Spiders on Drugs

In one little known experiment, a NASA research group in 1995 repeated Swiss pharmacologist Peter N. Witt’s 1948 experiments on the effect of caffeine, benzedrine, marijuana and chloral hydrate on European garden spiders. Their results were qualitatively similar to those of Witt, but the novelty was that the pattern of the spider web was quantitatively analyzed with modern statistical tools, and proposed as a sensitive method of drug detection. The drugs were administered by dissolving them in sugar water, and a drop of solution was touched to the spider’s mouth. In some later studies, spiders were fed with drugged flies. Click here to view the first image in this week’s demotivational posters gallery. Continue reading for a viral video of the world’s simplest motor, which consists of several batteries.