Scientists gave spiders LSD and other drugs and here is what happened

Scientists gave spiders LSD and other drugs and here is what happened

While spiders terrify me, I still find interest in observing a web or two.

The intricate lines of arachnid artwork prove to be one of the nature’s most striking creations, and seeing as I am an artist, I appreciate such beauty.

How the spider web works

Ever wonder how a spider web works? Well, I used to be intrigued by this myself. A spider’s web is remarkable. It serves as the primary way in which the spider survives. Without the web, the spider would have no tool to lure, catch and devour its prey. What’s more, the process of building a web takes a little time at all.

It only takes between 20 and 30 minutes for the arachnid to build its web. First, the radii must be placed at set intervals. The spider, then, crosses the radii in pendulums and round turns to set the insect-catching zones. After the work is completed, the spider settles at the hub of the web and stretches out its legs. It can now feel each vibration that occurs on the web, thus catching  prey trapped its natural structure.

But what happens when, like us human creatures, spiders become subject to hallucinogenics or other mind-altering substances?

Webs before dawn

H.M. Peters, zoologist, began filming the web-building techniques of the Orb spider in 1948. This project was part of his research conducted at the University of Tubingen in Germany. The original plan was to simply film the ritual of the Orb spider, which occurred predominantly between 2 and 5 in the morning. The work soon became dreadfully boring, and so Peters got creative. His intention was to alter the internal clock of the spider in order to work during the hours of the day of his choice. Peters enlisted the help of pharmacologist Peter Witt.

Curiosity doped the spider

Peters and Witt, together, formed a plan. In order to change the spider’s time of web-building, they would need to change the functioning of the spider. The duo decided to lace water with a variety of mind-altering drugs such as LSD, amphetamines and marijuana, along with many other substances. The lighting and temperature of the laboratory were regulated for controlled results.

The results were interesting, to say the least. While the spider’s web is usually intricate and effective, most results proved to be inconclusive and horrifying

Notes from the English publication, “Drugs and Society,” state,

“Their daily spinning is usually a remarkably precise and complex process whose mechanisms we do not fully understand.”

The webs could not serve what the spiders had intended them to. The creations were ugly and proved to be useless for catching the spider’s prey.


The webs included irregularly spaced radii but with the same basic geometry.


With high dosages of LSD, web-building was completely altered. Dosages that were just a bit lighter made the webs appear psychedelic. Sometimes the spiders couldn’t do anything under the LSD influence. Low dosages of LSD almost created a normal web, but still with compulsive lines and sections.


Soon, after observing the results of drug-induced web-building, Peters abandoned the research.  Witt continued in his tests, experimenting with other substances and combinations. He also questioned the comparison between the spider’s mind and our own while using these substances. Results are unclear as to whether the tests proved useful in any way. Although scientific interest with spider experimentation decreased, Witt continued testing mind-altering effects on the orb spider until his death in 1998.


Learning & Mind

Does Online Casino Apps Have The Same Security Level As The PC Versions?

Does Online Casino Apps Have The Same Security Level As The PC Versions?

Does online casino apps have the same security level as the PC versions? This is a complicated question to answer. For one thing, people are going to have varying security levels depending on the devices that they use for downloading these apps and the different types of technology that they use. When evaluating the individual apps and comparing them with the PC versions, the picture is not always going to become more straightforward.


For one thing, PC devices tend to have better antivirus software compared with smartphones. However, viruses are going to be much more numerous with regards to PC devices compared with smartphones. It is possible to get viruses through smartphones just like it is possible to get smartphone devices that have solid antivirus software. However, for the most part, PC devices are going to be better when it comes to antivirus software. They are going to have better defenses, but they are also going to have more of their own risks.


As such, in practice, a lot of the PC versions that people are going to use are going to be a lot riskier in practice than the online casino apps that people are going to use. The apps that people are going to download to their mobile devices are going to come with all of the risks that mobile devices will come with, at least in practice. People are going to be using their mobile devices in order to access them, and all of the associated risks and rewards are going to transfer.


A lot of modern apps are going to use systems that involve more authentication than others. This is going to lead to a heightened level of security that is ultimately going to work out much better for everyone involved. The steps for the authentication are going to be slightly more numerous than the steps that people would take otherwise with some of the other versions of the apps that people would use. Having even one additional step in the authentication process can make a huge difference, however, and this can help people who are trying to understand the cost and benefit analysis associated with the different apps that they are going to choose.


It is going to be a different experience using the app for the Euro Palace casino online. Euro Palace Online Casino apps are going to be safe and easy to use for the most part. People are still going to need to make sure that their devices are safe enough, or all of the rest of the security that the apps come with will not really make a huge difference in practice.


However, it is still important for people to be able to really keep in mind all of the characteristics associated with the new apps. Some of them are becoming more and more secure all the time. Others are showing people different means of security. Sometimes, the newer non-PC versions are going to be better when it comes to security just because they are newer.

Psychology Dissertation Writing Guide for Students

Psychology Dissertation Writing Guide for Students

A dissertation in any discipline is a tall order for any student. Dissertations will require students to conduct research of their own choosing. This is both an exciting, yet challenging prospect. Yes, students are able to tackle something that is in their wheelhouse of interest, but in this assignment, they are the captains of their own ship and will face the hardships that come with the role. Students will immediately face the challenge of producing quality research and documentation with limited time and resources. They will simultaneously need to be agile, resourceful and precise in how they conduct their dissertation.


If that wasn’t hard enough, a psychology dissertation presents challenges that are unique. Psychology is a vast field of study and there are thousands upon thousands of topics that a student can choose from. Furthermore, researchers will have to deal with what is perhaps the greatest variable known to man, the human mind. This is true for both ends of the study. The researcher must be willing to set aside any biases they may have and approach the study from a neutral standpoint. They will also have to somehow navigate the tricky waters of interviews, surveys, polls and research to find the hard, quantitative data contained within them.


Before the student cracks open a book or jots down a word, they must begin their dissertation by taking stock of the situation and their resources. Understand in great detail exactly what it is the administration or instructor is asking for in the dissertation. Make note of the formatting expected as well as any deadlines. Then take stock of the resources at your disposal which will include access to source material, research, people to interview and even time with advisors or the instructor. With this in mind, the student can set a realistic expectation when it comes to choosing the subject matter or question to study.


Picking an appropriate topic or subject to study in the dissertation is critical. There are many to choose from, dozens upon dozens of avenues of thoughts, ideas and issues to look into. Unsurprisingly, this part of the dissertation process can be one of the most difficult and confusing for a student. Start with by making a broad list of topics of interest, this list should contain no more than ten topics. Then whittle this list down to half, restricting yourself to those topics which explore social problems that you truly care about. Then below each topic, list the specific social problem(s) you would like explore or solve. Now bring things down to a personal level by asking yourself what each topic means to you and in doing so narrowing the field to the top two or three topics. Now it is a matter of briefly exploring the top two or three topics, a task that can be done in an afternoon of research on the Internet and a bit of introspection. The final topic will eventually rise to the top.


With the topic of the dissertation in mind, it is time to do the research to explore and solve it. Along with the writing and presentation of the dissertation, the research that needs to be conducted is one of the most important and resource consuming parts of the assignment. Faced with this, the majority of students will immediately dive headlong into books and articles, or hop on the Internet. However, a logical first step would be to consult with the instructor or, if you have access to them, a research advisor. Discuss with them your topics and ideas, and your plan on how to conduct the dissertation. These individuals usually have read numerous dissertations and have decades of experience in psychology. The tips and insights that they may have are invaluable and cannot be found in any book or online article. They may point you towards a piece of literature that would have taken you hours or days to find. They may point you towards or give access to certain individuals that would greatly help in the formation of your dissertation.


After a visit or two to the research advisor or instructor should the student start deep diving into textbooks, research material, articles and interviews? Ask questions, challenge popular opinion and create experiments to continually test assumptions and gather data. Always use multiple sources, the more the better. Also, consider source material that may present a counter argument to your topic, as these may provide perspectives that you may not have thought of.


Finally, it is good to remind yourself that this is an academic study. It should maintain a neutral stance. Because psychology deal with people (the writer included) on a visceral level, it easy very easy to let personal biases bleed into the study. The student should be cognizant of these at all times and avoid it at all costs.

Great Barrier Reef Suffers Worst Coral Die-Off on Record

Great Barrier Reef Suffers Worst Coral Die-Off on Record


Staghorn corals killed by bleaching on the northern Great Barrier Reef. Greg Torda / ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies

A new map released by the Australian Research Council shows unprecedented coral bleaching in the last nine months in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, resulting in the largest coral die-off ever recorded.

About two-thirds of reefs have died in the most-impacted northern region stretching 435 miles and researchers estimate the damage could take up to 15 years to recover. Global warming, combined with a strong El Niño, caused disastrous coral bleaching across the world this year.


ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies

“Most of the losses in 2016 have occurred in the northern, most-pristine part of the Great Barrier Reef,” said Professor Terry Hughes, director of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies based at James Cook University, who undertook extensive aerial surveys at the height of the bleaching. “This region escaped with minor damage in two earlier bleaching events in 1998 and 2002, but this time around it has been badly affected.”


Researcher Grace Frank completes bleaching surveys. ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies

Source: EcoWatch

Machines Soon Will Be Controlled By Your Thought

Machines Soon Will Be Controlled By Your Thought

Can you imagine a world where machines can be controlled by thought alone?

This is what brain- computer interfaces (BCIs) will do, by using computers to decode and translate human thoughts, into machine commands.

Take a look at the infographic of the evolution of BCI technology, its current state and future prospects.


ESA’s New Mars Orbiter Prepares For First Science

ESA’s New Mars Orbiter Prepares For First Science


Trace Gas Orbiter instruments. ESA

The ExoMars orbiter is preparing to make its first scientific observations at Mars during two orbits of the planet starting next week.

The Trace Gas Orbiter, or TGO, a joint endeavour between ESA and Roscosmos, arrived at Mars on 19 October. It entered orbit, as planned, on a highly elliptical path that takes it from between 230 and 310 km above the surface to around 98 000 km every 4.2 days.

The main science mission will only begin once it reaches a near-circular orbit about 400 km above the planet’s surface after a year of ‘aerobraking’ – using the atmosphere to gradually brake and change its orbit. Full science operations are expected to begin by March 2018.

But next week provides the science teams with a chance to calibrate their instruments and make the first test observations now the spacecraft is actually at Mars.

In fact, the neutron detector has been on for much of TGO’s cruise to Mars and is currently collecting data to continue calibrating the background flux and checking that nothing changed after the Schiaparelli module detached from the spacecraft.

It will measure the flow of neutrons from the martian surface, created by the impact of cosmic rays. The way in which they are emitted and their speed on arriving at TGO will tell scientists about the composition of the surface layer.

In particular, because even small quantities of hydrogen can cause a change in the neutron speed, the sensor will be able to seek out locations where ice or water may exist, within the planet’s top 1–2 m.

TGO’s first image of Mars – 13 June 2016. ESA.

TGO’s first image of Mars – 13 June 2016. ESA.

The orbiter’s other three instruments have a number of test observations scheduled during 20–28 November.

During the primary science mission two instrument suites will make complementary measurements to take a detailed inventory of the atmosphere, particularly those gases that are present only in trace amounts.

Of high interest is methane, which on Earth is produced primarily by biological activity or geological processes such as some hydrothermal reactions.

The measurements will be carried out in different modes: pointing through the atmosphere towards the Sun, at the horizon at sunlight scattered by the atmosphere, and looking downwards at sunlight reflected from the surface. By looking at how the sunlight is influenced, scientists can analyse the atmospheric constituents.

In the upcoming orbits there are only opportunities for pointing towards the horizon or directly at the surface. This will allow the science teams to check the pointing of their instrument to best prepare for future measurements.

There is the possibility that they might detect some natural nightside airglow – an emission of light in the upper atmosphere produced when atoms broken apart by the solar wind recombine to form molecules, releasing energy in the form of light.

During the second orbit, the scientists have also planned observations of Phobos, the larger and innermost of the planet’s two moons.

Finally, the camera will take its first test images at Mars next week. In each of the two orbits, it will first point at stars to calibrate itself for measuring the planet’s surface reflectance.

Then it will point at Mars

Given the current elliptical orbit, the spacecraft will be both closer to and further from the planet than during its main science mission. Closest to the planet, it will be travelling faster over the surface than in its final circular orbit, which presents some challenges in timing when the images should be taken.

How TGO's camera takes stereo images. Copyright University of Bern

How TGO’s camera takes stereo images. Copyright University of Bern

The camera is designed to capture stereo pairs: it takes one image looking slightly forwards, and then the camera is rotated to look ‘back’ to take the second part of the image, in order to see the same region of the surface from two different angles. By combining the image pair, information about the relative heights of the surface features can be seen.

Next week, the camera team will be checking the internal timing to help programme commands for future specific scientific observations. The high speed and changing altitude of the elliptical orbit will make stereo reconstruction challenging, but the team will be able to test the stereo rotation mechanism and the various different camera filters, as well as how to compensate for spacecraft orientation with respect to the ground track.

There are no specific imaging targets in mind, although near the closest approach of the first orbit the orbiter will be flying over the Noctis Labyrinthus region and it will attempt to obtain a stereo pair. In the second orbit, it has the opportunity to capture images of Phobos.

Ultimately, the camera will be used to image and analyse features that may be related to the trace gas sources and sinks, to help better understand the range of processes that may be producing the gases. The images will also be used for looking at future landing sites.

“We’re excited we will finally see the instruments perform in the environment for which they were designed, and to see the first data coming back from Mars,” says Håkan Svedhem, ESA’s TGO Project Scientist.

After this brief science instrument demonstration period, which also serves as a test for relaying this data back to Earth, along with data from NASA’s Curiosity and Opportunity rovers, the focus turns back to operations and the preparations required to for aerobraking next year.

Source: ESA