Rats are commonly known as pests and spreaders of disease and many people’s worst nightmare. Yet they are very clever creatures, and can be trained just as well as dogs. The Belgian aid organization APOPO trains African hamster rats to search for earthquake victims under rubble, using a backpack on their backs, developed by TU/e students. Bram van Kasteren defended his master’s thesis on location determination in late December. This would eventually allow rescue workers to know exactly where to find the victim when the little rat hits the alarm button.