It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
My dog is so obsessed with sticking her head out of the car that she's taught herself to roll down the window. With the breeze in her hair and the sunshine on her snout, she's happiest when a huge gust of wind is pummeling her face And what dog isn't?
But what about sticking their head out a window makes dogs lose their minds? It's not just the breeze.
Dogs receive more olfactory information about the environment with their head outside than inside the car, according to Robin Foster, Ph.D., research professor of animal behavior at the University of Puget Sound.
"The air being forced into the dog's nose may intensify the odors" ... "It's a highly stimulating experience for them - the scents, the feeling of the wind, all of the sights they can see" www.thedodo.com...
Addiction to coc aine is commonly preceded by experiences with legal or decriminalized drugs, such as alcohol, nicotine, and marijuana. The biological mechanisms by which these gateway drugs contribute to coc aine addiction are only beginning to be understood. We report that in the rat, prior alcohol consumption results in enhanced addiction-like behavior to coc aine, including continued coc aine use despite aversive consequences. Conversely, prior coc aine use has no effect on alcohol preference. Long-term, but not short-term, alcohol consumption promotes proteasome-mediated degradation of the nuclear histone deacetylases HDAC4 and HDAC5 in the nucleus accumbens, a brain region critical for reward-based memory. Decreased nuclear HDAC activity results in global H3 acetylation, creating a permissive environment for coc aine-induced gene expression. We also find that selective degradation of HDAC4 and HDAC5, facilitated by the class II–specific HDAC inhibitor MC1568, enhances compulsive coc aine self-administration. These results parallel our previously reported findings that the gateway drug nicotine enhances the behavioral effects of coc aine via HDAC inhibition. Together, our findings suggest a shared mechanism of action for the gateway drugs alcohol and nicotine, and reveal a novel mechanism by which environmental factors may alter the epigenetic landscape of the reward system to increase vulnerability to coc aine addiction. medicalxpress.com... aine.html
‘Alcoholic rats’ study finds a possible way to cut down on a stubborn drinking habit
After treatment, binge drinking rats became responsible drinkers.
A team of researchers has successfully treated disordered drinking in rats by injecting them with human stem cells. To conduct the study, the team led by Yedy Israel used rats selectively bred to prefer alcohol to water. Left to their own devices, the rats consumed the human equivalent of over one bottle of vodka every day for up to 17 weeks. 48 hours after treatment, they were drinking 90 percent less.
Dogs Licking Cane Toads: How dogs are using cane toads to get a hallucinogenic high
Marie Flink was at home one day when she noticed her dog Bam Bam was acting unusually happy, that's when Ms Flink knew something was wrong. It turned out that Bam Bam had developed a taste for licking cane toads - a common problem for dogs in areas populated with toads.
"It’s like looking at a person, if they’ve, I don’t know, perhaps taken something," says Ms Flink. "You can just tell that they are a little bit crazy perhaps. She just looked a little bit, a little bit crazy and then she was you know, licking her mouth... and running around. It was her eyes I think that also you know gave her away a bit. She just looked a little bit out of it."
As a way of protecting themselves, Cane toads secrete a toxin that when consumed by dogs can make them act like they're on drugs.
"Generally, we’re presented with dogs that are salivating profusely," says Dr Kirsty Fridemanis a Brisbane Vet who has had to treat pets for cane toad toxicity. "They’re quite hyper-excited and they often can be tremoring... worst cases they’re seizuring or they can even go into cardiac arrest."
There's a recent article in the Pharmaceutical Journal by Andrew Haynes that talks about the widespread use of psychedelics in the animal kingdom. Haynes' argument for explaining this behavior rests on the idea of boredom-—literally bored animals are seeking pharmacological stimulation, much in the same way that bored humans seek pharmaceutical stimulation—but there might be something else going on.
Since I cover this same topic in my latest book, "A Small Furry Prayer," rather than try to rewrite the material, I'm offering the following excerpt as a deeper explanation for the origins of the phenomena:
"In his 1983 book, From Chocolate to Morphine, University of Arizona physician Andrew Weil points out that children spin in circles to change their consciousness, while adults do the same thing with booze and drugs. So instinctive does this behavior appear that, Weil suspected, perhaps humans aren't the first species to actively pursue altered states . As it turns out, he was correct in his suspicions. In 2006, Jane Goodall and Marc Bekoff visited the Mona Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Spain. They met a chimp named Marco who dances during thunderstorms with such abandon that, as Bekoff explains it: "He appears to be in a trance." Goodall has witnessed other chimps, usually adult males, enacting the same rituals near waterfalls. According to an article Bekoff wrote for New Scientists : "She described a chimpanzee approaching one of these falls with slightly bristled hair, a sign of heightened arousal. ‘As he gets closer, and the roar of the waterfall gets louder, his pace quickens, his hair becomes fully erect, and upon reaching the stream he performs a magnificent display close to the foot of the falls,' she describes. ‘Standing upright, he sways rhythmically from foot to foot, stamping in the shallow, rushing water, picking up and hurling great rocks. Sometimes he climbs up slender vines that hang down from the trees high above and swings out into the spray of the falling water. This ‘waterfall dance' may last ten to fifteen minutes.'" But dancing, while an effective method for altering one's consciousness, is perhaps the long way round. www.psychologytoday.com...
A team of researchers has successfully treated disordered drinking in rats by injecting them with human stem cells.
Dolphins Squeezing Puffer Fish
Dolphins have been observed on multiple occasions2 carrying puffer fish in their mouths, squeezing them, and passing them along to other dolphins. It is speculated that the dolphins are trying to get the puffer fish to release a small burst of neurotoxin, which puts them into a trance-like state.
This behavior was recorded in a BBC documentary produced by zoologist Robert Pilley, who commented “This was a case of young dolphins purposefully experimenting with something we know to be intoxicating. After chewing the puffer and gently passing it round, they began acting most peculiarly, hanging around with their noses at the surface as if fascinated by their own reflection. The dolphins were specifically going for the puffers and deliberately handling them with care. Dolphins seem to be experts on how to prepare puffers and how to handle them.”3
Since the toxin released by the puffer fish is deadly in large doses, the dolphins would indeed need to handle the fish delicately in order to avoid lethal poisoning. www.animalcognition.org...
'Stoned wallabies make crop circles'
Australian wallabies are eating opium poppies and creating crop circles as they hop around "as high as a kite", a government official has said.
Lara Giddings, the attorney general for the island state of Tasmania, said the kangaroo-like marsupials were getting into poppy fields grown for medicine. She was reporting to a parliamentary hearing on security for poppy crops. Australia supplies about 50% of the world's legally-grown opium used to make morphine and other painkillers.
"The one interesting bit that I found recently in one of my briefs on the poppy industry was that we have a problem with wallabies entering poppy fields, getting as high as a kite and going around in circles," Lara Giddings told the hearing. "Then they crash," she added. "We see crop circles in the poppy industry from wallabies that are high." news.bbc.co.uk...