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December 4, 2010 | By Chris Kraul, Los Angeles Times
Rats may soon become heroic figures in this nation's struggle to detect and dispose of land mines. Early next year, anti-narcotics police will begin deploying squads of rats to sniff out land mines in remote areas of Colombia where leftist rebels and drug traffickers have planted hundreds of thousands of the deadly devices. It's an unconventional initiative in a country that is second only to Afghanistan in the number of land mine victims. Using a project in Tanzania as a model, Colombian scientists have taught rats to detect mines buried as deep as 3 feet.
May 23, 2011 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times/ For the Booster Shots Blog
Steady exposure to the electromagnetic radiation given off by cellphones during use may disrupt fetal development, disturb memory and weaken the barrier that protects the brain from environmental toxins, says a welter of new research being presented this week in Istanbul, Turkey. The authors of the studies, published in the past two years, highly preliminary and conducted on rabbits, mice and rats, suggested that the non-ionizing radiation emitted by cellphones and the base stations that broadcast cellphone signals may fundamentally damage cells by means other than the heat that they generate.
March 12, 2005 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
High-speed MRI scans produce effects in rats similar to those of antidepressants, confirming observations made in humans, Harvard University researchers said Thursday in the journal Biological Psychiatry. When repeatedly stressed, rats develop helpless behavior, which may be their version of despair, the researchers said. But in the experiment, the rats that had been exposed to magnetic fields showed less helplessness. "They behaved as if they had received an antidepressant," said Dr.
October 4, 2001 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Rats have eaten food, nested in cabinets and multiplied in about 50 of 197 apartments at UC Santa Cruz's family student housing complex. The cause is unclear, but a fox family has disappeared from the area, some killed by rat poison, said grounds supervisor Rich Berger.
September 20, 2008 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Scientists plan to use satellite photos to count giant kangaroo rats, the first-ever monitoring of an endangered species from outer space. Biologists will examine the images to find the circular patches of earth denuded by the rats as they gather food around their burrows. From that they plan to get the first accurate population count of the rodents, a bellwether for the health of a parched plains environment.The Nature Conservancy study is focusing on the vast Carrizo Plain in California's Central Valley.
April 21, 1998 | From Times Wire Reports
Rats wired to record brain activity raced around a twisted track aboard the space shuttle Columbia in an experiment that could help Alzheimer's patients. In the experiment by Bruce McNaughton, a psychologist from the University of Arizona, four male rats--their claws clinging to Velcro in the absence of gravity-- were to find their way around two tracks in Columbia's neurological laboratory.
September 27, 2008 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Treatment with genetically modified stem cells helped rats with a paralyzing disease live significantly longer, U.S. researchers said this week. Rats with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease, that were treated with the gene-engineered stem cells lived 28 days longer than untreated mice, the researchers told a conference. The injection contained adult nerve stem cells that were engineered to release a growth factor called glial cell-line derived neurotrophic factor, or GDNF.
July 2, 1986 | DOUG SMITH
The usual crush of people who have business in the prefab complex of Van Nuys Municipal Court had long since dispersed one evening last week when the Apartment Assn. of San Fernando Valley and Ventura County assembled in Division 114 to hold a trial of its own. The association rented the courtroom Wednesday night for its regular meeting. This month's topic was eviction.
January 25, 2001 | From Associated Press
Rats apparently can't escape the rat race, even when they're sound asleep. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology say they have entered the dreams of rats and found them busily working their way through the same lab mazes they negotiate during the day. It is evidence, not just that animals dream--most pet owners know that already--but that they have complex dreams, replaying events much as humans do, researchers said. And they may use their dreams to learn or memorize.
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