Science: Rodent relationships end if they don’t drink the same

A couple is happy until one starts drinking too much, and before long, the relationship is over. It’s a well-known tale — at least in prairie vole circles.

According to a new study, prairie voles (picture morbidly obese field mice) don’t end up staying together if they don’t drink about the same amount of alcohol. Voles have life-long monogamous relationships, but alcohol can get in the way. The more alcohol a male vole drinks, the more likely he is to go find another female to mate with, while the more of a lush the female vole, the more likely she is to stay with her original mate.

Researchers determined this by monitoring voles’ alcohol intake, and listening to them drunkenly ramble on about how their wives just don’t understand them.

Blood of children gives old mice a new life

The old want to be young again, and now, science might just let them. All they need is the blood of children.

Scientists have found that blood plasma from younger humans can make older mice reinvigorated. They injected plasma from teenagers into 12-month-old mice, which are 50 in mouse years, and found the old mice were as energetic and had as sharp memories as mice only 3 months old.

So there you have it. Now it’s only a matter of time before they do human trials. And then we have vampires.

Zika finally matters

What's the point of even keeping mice around if they stop humping our gloved hands?
What’s the point of even keeping mice around if they stop humping our gloved hands?

Despite a nearly ruined Olympics and a tragic microcephaly outbreak in infants born to infected mothers, Zika really didn’t reach West Nile-level panic here in the U.S. Especially now that we’re approaching winter, where our mosquitos f*ck off until June or so. Well, we were wrong to brush it off, and it looks like Zika’s about to get Viagra-level funding for the foreseeable future now that we know that it can shrink our balls.

Well, technically, it shrinks the testicles of male mice by 90 percent — which is already a feat considering it takes at least twenty mice scrotums to make one Mickey Mouse shot.* But, still: the implication exists!

So, thank you science and an ex-handful of mice. You made Zika matter.

*Forty mouse testes poured into a shot glass with scotch.

Success is here again!

People, we may be onto a giant series of counterattack successes. First, Barbara Glaff figures out a way to turn allies against each other. And now? Now?

We can stop mice from eating. Everything.

Scientists at CIT “accidentally” stumbled onto a network of cells that can turn appetites on and off (warning: autoplay). Through light signals, the scientists were able to stop the mice from eating, even while eating. Some want to use this technology as a form of weight-loss and appetite suppressant for humans.

I’m thinking otherwise. After all, it’s hard for an army to fight if it won’t eat.

Mouseferatu

It's like that old children's story, If You Give a Mouse a Transfusion.
It’s like that old children’s story, If You Give a Mouse a Transfusion.

Conservatives tried to warn us about the eggheads at Stanford and Harvard, but we didn’t listen. And now we have vampire mice.

Research teams transfused blood from young mice into older ones and found that, after receiving the younger blood, older mice could navigate mazes as fast as their younger counterparts.

Of course, if the treatment works on humans, then you know what’ll happen next: the Viagra effect. Younger and younger men will pay for transfusions from even younger men until everyone’s running the 40 like a baby. We won’t be able to make new mazes fast enough.

If you give a snake a mouse …

"Eat me, ha-ha!"
“Eat me, ha-ha!”

… he’ll probably wonder why it smells like the first thing to ever overdose on Tylenol.

Frequent readers know that we are at war with animals everywhere. But there’s only one spot in the world where the War on Animals is an actual Syfy original movie: Guam. The teeny-tiny island nation is so overrun with brown tree snakes that they’ve wiped out nearly all — no, really: ALL — native bird species. They’re also somewhat poisonous and have attacked pets and children. And because they were introduced by accident through military cargo flights, there are no native predators to thin their numbers naturally.

So, if cargo plans were the problem, then cargo planes are the solution! … In that those planes are now parachuting dead mice full of acetaminophen (Tylenol) as a very different type of Mickey.

It beats their original idea: airdropping an Irish priest with a whackin’ stick into the jungle.


Special thanks to Patrick H. for his continued support!

If you teach a mouse to skateboard

It was later adapted into a film about the importance of helmet safety.
It was later adapted into a film about the importance of helmet safety.

It’s winter time in Australia. Right now, Aussies are probably going to holiday parties and singing carols in the streets, then comparing knives. We don’t picture there being much else to do this Australian holiday season.

That’s why it doesn’t come as a shock that a man from down under reports that he has taught mice to skateboard on a little ramp. Some might raise alarm to this development, after all, doesn’t this mean the mice can teach others, becoming one step closer to humans?

Not really. You see, we haven’t had an opportunity like this since 1965, when a mouse learned how to ride a motorcycle. Which led to the children’s literary world to declare war on mice. (To be fair, children’s writers had been killing other animals for decades.)

Just don’t give the mouse a cookie.

All is going to plan

The snake. It’s not normally an alpha predator, but in the right ecosystem, it has an untouched reign as king. The ones that have venom are even more powerful in their world, as not many creatures can readily top a poisonous animal.

Unless this is a children’s movie involving sports. You see, the power of teamwork is apparently more powerful than fangs dripping with a toxin, as a group of mice decided to show an unnamed venomous snake. This rebellion of the spirit took place in a Chinese zoo, as the mice were being fed to the serpent, but after seeing one of their kin being eaten, the rodents teamed up on the snake, managing to damage it while also earning their freedom from we humans.

While it’s regrettable that they were released, it is pleasing to see these two species feuding with each other. Perhaps we’ll be able to exploit it when the full-scale war breaks out.

Keep your sweater for Valentine’s

While it’s better to have a Valentine than to be one of those sad sacks crying into their white wine on Single Awareness Day, that’s not to say that having one doesn’t come with its own problems. The most frustrating aspect has to be going out in February. Even in the most temperate U.S. climates, there’s a good chance you’ll have to surrender your jacket.

Ugh, 100 problems.
Ugh, 100 problems.

Fortunately, this may be the last year you’ll ever have to do that, thanks to your wing man: science!

Neuroscientists at the University of Southern California “turned off” the sensation of feeling cold in mice by isolating and cutting off the neurons that express a protein named TRPM8. The mice with TRPM8 avoided areas in the experiment area that were too hot and too cold, while the mice without TRPM8 wore shorts while waiting in line for concert tickets outside, talking about how this weather was nothing because they’re from Michigan.

Right now, the treatment is irreversible, so the next step is to develop a temporary effects pill that you can slip into her drink. And, if that fails, we can just wait until climate change takes full effect.

Ditch the wheel: scientific secret for slimmer, sexier mice

After a canker sore medicine caused this mouse to lose weight without dieting or exercise, LSU lab assistants can't resist touching his new six-pack.
After a canker sore medicine caused this mouse to lose weight without dieting or exercise, LSU lab assistants can’t resist touching his new six-pack.

You know, we keep hearing about all these great things science was supposed to do for us, but it sure seems like it’s fallen short in recent years. Personal jetpacks, flying cars and exterminating everyone over 30 are all now 13 years overdue. Basically, thanks for the microwave ovens, scientists, but what have you done for us lately?

Well, science delivered, and it delivered big. Get ready for slimmer, sexier mice, because doctors at Louisiana State University have found the secret to exercise- and diet-free weight loss.

LSU researchers injected mice that they had fattened up with amlexanox, a drug normally used to treat canker sores in humans. The mice lost the weight through increased metabolism, not by moving around more or eating less. Once off the drug, the mice gained the weight back, but it was too late for their young, sexy new spouses to dump them.

The next step is to test this treatment on obese humans, who look forward to getting that wheel out of their living rooms.