min read
Scientists previously thought cortical neurons remained silent during delta waves, but new evidence from rats shows some cells fire in a pattern reflective of memorizing a task.
Image of the Day: Mind Altering
Carolyn Wilke | Mar 11, 2019 | 1 min read
A study in rats finds that tiny doses of the psychedelic drug DMT may yield positive effects for anxiety and depression, but there could be downsides too.
Rat Study Points to Role of Uterus in Memory
Carolyn Wilke | Dec 7, 2018 | 1 min read
When researchers removed the reproductive organ, female rats had more difficulty solving a water maze.
Cannabinoid Exposure During Adolescence Disrupts Neural Regulation
Jef Akst | Nov 6, 2018 | 2 min read
Young rats injected with a synthetic cannabinoid have more of the brain’s motivating dopaminergic signaling and fewer numbers of inhibitory neurons than controls.
Maternal Obesity and Diabetes Linked to Autism in Children
Sukanya Charuchandra | Oct 1, 2018 | 5 min read
Inflammation may be a strong contender for the connection between mom’s weight and children’s neurodevelopment, according to lab studies on animals.
Stressed Rodents Make Different Choices
Katarina Zimmer | Mar 1, 2018 | 4 min read
Chronic stress tweaks a circuit in the brain that influences how lab rodents make tough decisions. 
Paradise Regained: How the Palmyra Atoll Got Rid of Invasive Mosquitoes
Ruth Williams | Feb 28, 2018 | 4 min read
The elimination of the biting pests was an added bonus after researchers unleashed a rat-eradication endeavor on the tiny islands.  
CDC Identifies Seoul Virus Outbreak Among Pet Rat Owners
Diana Kwon | Feb 5, 2018 | 1 min read
These are the first known cases of individuals catching the virus from their pets in Canada or the U.S.
CRISPR Helps Mice Hear
Abby Olena, PhD | Dec 20, 2017 | 3 min read
Researchers reduce the severity of hereditary deafness in mice with the delivery of CRISPR-Cas9 protein-RNA complexes that inactivate a mutant gene in their inner ears. 
Study Pinpoints Potential “Master Regulator” of Age-Related Cognitive Decline
Shawna Williams | Dec 18, 2017 | 4 min read
Upping a gene’s expression in rat brains made them better learners and normalized the activity of hundreds of other genes to resemble the brains of younger animals.
Gut Microbiota–Obesity Link Clarified
Catherine Offord | Jun 9, 2016 | 2 min read
Changes in diet can cause gut microbes to produce acetate, which in turn stimulates insulin secretion and obesity in rodents, scientists show.
Neural Basis of Risk Aversion
Catherine Offord | Mar 24, 2016 | 2 min read
Researchers identify and manipulate a signal in the brains of rats that controls risky behavior.
Sensing North
Jef Akst | Apr 2, 2015 | 3 min read
“Blind” rats fitted with a neuroprosthetic device that stimulates the brain when the animals turn their heads to the north or south can navigate mazes as well as sighted rats.
“Inner GPS” Support
Anna Azvolinsky | Feb 5, 2015 | 3 min read
Grid cells—the neurons that function as a spatial navigation system—require input from another set of neurons, a rat study shows.
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