Don't blame cats for destroying wildlife – shaky logic is leading to moral panic

Framing cats as responsible for declines in biodiversity is based on faulty scientific logic and fails to account for the real culprit – human activity.

Francisco J. Santiago-Ávila, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Wisconsin-Madison • conversation
July 30, 2020 ~7 min

conservation biodiversity birds ethics mice science australia rats cats sixth-mass-extinction conservation-biology logic justice moral-panic predator compassion apex-predators habitat-degradation

Naked mole rats don’t migrate in response to the moon

Biologists were sure that moonlight prompted naked mole rats to disperse and form new colonies. These experiments disprove that theory.

Marta Wegorzewska-WUSTL • futurity
Feb. 28, 2020 ~5 min

migration light rodents science-and-technology moons naked-mole-rat

Better rat control in cities starts by changing human behavior

Climate change, globalization and concerns about rat poison soon could drive rat infestations to levels not seen in centuries. One way to curb them is getting humans to stop wasting food.

Jason Munshi-South, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences, Fordham University • conversation
Feb. 25, 2020 ~8 min

 pesticides  litter  animal-welfare  rats  pest-control  food-waste  rodents  new-york-city  garbage  integrated-pest-management

Rats taught to drive tiny cars to lower their stress levels

Researchers taught rats to drive tiny "ratmobiles" in exchange for food, which helped the rats relax.

BBC Science News • bbcnews
Oct. 24, 2019 ~3 min

animals united-states rats

Electronic chip can perform intracellular recording from thousands of connected neurons simultaneously

Researchers from Harvard University have developed an electronic chip that can perform high-sensitivity intracellular recording from thousands of connected neurons simultaneously, allowing them to identify hundreds of synaptic connections.

Harvard Gazette • harvard
Sept. 24, 2019 ~5 min

 science-technology  parkinsons-disease  neuronal-networks  john-a-paulson-school-of-engineering-and-applied-sciences  brain-cells  electrophysiological-screening  harvard-seas  rat-neuronal-network

Rat brains have special map cells for navigation

A part of the brain called the striatum helps rats make a mental map of their surroundings, research finds. The findings could improve autonomous robots.

Boston University • futurity
July 26, 2019 ~6 min

robots brains rats science-and-technology navigation self-driving-cars

Cave full of rat bones reveals ‘Hobbit’ habitat

Thousands of ancient rat bones offer clues to the habitat of the mysterious hominin H. floresiensis, who stood about 3 feet 6 inches tall.

Carol Clark-Emory • futurity
March 18, 2019 ~6 min

evolution fossils skeletons rats rodents bones ecosystems science-and-technology caves

‘DeepSqueak’ program decodes rat speak

The program is the first to turn rat squeaks into visual images that researchers can analyze with algorithms to dig into how rats chat.

Bobbi Nodell-Washington • futurity
Jan. 8, 2019 ~3 min

communication rats algorithms science-and-technology