Sophia stepped on a lever and off she went, driving her miniature 3D-printed car down the hallway floor, crossing the finish line, crashing into the clear plastic barrier and winning the race in a blowout. Her victory prize was marshmallows and crushed Froot Loops. It was an impressive performance, given Sophia is a 6-month-old, black-and-white Long Evans rat. Sophia is among the rats that researchers at the University of Richmond have taught to drive. Kelly Lambert, a professor of behavioral neuroscience who leads the program, introduced the rats and her research in 2019. Her work, which gained national attention, showed that rats living in more enriched environments could perform more complex tasks. Parallels can be drawn for how human brains should be nourished throughout life. Now, the rats are driving the new, ROV (rodent-operated vehicle) more spacious, high-tech cars designed in collaboration with Randolph-Macon College. Lambert reported that rats that lived in an enriched environment performed tasks better than those that lived in a standard environment. The rats that lived in upgraded digs enjoyed a larger cage, objects to climb on, pieces of wood and rat roommates. The unlucky rats lived in standard, smaller cages. The takeaway is that for a brain to perform its best, whether it’s a rat’s or a human’s, it needs stimuli and interaction. All of the rats had higher levels of dehydroepiandrosterone, which the scientists believe could be linked to the satisfaction of having learned a new skill.
Rat Race humor
A church had a rat problem. The church doesn’t want to kill the rats, so they trapped them and released them far away, but the next day they are back. Next, they try ask them politely to leave, still they won’t budge. Finally, the priest has one last idea, he baptized all the rats.
Now they only come at Christmas and Easter.
The one rat asked the other rat if he’s had the covid vaccine?
“Nope, they’re still testing it on humans.
Let’s see how that goes.”
What do rich folks and rats have in common?
They’re leaving New York City.
Finally revealed: the leading cause of death for rats and mice:
December 1st Birthdays
1989 – Zoe Kravitz, 1945 – Bette Midler, 1960 – Carol Alt, 1996 – Emma Corin
1987 – Desean Jackson, 1978 – Mat Kearney, 1976 – Brently Heilbron, 1988 – Tyler Joseph