I spent the last few days fighting off a mouse infestation in our RV. So far I've trapped and tossed six of the furry little bastards out on their asses. As I began the search for where they were getting into our rig, yesterday, I got to wondering how much space they can actually squeeze through.
According to this video, I'm doomed. Read the rest
Shawn Woods was able to catch seven mice in one night with a large bowl and some food-grade oil. Read the rest
Woodworker Matthias Wandel has mice in his workshop, and he wanted to see how small a hole mice could crawl through. But after setting up his ingenious little test, a challenger appears: the wily shrew! Read the rest
YouTuber kipkay repurposed a vintage 30-year-old Mac mouse in this how-to video. Turns out there are lots of little items inside that can be salvaged for other projects, too. Read the rest
Things I did not know before viewing this adorable video shot by Surrey Wildlife Trust Mammal Project Officer Dave Williams:
1) The dormouse, a little rodent species you'll find in Britain, hibernate in the winter in nests they hide on the ground.
2) The dormouse spends up to one-third of its life in hibernation, and typically begin that winter "sleep" when the first frost hits, and their food sources are gone.
3) They lose about a quarter of their body weight during hibernation.
4) The word "dormouse" comes from the Anglo-Norman dormeus, which means "sleepy (one)"
You can donate to support the Surrey Wildlife Trust's nature conservation work here.
(via @joeljohnson, photo: Dave Williams, Surrey Wildlife Trust) Read the rest
You've probably seen this caveat pretty often: Just because a study that uses mice as subjects produces a specific result, doesn't mean you'd get the same result using human subjects. Mice are handy research animals, but they aren't perfect analogues to humans. A mouse study is a stepping stone towards better evidence. It is something we do because there are potentially useful ideas that we should not try out on humans first. But mouse studies should not count as incontrovertible proof of anything.
Usually, when that caveat comes up, the person giving it is talking about fundamental differences between mouse biology and human biology. For instance, a mouse might only need one copy of a genetic factor to grow normally. Meanwhile, a human needs to have both copies or risk altered sexual development.
But there are other problems with mice, problems that have more to do with how we select, breed, and raise mouse models. In a fascinating three-part series on Slate.com, Daniel Engber looks at how we undermine the usefulness of our own lab mice, and the risks we take when we do so.
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If you put a rat on a limited feeding schedule—depriving it of food every other day—and then blocked off one of its cerebral arteries to induce a stroke, its brain damage would be greatly reduced. The same held for mice that had been engineered to develop something like Parkinson's disease: Take away their food, and their brains stayed healthier.
But Mattson wasn't so quick to prescribe his stern feeding schedule to the crowd in Atlanta.