Monday, August 16, 2010

Shrimp, Prozac, and bad behavior

Antidepressants make shrimp more likely to get eaten, according to new research. The antidepressant Prozac, at realistic levels, made shrimp swim towards light where they are more likely to get eaten by birds or fish.

How does this work? By making shrimp less anxious, the little lovelies quit worrying so much about predators. Or to be more scientific, serotonin levels are altered by the drug, affecting behavior.

The study was stimulated by the amazing parasite mind control story--worms infect fish, alter serotonin levels in the fish's brain, and make fish swim to the surface to get eaten by birds, thus completing the parasites life cycle. Creepy.

You know, don't you, that we have drugs in our water. Think about that next time you wonder why you have a strange urge to swim towards a light and flash your shiny surfaces.

1 comment:

Nigel said...

Good food for thought!