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Friday, September 21, 2018

Scientists Give Ecstasy To Octopuses And Are Astounded By What Happened Next


A couple of scientists have taken MDMA out of the clubs and into the aquarium by giving ecstasy to octopuses.

Gül Dölen, a neuroscientist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, has been studying the effects of MDMA for “a long time,” she told NPR.

In the process, she says she and her colleagues “have worked out a lot of neural mechanisms that enable MDMA to have these really, really profound pro-social effects.”

Humans and octopuses both have a gene for a protein that binds serotonin to brain cells. Since MDMA also targets this protein, Dölen wanted to see how the drug would affect the octopus, a notoriously shy, solitary animal.

She wasn’t sure how it would go since octopus brains are built completely different from humans.

“It’s organized much more like a snail’s brain than ours,” Dölen told The Atlantic. She wondered, then, if that would mean the octopus would respond unpredictably to being dosed with Molly.

To read more on this story, click here: Scientists Give Ecstasy To Octopuses And Are Astounded By What Happened Next


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