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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.

rats
An aerial view of the Tetiaroa Atoll in the Pacific Ocean.
Science Snapshot: Reversing an Invasion of Paradise
Lisa Winter | Aug 17, 2022 | 2 min read
After years of work, conservationists have successfully eliminated two invasive rat species from the Tetiaroa Atoll in French Polynesia.
Pink rat pups piled on top of each other.
Rat Sperm Generated from Stem Cells
Alejandra Manjarrez, PhD | Apr 7, 2022 | 4 min read
Researchers report they were able to make functional sperm in a dish, a feat previously only possible for mice.
Translucent, red-orange organs are shown inside a person’s transparent, blue torso. One region zooms in on blue lung alveoli covered by bright orange microbes.
Bacteria in the Lungs Can Regulate Autoimmunity in Rat Brains
Dan Robitzski | Mar 17, 2022 | 4 min read
Making specific alterations to the bacterial population in a rat’s lungs either better protects the animals against multiple sclerosis–like symptoms or makes them more vulnerable, a study finds—the first demonstration of a lung-brain axis.
Illustration of a rat with red, white and blue sections
Hormones May Contribute to Asymmetrical Effects of Brain Injury
Catherine Offord | Sep 2, 2021 | 4 min read
Researchers studying rats claim to have found a novel connection between damage on one side of the brain and problems with the posture or movement of limbs on the opposite side of the body.
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.
black mice in clear plastic cages with bedding
Australian Research Faces Impending Scarcity of Lab Rodents
Bianca Nogrady | Jul 20, 2021 | 7 min read
The Australian biomedical research community is stunned by the announced wind-down of the country’s biggest supplier of mice and rats.
arthritis in rats
Image of the Day: Reversing Arthritis
Amy Schleunes | Jan 28, 2020 | 1 min read
A combination of two drugs appears to restore cartilage in rats.
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 Remains Reveal Landscape Changes Wrought by Human Settlement of Polynesia
Shawna Williams | Sep 1, 2018 | 4 min read
Isotope changes in the bones demonstrate a similar pattern across far-flung islands.
Parkinson’s Disease Enzyme Implicated in More Cases Than Realized
Sukanya Charuchandra | Aug 2, 2018 | 4 min read

Levels of active LRRK2 were high even in Parkinson’s patients without a mutation in LRRK2, suggesting that inhibitors of the protein could treat a wider patient population than expected.

Rat Infestation Takes a Toll on Nearby Coral Reefs
Shawna Williams | Jul 12, 2018 | 1 min read
A study shows that by killing off seabirds on islands, rodents slash the flow of nutrients into the ocean.
Image of the Day: 3-D Nanofibers
The Scientist Staff and The Scientist Staff | Mar 7, 2018 | 1 min read
Researchers created a nanofibrous scaffold to see how it supports cell growth.
Gigantic “Tree Lobsters” Not Extinct After All
Catherine Offord | Oct 8, 2017 | 2 min read
Researchers identify the Lord Howe Island stick insect on the remains of a large volcano in the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand.
Rats Are Ticklish, Sometimes
Joshua A. Krisch | Nov 13, 2016 | 2 min read
Researchers may have pinpointed the part of the brain that makes rats laugh when tickled.
Curbing Alcohol Dependence by Blocking a Neural Network
Bob Grant | Sep 11, 2016 | 2 min read
Researchers short circuit the urge to consume alcohol in rat models of compulsive drinking by shutting down specific neurons wired to the brain’s reward system.
Study Linking Cell Phone Use to Cancer Stirs Debate
Tanya Lewis | May 27, 2016 | 2 min read
Exposing male rats to nonionizing radiation increased the animals’ risk of brain and heart tumors in a study, but the findings are far from conclusive.
Behavior Brief
Jenny Rood | May 21, 2015 | 6 min read
A round-up of recent discoveries in behavior research
NYC Rats Harbor Plague Fleas
Bob Grant | Mar 3, 2015 | 2 min read
Researchers find Oriental rat fleas, the insects that can carry plague bacteria, on New York City-dwelling rodents.
May the Best Rodent Win
Molly Sharlach | Jan 1, 2015 | 4 min read
Are mice, considered by some to be the less intelligent rodent, edging out rats as laboratory models of decision making?
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