CHICAGO (CBS)—Scientists are studying dead rats in hopes figuring out how the rodents affect our health.

The Urban Wildlife Institute at Lincoln Park Zoo wants to figure out if an exact amount of rat poison makes rats more susceptible to diseases like salmonella or e-coli.

If rat poison increases the likelihood of a rat getting sick, then we could be more likely to get sick.

Humans can actually catch diseases from rats if the rodent’s droppings are in your house or backyard.