View Full Version : This is your web...and this is your web on drugs.

The Mad Monk
05-02-2005, 09:12:13
Normal web





Chloral Hydrate


...any questions?

Results of experiments with Spiders and Drugs
Scientists at the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have turned their attention from the mysteries of the cosmos to a more esoteric area of research: what happens when you get a spider stoned.
Their experiments have shown that common house spiders spin their webs in different ways according to the psychotropic drug they have been given. Spiders on marijuana made a reasonable stab at spinning webs but appeared to lose concentration about half-way through. Those on Benzedrine - "speed" - spin their webs "with great gusto, but apparently without much planning leaving large holes", according to New Scientist magazine.

Caffeine, one of the most common drugs consumed by Britons in soft drinks, tea and coffee, makes spiders incapable of spinning anything better than a few threads strung together at random. On chloral hydrat, an ingredient of sleeping pills, spiders "drop off before they even get started".

Nasa scientists believe the research demonstrates that web-spinning spiders can be used to test drugs because the more toxic the chemical, the more deformed was the web.

The scientists believe their previous work on the goemetry of crystals will help them to devise computer programs that can analyse web-building objectively in order to predict the toxicity of new medicines. "It appears that one of the most telling measures of toxicity is a decrease, in comparison with a normal web, of the numbers of completed sides [of a web]; the greater the toxicity, the more sides the spider fails to complete", the scientists say.

Paul Hillard, spider specialist at the Natural History Museum in London, said researchers first discovered the effects of psychotropic drugs on spiders during experiments at the end of 1960s. The researchers fed caffeine to spiders in hope of making them spin webs in the late evening rather than the early dawn. The result was eccentric webs rather than earlier spinning, he said.

Article and research by Steve Connor


Lazarus and the Gimp
05-02-2005, 09:29:10
Great, isn't it? Caffeine really fucks them up.

Dyl Ulenspiegel
05-02-2005, 17:05:47
Now we know what they did to darkstar.

Provost Harrison
05-02-2005, 17:54:29
I am suspicious...spiders are very different from ourselves (no shit sherlock!) and it means that their enzymes will have differing specificities to drugs...so I certainly don't think it would be any substitute...

05-02-2005, 19:40:41
The LSD one's quite artisitc, for an arachnid.

Lazarus and the Gimp
05-02-2005, 20:10:05
From watching "QI", I know that if you give Honey Bees acid, they make honeycombs with circulars cells (rather than hexagonal).

Haven't heard what happens if you give bees cannabis. I think they all go to Amsterdam or something.

05-02-2005, 21:50:36
But finding wooden shoes that small has gotta be tough

06-02-2005, 06:10:36
Science at work ...

07-02-2005, 09:45:19
Seen those before but they are great. :)

07-02-2005, 09:56:04
I need some coffee.

Provost Harrison
07-02-2005, 10:11:12
Originally posted by Koshko
Science at work ...

That's what I usually do there :p

07-02-2005, 10:16:30
Ok...I have a question. Is chloral hydrate in any way related to hydrochloride? They sound very similar....and I realised my sleeping tablets are diphenhydramine hydrochloride......does this mean I can spin cool webs?

Provost Harrison
07-02-2005, 10:33:46
No. All that means is that a nitrogen on the drug has formed a coordinate bond to the hydrogen ion and there is a chloride ion there too.

07-02-2005, 10:35:32
Ah, like....hydochloric acid?

07-02-2005, 10:37:06
Well, that explains a lot. ;)

Provost Harrison
07-02-2005, 11:11:20
Exactly like hydrochloric acid. It's just a salt of the drug, more stable...

07-02-2005, 11:38:24
Hmmm spiders have not evolved a caffeine tolerance.

Humans have evolved a desperate need !