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Mad Scientists

They're not just characters in fiction. They exist as funded researchers.

Researchers have transplanted frog eyes to other body parts for decades, but until now, no one had shown that those oddly placed eyes (called "ectopic" eyes) actually worked.

Wait. What? They've been transplanting eyeballs on frogs to other parts of their bodies for decades, but testing to see if the eyes worked wasn't the first thing they tried?? Then what the hell were they transplanting them for??

And now they've decided to grow eyeballs on tadpoles' tails.

The experiment seemed like a natural to test how well the brain can adapt, Levin says. "There's no way the tadpole's brain is expecting an eye on its tail."

To be fair, i don't think anyone's brain expected an eye on that tadpole's tail.

But, their insanity doesn't stop with growing eyes where eyes ought not be. No. They then had to add an element of douchebaggery to their experiments.

A mild electric shock zapped the tadpole when it was in one half of the dish so that the animal learned to associate the color with the shock. The researchers periodically switched the colors in the chamber so that the tadpoles didn't learn that staying still would save them.

Yes, let's zap them to condition their behavior, and when they've learned our little tricks, we'll switch it up. Ha ha!

Oh yeah. This experiment was totally about learning more about the brain and not about doing dick things for fun.

By min | March 1, 2013, 10:02 PM | Science