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Thread: very stupid stuff

  1. #1 very stupid stuff 
    Forum Freshman bloodflower's Avatar
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    hi everyone, I have this argument with my dad right now who is telling me he saw "various serious scientific programs" on television about scientists discovering that learned behaviour can be transmitted by feeding intelligent rats to stupid rats and then the stupid rats become smarter and shit like that. I am not a troll even thow this story sounds trollish and too stupid for words. all I'm asking is: if anyone has heard of some quack doing this kind of ridiculous experiment please let me know. cos I'm wondering what it was that my dad saw on tv


     

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  3. #2  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    um...yea, learning doesn't work that way. The only way I could think of where a similar scenario might be true is if the rats were given a certain protein or other compound that enhanced their brain function, and that by feeding their flesh to other rats, those new rats then absorbed the compound as well. But that definitely wouldn't transmit a specific learned behavior, and I've never heard of an experiment like that before. Doesn't sound like something the IACUC (Industrial Animal Care and Use Committee) would condone, either.


    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
     

  4. #3  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    I could not recall this being done with rats, but it may have been done with nematode worms and mazes. The nematode worms were taught how to find their way through a maze, then ground up and fed to other nematode worms. These showed a greater ability to find their way around the maze than the control group.
    Unfortunately, while I distinctly remember reading this I cannot be absolutely certain that it wasn't in a work of fiction, rather than a science journal. I've tried locating something on the web without success.
     

  5. #4  
    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
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    It was an actual experiment with the worms where the guy made such claims, but it has been discredited. I don't remember where I read about this either, but am sure it's been discredited. The experiment was recreated many times by different people and it was never confirmed.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
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  6. #5  
    Forum Freshman bloodflower's Avatar
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    yes, thanks for your replies, I think it must have been worms that my dad blew up into rats but of course even the worm story must be some esoteric idiocy.
     

  7. #6  
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    It was flatworms.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flatwor...ry_experiments
    McConnell's results are now attributed to observer bias.
     

  8. #7  
    Forum Freshman bloodflower's Avatar
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    "In 1955, Thompson and James V. McConnell conditioned planarian flatworms by pairing a bright light with an electric shock. After repeating this several times they took away the electric shock, and only exposed them to the bright light. The flatworms would react to the bright light as if they had been shocked. Thompson and McConnell found that if they cut the worm in two, and allowed both worms to regenerate each half would develop the light-shock reaction. In 1962, McConnell repeated the experiment, but instead of cutting the trained flatworms in two he ground them into small pieces and fed them to other flatworms. Incredibly these flatworms learned to associate the bright light with a shock much faster than flatworms who had not been fed trained worms.

    This experiment intended to show that memory could perhaps be transferred chemically. The experiment was repeated with mice, fish, and rats, but it always failed to produce the same results, even when it was performed by other scientists who also used planaria. The perceived explanation was that rather than memory being transferred to the other animals, it was the hormones in the ingested ground animals that changed its behaviour.[6] McConnell believed that this was evidence of a chemical basis for memory, which he identified as memory RNA. McConnell's results are now attributed to observer bias.[7] No double-blind experiment has ever reproduced his results.

    yeah - ok - 1955... this was supposed to be some brand new scientific evidence. right...
    thanks for finding this!
    I am astounded by people who want to "know" the universe when it's hard enough to find your way around Chinatown (Woody Allen)
     

  9. #8 Nematode training 
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    I had also heard of this kind of "training", and thought it was related to nematodes. I googled it and found something else interesting, not related to ingesting a "learned" meal, but still odd: LINK REMOVED
     

  10. #9  
    Moderator Moderator TheBiologista's Avatar
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    Smarty, you have made two posts, both very brief and both linking us to the same post on your blog. I have removed these links for the time being as it appears you are merely posting in order to direct traffic to your web site. If you stick around and make a good contribution, I will certainly give you more leeway when it comes to self promotion.

    FYI, it is considered very bad form to resurrect an old defunct thread unless you are making a significant new addition. The original poster is unlikely to still be around, let alone still be interested in the topic after 2 and a half years. This does not appear to qualify as a significant new addition, so I am going to lock this thread.
     

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