Epidemiology: Of Rats & Men

"Some of your best friends are rats," declares the American Cancer Society in ads that hail the research variety's services to medical science. But the wild Rattus norvegicus is man's worst animal enemy. It bites his babies, inflicting deforming and infected wounds; it cuts down his food supply, and it spreads disease. It was used as an instrument of torture in the Middle Ages, and now it is torturing the Johnson Administration, which is trying to get Congress to enact a $40 million rat-control bill (see THE NATION).

The female rat is capable...

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