By modifying a single gene, scientists have made Hobbie-J the smartest rat in the world, a new study says.
A similar gene tweak might boost human brainpower too, but scientists warn that there is such a thing as being too smart for your own good
For years scientifically smartened rats have skittered through movies and books such as Flowers for Algernon and The Secret of NIMH. But Hobbie-J is anything but fiction.
The lab rat can remember objects three times longer than her smartest kin, the study says. Thanks largely to this memory boost, she's also much better at solving complex tasks, such as traveling through mazes using only partial clues to find rewards—a key method for measuring rat intelligence.