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How’s that for a hook? But seriously, guys, we have some news: UC Berkeley scientists have recently found that jet lag can seriously decrease the rate of neuron birth. So in layman’s terms, yes, this means that hamsters are dumber if they’re jet-lagged.

As adorable as the idea of hamsters flying on tiny planes from time zone to time zone sounds, these hamsters were just subjected to scientists advancing their day and night schedules by six hours (meant to mimic going from Paris to New York every three days for a month).

This led to a decrease of 50 percent in new neuron production in the hamsters’ hippocampuses, and the hamsters were still sluggish after 28 days on a normal schedule.

So what does this mean? Well, jet lag sucks even more, but we’re pretty sure that only silly people will say: Stop transatlantic travelling! It’s making you dumb! Maybe we’ll just go back to the old idea that sleep is good.

Image source: cdrussorusso under Creative Commons
Study: jet lag may mean brain lag [UPI]


We’re not quite sure how to break this to you guys, so we’ll just lay it on you: UC Davis students Henry Nguyen and Josue Melendez are facing charges for abusing hamsters. In addition to battery and torture via cigarette lighter, the criminal report notes that the suspects supposedly struck the rodent(s) in question with a ruler, “flung it across the room, and put the animal in a cup and lit the bottom of the cup on fire.”

The boys (allegedly) videotaped the whole ordeal and posted it on Facebook.

So much for our distilled, utopian vision of Davis as a pastoral land of kind aspiring vets and sheep midwives enjoying harmonious residence together in barnyard co-ops.

Image Source: Yukari* under Creative Commons
UC Davis Students Arrested for Torturing Hamsters [SFist]