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Ed Cara Ed Cara Jul 14, 2019.

Why Does Coffee Make Us Poop? Scientists Gave Coffee to Rats to Find Out

Why Does Coffee Make Us Poop? Scientists Gave Coffee to Rats to Find Out

A good chunk of regular coffee drinkers know that coffee isn’t just great at getting them awake in the morning—it also makes them get up and go poop. But while coffee’s laxative powers are well-known , it’s not clear why exactly this happens. To get to the bottom of this mystery, some scientists decided to do exactly what you’d expect scientists to: They gave lab rats some coffee.

Their...

George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Jul 13, 2019.

Rat Version of Hepatitis E Detected in a Human for the First Time

Rat Version of Hepatitis E Detected in a Human for the First Time

A 56-year-old man from Hong Kong has contracted the rat-specific version of hepatitis E, something never observed before in a human patient. Health officials are now scrambling to understand how this could have happened—and the possible implications.

A medical team from the University of Hong Kong assessed the unnamed patient, who had recently undergone a liver transplant, the South China...

Jennings Brown Jennings Brown Jun 01, 2019. 20 comments

Tourist Infected by Brain-Invading Parasite After Eating Slug on a Dare in Hawaii

Tourist Infected by Brain-Invading Parasite After Eating Slug on a Dare in Hawaii

Hawaii health officials are warning residents and visitors to avoid slugs, snails, and rats after the Center for Disease Control (CDC) found that three travelers visiting the state were recently infected with rat lungworm disease. One visitor got the disease because the individual ate a slug.

The notice, issued last week, warns people to inspect produce and wash fruit and vegetables that...

20 Comments

Tom McKay Tom McKay Mar 04, 2019. 2 comments

Robocall Hell, Divination Bot Returns, and a Fake MD: Best Gizmodo Stories of the Week

Robocall Hell, Divination Bot Returns, and a Fake MD: Best Gizmodo Stories of the Week

The winds of time blow strangely here, in our unfortunate state of internet-enabled perpetual present, but how the heck is it already March? This is not a rhetorical question. If you could explain this to me, that would be great.

Yet in keeping pace with the relentless march of seconds turning into minutes turning into hours turning into days, Gizmodo had a busy week! As March approached, our...

2 Comments

Tom McKay Tom McKay Feb 26, 2019. 18 comments

Kickstarter to Remove That Rat From the End of The Departed Whacked By DMCA Takedown

Kickstarter to Remove That Rat From the End of The Departed Whacked By DMCA Takedown

Kickstarter has exterminated a campaign to exterminate the infamous rat from the end of The Departed after Warner Bros. filed a DMCA copyright takedown request, the Verge reported on Monday.

The campaign, started by director Adam Sacks, was spurred by allegedly widespread distaste at the ending of Martin Scorcese’s Oscar-winning 2006 gangster drama, in which after a long string of murders,...

18 Comments

Feb 08, 2019. 15 comments

Project 'DeepSqueak' Aims to Decipher What Mice and Rats Are Really Chattering About

Project 'DeepSqueak' Aims to Decipher What Mice and Rats Are Really Chattering About

The image of a lab rat is an iconic symbol of scientific research, and for good reason: These rodents are remarkably good stand-ins for human subjects because of how closely their physiology and genetic make-up resemble ours. Because of this, mice and rats are used to study everything from cancer to diabetes to Alzheimer’s disease.

However, despite their tried-and-true use as animal models,...

15 Comments

Catie Keck Catie Keck Dec 13, 2018. 20 comments

'Genius' Rats Are Flooding DC and Adapting Too Fast to Control

'Genius' Rats Are Flooding DC and Adapting Too Fast to Control

Washington, DC, has a serious rat problem on its hands, and it has little to do with the shady goings-on at some of the highest levels of government. No, we’re talking real, honest to god rat kings who are wreaking havoc on the nation’s capital.

The Associated Press reported Wednesday that the DC region is facing a serious problem with Rattus Norvegicus, or the brown rat, an infestation that’s...

20 Comments

George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Nov 22, 2018. 3 comments

Second Case of Rat Hepatitis in a Human Reported in Hong Kong

Second Case of Rat Hepatitis in a Human Reported in Hong Kong

A 70-year-old Hong Kong woman has contracted the rat-specific version of Hepatitis E, signifying only the second time the disease has been documented in humans. Health officials in China are now scrambling to understand the implications of this disturbing new development.

The patient, a retiree from Hong Kong’s Wong Tai Sin district, was admitted to Kwong Wah Hospital on May 1, 2017, and has...

3 Comments

Emily Lipstein Emily Lipstein Jul 25, 2018. 3 comments

What Scientists Can Learn From New York City's Freakiest Residents

What Scientists Can Learn From New York City's Freakiest Residents
From The Lab"From the Lab" is an exploration of the curious and far-flung places scientists are conducting research  

In a way, cities are giant science labs, providing an environment for organisms that’s unlike anywhere else on the planet. Even though cities have been around for thousands of years, the way that humans are urbanizing our planet in recent decades has become radically...

3 Comments

Brian Kahn Brian Kahn Jul 12, 2018. 3 comments

Some Coral Reefs Need Poop, Study Finds

Some Coral Reefs Need Poop, Study Finds

Bird turds can tell you a lot about an island. For instance, is it smelly or not? But also, how are the coral reefs doing?

Research published on Wednesday in Nature shows that at least for one archipelago, the shittier the island the healthier the reefs and fish around them. That insight is crucial for conservationists looking to give reefs a little help in troubling times.

So, here’s the thing...

3 Comments

Tom McKay Tom McKay Jun 27, 2018. 11 comments

Rat Dies Doing What It Loved: Breaking Into an ATM and Gorging Itself on Nearly $18,000 in Cash

Rat Dies Doing What It Loved: Breaking Into an ATM and Gorging Itself on Nearly $18,000 in Cash

There’s that old adage about dogs chasing cars, not knowing what they’d do if they caught one. Well, a rat in Assam state, India knew exactly what it wanted to do when it broke into an ATM earlier this month, and that was feasting on money until it died.

According to Reuters, State Bank of India officials say that the rat somehow managed to evade the ATM’s security cameras while sneaking...

11 Comments

Tom McKay Tom McKay May 10, 2018. 6 comments

South Georgia Island Has Finally Been Certified Free of Swarms of Rats That Feasted on Rare Birds

South Georgia Island Has Finally Been Certified Free of Swarms of Rats That Feasted on Rare Birds

Exterminators have successfully cleansed the remote British overseas territory of South Georgia island in the South Atlantic of invasive rats that, since the year 1775, had been feasting on the eggs and chicks of two species of birds found nowhere else on the planet and many others.

The successful, $13.5 million (10 million pounds) rodent purge is in large part thanks to the work of the South...

6 Comments

Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Jan 31, 2018. 20 comments

The 'Shower Rat' Is Very Obviously Not Showering [Update: Also, It's Not a Rat]

The 'Shower Rat' Is Very Obviously Not Showering [Update: Also, It's Not a Rat]

It’s very easy to look at an animal mimicking a human-like behavior and think “Wow! That animal is doing a human thing! It looks so cute and happy” (because humans are so cute and happy, right?) That is almost never the case. If an animal looks weird, it probably is weird—and not in a good way.

Take this new “shower rat” video that everyone is sharing. There is a rat (actually, more likely a...

20 Comments

Cheryl Eddy Cheryl Eddy Nov 30, 2017. 2 comments

The Rat Race Gets a Literal Interpretation in This All-Too-Relatable Animated Short

The Rat Race Gets a Literal Interpretation in This All-Too-Relatable Animated Short

Steve Cutts’ jaunty yet cutting short Happiness imagines the big-city rat race—literally embodied by rats. There’s a suffocatingly overcrowded subway, frenzied shoppers stampeding through a sale, and a traffic jam so apocalyptic that no amount of drink or drugs can make everything OK.

That doesn’t mean our heroic lead rodent won’t try, though. We support you, little dude! Hell, we are you....

2 Comments

Chris Mills Chris Mills Aug 18, 2017. 8 comments

Rat Brains Are Organized Like The Internet

Rat Brains Are Organized Like The Internet

Mammalian brains are incredibly dense with connections: with present technology, just building a computer that can replicate one percent of a human’s brain technology requires the power of 250,000 desktop PCs. But, thanks to one new scientific paper, we now at least know how the synpases are organized.

To gain a deeper understanding of what’s going on inside a rat’s head — and, hopefully, one...

8 Comments

Bryan Lufkin Bryan Lufkin Aug 18, 2017. 13 comments

These Hero Rats Are Trained to Sniff Out Land Mines and Tuberculosis

These Hero Rats Are Trained to Sniff Out Land Mines and Tuberculosis

An international NGO trains rodents to find buried bombs and a deadly respiratory disease. Meanwhile, I’ve taught my dog how to carry three tennis balls in his mouth at once.

More than 59 countries—a third of the world—are contaminated with ground explosives leftover from past wars. In 2012 alone, 1,066 people were killed by such explosives, and 2,552 were injured. Enter Apopo, a nonprofit...

13 Comments

Germain Lussier Germain Lussier Aug 18, 2017. 11 comments

Movie Review: Morgan Spurlock's Rats Is One of the Grossest Films We've Ever Seen

Movie Review: Morgan Spurlock's <i>Rats</i> Is One of the Grossest Films We've Ever Seen

Director Morgan Spurlock has made documentaries about McDonalds, Comic-Con, One Direction and Osama Bin Laden. That’s a wide variety of work and yet you’d never expect him to make a true genre film. His new documentary, Rats, is exactly that. It was made with one singular thought: to gross you out using nothing but our reality.

Based on the non-fiction book by Robert Sullivan about the rat...

11 Comments

Germain Lussier Germain Lussier Aug 18, 2017. 6 comments

My 12 Favorite Films of Fantastic Fest 2016

My 12 Favorite Films of Fantastic Fest 2016

For the past two weeks, I was in Austin, Texas, but I wasn’t eating barbecue and drinking beer at every chance imaginable. This is because I was at Fantastic Fest 2016, the world’s greatest genre film festival, getting an early view of some truly great films that will be coming out over the next few months.

Here are my 12 favorite movies from the festival, with links to their reviews. A note:...

6 Comments

Eve Peyser Eve Peyser Aug 18, 2017. 21 comments

5,000 Years Ago, Europeans Ate Rodents

5,000 Years Ago, Europeans Ate Rodents

According to a new study published in the journal Royal Society Open Science on Tuesday, 5,000 years ago people in Europe likely ate rodents as snacks. Ew!

A new discovery by archeologists in Scotland suggests that mice and vole weren’t considered mere pests in ancient European society, but also a source of nutrition. At the Skara Brae settlement, an island off Scotland, researchers went...

21 Comments

Cheryl Eddy Cheryl Eddy Aug 18, 2017. 15 comments

Fans of Rat-Themed Horror, Rejoice: Both Ben and the Original Willard Are Scurrying to Blu-Ray

Fans of Rat-Themed Horror, Rejoice: Both <i>Ben</i> and the Original <i>Willard</i> Are Scurrying to Blu-Ray

Animal-rampage movies were all the rage in the 1970s, with Jaws elevating the genre from niche horror to blockbuster status. But years before the shark it was all about the rats, in 1971's Willard and 1972's Ben. Now, at long last, this pair of skin-crawling classics is finally coming to Blu-ray.

Contemporary audience are probably familiar with Willard thanks to the 2003 Crispin Glover remake,...

15 Comments

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