Today in Research: Lab Rats Get Their Due; Edible Cookie Dough

Discovered: giving rats their due, nostalgia for cave-dwelling, shrubbery as global warming data point, and shifting the burden of responsibility for eating cookie dough.

  • The lab rats finally get their due. Poked, prodded, enhanced, given alcohol, drugs, and subjected to pretty much everything by inquisitive researchers, the plight of lab rats and mice often seems bleak (even though they may be doing humanity a favor). So, is it surprising that a new study finds them banding together and displaying "compassion and helping other rodents"? Sure, it may have been a shock to some scientists, as the Associated Press informed, but rats gotta stick together. They've been through enough over the years. Humorously, the thing that they were helping each other with appears to have to do with fleeing their cages: "Given a choice between munching on a tasty chocolate treat or helping a fellow rat escape from a restraint, test rodents often preferred to liberate a pal in need," wrote the AFP. Lab jailbreak in the works? [Associated Press, AFP]
  • Since we'll never learn to not eat uncooked cookie dough ... Let's just encourage manufactures to make it edible, because the temptation to eat the cookie dough is irresistible. But, is that possible? Who knows. That's the suggestion from researchers affiliated with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who studied the E. coli outbreak in raw cookie dough in 2009 and came to the conclusion that even with the potential threat of getting pretty ill by eating contaminated dough, plenty of us will still risk it anyway. So, the team seems to suggest placing the burden of responsibility on the companies churning out the dough: "Manufacturers should consider using heat-treated or pasteurized flour, in ready-to-cook or ready-to-bake foods that may be consumed without cooking or baking." What about cookie dough ice cream? [Eurekalert]

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