Octopus on ecstasy, crossing sheep and wild open year

Octopus on ecstasy, crossing sheep and wild open year

2018 was full of scientific discoveries and technological breakthroughs. For example, archaeologists have found the lost cities of the Maya, and China may have appeared first in human history, genetically modified children. However, scientists sometimes carry out strange and, at first glance, meaningless research.


“Ribbon.ru” tells about the unusual and odd scientific papers of the year.

Octopus ecstasy

In September 2018 in the journal Current Biology published the work of American scientists, which gave the octopus to try ecstasy (MDMA). The experiment involved seven cephalopod species Octopus bimaculoides (California two spotted octopus), which prefer to lead a solitary lifestyle. Researchers have previously studied the biochemistry of the nervous system that underlie the antisocial behavior of the animals.

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It turned out that the octopus had the genes that encode serotonin — a neurotransmitter known as the “happiness hormone”. It is known that in humans serotonin is associated with entering the body MDMA, which ultimately affects behavior. Scientists have put forward the hypothesis that a similar effect will be observed in molluscs. It was a bold assumption, since the octopus has almost no cortex and a complex system of rewards.

Received ecstasy clams were moved to a Bank with three rooms, one of which was a male octopus and the other with a toy. Clams usually avoided meetings with relatives, however, MDMA has changed their behavior. Scientists came to the conclusion that since the common ancestor of humans and octopuses lived 500 million years ago, the structure of serotonin has existed almost unchanged for all this time and played a large role in the evolution of both species, despite the fundamental differences in the nervous system. However, there were also critics of studies which assert that were used in the experiment is too small animals and need more evidence.

Zombie squirrels

In October 2018 American doctors published a report about a strange case of infection of prion infection. A resident of Rochester (new York) at the age of 61 years was hospitalized with severe impaired cognitive functions, symptoms of schizophrenia, psychosis and the inability to walk. Five months after the onset of symptoms, the man died. The scan results showed that he was ill form of the disease Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is caused by prions.

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Misfolded prions catalyzes the conversion of normal prion into defective proteins, and the brain literally becomes a sponge. Prion diseases can occur spontaneously, be inherited, or via contaminated meat of bovine animals, sick “mad cow”.

Although the governments of great Britain and the United States took steps to reduce the risk of Contracting the human disease Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease by eating beef in your food, a new case has shown that the infection can penetrate into a man if you use meat of other animals. The fact that the deceased man was a fan of squirrel meat and the avid hunter on them. According to scientists, if indeed it is confirmed that he had CJD, it will be the first victim of the disease in the United States. Still in America there was not a single proven case of infection of BSE in humans.