Life Lines by Dr. Dolittle

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Tag Archive for ‘rat’

Birds have a unique way of preventing muscle wasting

Muscle wasting is a major complication associated with cirrhosis and liver failure. Normally the liver functions to convert ammonia into urea. But with liver failure, this process does not work well leading to high levels of circulating ammonia, which is thought to contribute to muscle wasting in mammals. A new study published in the American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, explored whether birds have the same muscle wasting […]

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How Animals Deal with Stress

  Victor Zhang (Graduate Student working with Dr. Loren Buck at Northern Arizona University) gave an interesting talk on his research to measure stress and activity patterns in free living arctic ground squirrels. They found overall that females were less stressed than males although stress levels and activity varied during lactation. I think some human mothers can agree with those observations. Oliver Wearing (Graduate student working with Dr. Graham Scott […]

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New species of giant rat discovered in Solomon Islands

A new species of giant tree rats (Uromys vika) has been confirmed in the Solomon Islands! These rats can reach over 2 pounds and an impressive 1.5 feet in length. They can even break through coconuts with their teeth. I would not want to cross paths with one of these critters.   Sources: Video: YouTube TH Lavery, H Judge. A new species of giant rat (Muridae, Uromys) from Vangunu, Solomon […]

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Rodent Birth Control

News out of Flagstaff, Arizona reports that a biotechnology company in the area, SenesTech, has developed a birth control for rats that was recently cleared by the Environmental Protection Agency. The new drug comes in the form of a sweetened liquid bait that has been shown to reduce rodent populations by as much as 40%. It works in female rats by inducing loss of eggs whereas in male rats it disrupts development of sperm. The drug is […]

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