rats

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Washington, DC, Faces Major Rat Infestation

It's now America's fourth rattiest city

(Newser) - Andre Pittman and Gregory Cornes are on a mission to rid Washington of opportunistic vermin. But their target isn't corrupt officials or shady political fixers; it's Rattus Norvegicus, the common Norway Rat. The nation's capital is facing a spiraling rat infestation, fueled by mild winters and a... More »

Grilled Rat Wasn't on the Menu. 2 Employees Made It Anyway

Teddy's Bigger Burgers in Hawaii considering legal action

(Newser) - A Hawaiian burger chain is scrubbing one of its locations top to bottom after two employees apparently decided to cook up a rat. A short clip posted days ago on Snapchat shows two staffers joking around as a rat is seen on the grill of Teddy's Bigger Burgers' Mapunapuna... More »

Rat Disease Jumps to Human for Second Known Time

Hong Kong woman had rat hepatitis

(Newser) - Health officials are closely watching developments in Hong Kong, where the second known case of rat hepatitis jumping to humans has been recorded. Researchers first identified a case of rat hepatitis E in a 56-year-old man last month. The second case involves a woman who lived about a mile away... More »

This Rat Disease Has Infected a Human for the First Time

The case happened in Hong Kong

(Newser) - For the first time ever, a strain of hepatitis E that heretofore only affected rats and ferrets has infected a human. The case occurred in Hong Kong, where a 56-year-old man living in public housing contracted the disease, the South China Morning Post reports. It's a "wake-up call,... More »

Rat Wipes $190M Off Restaurant Chain's Value

Hotpot video went viral in China

(Newser) - Hotpot, a bubbling vat of broth in which diners dip pieces of meat and other morsels, is a beloved family meal in China, especially when the weather starts to cool down. But not when there's a rat in it. The Xiabu Xiabu hotpot chain saw its stock dive more... More »

Artificial Sweeteners May Not Be Sugar-Free Bliss We Hoped For

Scientists find they lead to biochemical changes in rats signaling diabetes, obesity down the road

(Newser) - Guzzling diet soft drinks may seem like an easy workaround if you can't kick soda but want to fend off health problems spurred by sugar. A new study presented at the Experimental Biology conference over the weekend suggests otherwise—specifically when it comes to diseases like Type 2 diabetes.... More »

First the Meals Didn't Show. Now Rats Ruin Other Supplies

Infestation in Fla. government office affected boxes of supplies meant for Puerto Rico

(Newser) - Puerto Rico is still in great need of hurricane relief supplies, as San Juan's mayor noted last week , which makes recent news out of Florida frustrating. The Orlando Sentinel reports that boxes of donated supplies meant to be sent to the island after Hurricane Maria remained stuck instead in... More »

Don't Blame Rats for Europe's Black Death

Human-carried parasites might be true culprits: study

(Newser) - Those poor, misjudged rats? According to infectious disease experts in Norway and Italy, rats aren't to blame for the spread of the Black Death, which has previously been referred to as the species' most infamous crime. In fact, humans might've been directly involved, reports the CBC . While studying... More »

Paper Claims Sugar Industry Quashed Unfavorable Research

International Sugar Research Foundation says 1968 study was over budget and delayed

(Newser) - Just as the tobacco industry aimed to quash evidence of health risks linked to smoking, a new paper claims the Sugar Research Foundation decades ago suppressed research on the sugar's negative effects. The assertion comes via University of California at San Francisco researchers who reviewed internal sugar industry documents,... More »

Politician Looks to Revive Unusual Dish: Rat Soup

It's a traditional dish in Mexican state of Zacatecas

(Newser) - Typically, one would be unhappy to find rat in his or her soup. But caldo de rata, or rat soup, has been eaten in the Mexican state of Zacatecas since colonial times, and now a local politician is trying to promote it so it regains its popularity. It's currently... More »

Scientist's 'Spectacular' Discovery: a Giant Rat

New species is at risk in Solomon Islands, scientists say

(Newser) - Encountering a foot-and-a-half-long rat might be nightmarish for some, but for Tyrone Lavery, it heralded a once-in-a-lifetime discovery. Back in 2010, the mammalogist was exploring the Solomon Islands when he heard locals describe "vika," a giant tree-dwelling rat with teeth powerful enough to break open coconuts. Reports of... More »

NYC's War on Rats Will Cost It $32M

Turns out the rodents can survive on just an ounce of food a day

(Newser) - New York City has announced a $32 million, multi-agency plan to reduce the rat population, which is estimated to number roughly 2 million and has included the likes of pizza rat . Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday the plan will target rats in the Grand Concourse area of the Bronx;... More »

Smart Thinking Saves Pet Rat After Heroin Overdose

Snuggles recovering after her overdose

(Newser) - The heroin epidemic has made its way to Vancouver, British Columbia, and even the rats are being felled. In the case of Snuggles, a pet rat rushed into the Overdose Prevention Society on Sunday, volunteers were actually able to save her life after a quick-thinking pharmacy student administered naloxone (aka... More »

Pet Rats Linked to Outbreak of Rare Virus

Seoul virus surfaces among Wis., Ill. breeders

(Newser) - An outbreak of a rare virus has hit at least eight people who breed pet rats, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Seoul virus is a type of hantavirus and officials say they have never seen cases in the US associated with pet rats before, CNN reports. The... More »

You Can Tell a Rat Is Happy by His Ears

Researchers say the rodents have their own versions of smiling

(Newser) - Scientists have already found that rats seem to enjoy having their bellies tickled. They let out a noise too high-pitched for the human ear to detect and keep coming back for more. Now, adding to the idea that rats have their own version of a giggle, researchers at the University... More »

EPA Tells Cities to Stop Killing Rats With Dry Ice

'This is not necessarily one of those logical things'

(Newser) - Killing urban rats with dry ice is a cheap, effective, and non-toxic method of pest control, authorities say—but the Environmental Protection Agency wants it to stop. The EPA has informed authorities in cities including New York, Chicago, and Boston that the method is illegal under federal law because... More »

Rats Love Being Tickled

In fact, they laugh and jump for joy

(Newser) - Freudensprungen! That, as the New York Times explains, happens to be the scientific term for jumping for joy, and a new study reveals that rats are among the animals that partake. The study, in fact, also shows that rats love to be tickled and that they burst out in the... More »

$100K Project Uses 3-Foot Rats to Sniff Out Crime

It's not the first time their noses have been put to use

(Newser) - Giant African pouched rats that grow to three feet long can't see well, but their keen sense of smell has already made them indispensable in the hunt for anything from tuberculosis in humans to buried TNT in former war zones (they've already found 1,500 land mines in... More »

Urban Rats Have a Deadly New Enemy

3 major US cities are using dry ice to combat their rodent problems

(Newser) - Rats have a deadly new enemy, and and isn't cats with tiny knives strapped to their paws. USA Today reports three major US cities are combating their rodent problem with dry ice. It works like this: Pieces of dry ice are dropped into rat burrows in city parks, then... More »

Scientists Flick Switch, Boozy Rats Stop Drinking

Study suggests alcoholism can be conquered in the brain

(Newser) - Rats can hit the bottle too hard, just like humans—and a new study suggests the rodents' alcohol dependence may be reversible, Live Science reports. "We can completely reverse alcohol dependence by targeting a network of neurons," says lead scientist Olivier George in a statement on the study,... More »

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