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Scientists Transplant Functional Eyes On the Tails of Tadpoles 85

Posted by samzenpus
from the because-they-can dept.
New submitter physlord writes in with a story about tadpoles with eyes on their tails. "Using embryos from the African clawed frog (Xenopus), scientists at Tufts' Center for Regenerative and Developmental Biology were able to transplant eye primordia—basically, the little nubs of flesh that will eventually grow into an eye—from one tadpole's head to another's posterior, flank, or tail....Amazingly, a statistically significant portion of the transplanted one-eyes could not only detect LED changes, but they showed learning behavior when confronted with electric shock."
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Scientists Transplant Functional Eyes On the Tails of Tadpoles

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  • Well Yeah (Score:5, Insightful)

    by p0p0 (1841106) on Sunday March 03, 2013 @04:29PM (#43063467)
    "they showed learning behavior when confronted with electric shock." You shock anyone's little nub's of flesh enough and they tell you anything you want to hear.
  • Big deal (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 03, 2013 @05:07PM (#43063651)

    Certain humans have had interchangeable head parts and posterior parts for years now. We call them "politicians".

  • Re:Big deal (Score:5, Insightful)

    by plover (150551) on Sunday March 03, 2013 @05:13PM (#43063673) Homepage Journal

    Certain humans have had interchangeable head parts and posterior parts for years now. We call them "politicians".

    I think they mostly talk out of their asses, though, and certainly not see out of them. They tend to even ignore crap that's right in front of their regular head-mounted eyes, so I'm not sure that gluing a set to their posteriors will change anything.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 03, 2013 @05:26PM (#43063701)

    Sometimes you hear about shit that some researchers are up to, and you know that they've got that circuit in their head that causes them to gravitate toward experimental research like putting drops of acid into rabbit's eyes or raising chimpanzees in total isolation with nothing but chickenwire mother surrogates, all justifiable with perfectly reasonable arguments about how it's a shame there's no other way to do it and the insights are too valuable to pass up, but in your heart you know that the right thing to do is to stuff that researcher into a big canvas sack with a cinderblock, beat it with a baseball bat until it stops screaming, then dump it over the side.

  • by Grayhand (2610049) on Sunday March 03, 2013 @05:38PM (#43063757)
    It's been known for some time that you can transplant cells for things like limbs on amphibians and they would be functional. Unfortunately it only works because they are very simple organisms. The same things don't apply to reptiles let alone mammals so it's not an advance that will lead to regrowing eyes. It's Frankenstein tinkering that leads to pointless suffering. A different standard needs to be applied to lifeforms than other sciences in that a question of "what if we did this" shouldn't be a enough to rationalize the research. There's plenty of worthy lines of research that don't involve vivisection.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 03, 2013 @06:32PM (#43063971)

    Yeah, because we'd totally just try unproven experiments on ourselves without testing to see if it works and is safe. We may be that stupid, but the scientists aren't.

    Testing on prisoners and students is a time-honored tradition in both science and medicine.

    It's a rare scientist who intentionally tests on himself.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 03, 2013 @06:41PM (#43064003)

    ...the man with eyes in his ass is king.

    You say all that above but face it, you're wrong. Much of medicine has been a matter of "what if we do this?". Same for much of science in general. That is what science is; asking questions and then testing to get answers.

    Understanding how things work for one organism can lead to breakthroughs in our understanding of other organisms. You may not see that, but it is still true.

    captcha: nearby

  • Re:Well Yeah (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Solandri (704621) on Sunday March 03, 2013 @06:44PM (#43064029)

    "they showed learning behavior when confronted with electric shock." You shock anyone's little nub's of flesh enough and they tell you anything you want to hear.

    If you (gasp!) read TFA, they used controls with no eyes, and with regular eyes. Those with the implanted eye (the two regular eyes were removed) did significantly better at avoiding the shock than the no-eye control. Though they didn't say how much better, which makes me suspect the difference was very small (albeit statistically significant).

    The more interesting thing to me was that tadpoles without eyes could still sense when an LED was turned on.

  • by OhANameWhatName (2688401) on Sunday March 03, 2013 @06:45PM (#43064031)
    Where's the humanity?

    Not only do the scientists blind a tadpole, but they then graft the eyes onto another tadpole and where else but onto it's arse.

    Sometimes I think that mankind deserves to become extinct.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 03, 2013 @07:13PM (#43064157)

    " they showed learning behavior when confronted with electric shock"

    Yes, I bet they did.
    These perverted monsters get their rocks off by torturing animals all day.

    Don't think so? Then why are they terrified of the public SEEING what they actually do?

    You know those undercover videos you've seen inside vivisection laboratories, where the so-called 'scientists' are punching beagles in the face, screaming at the animals they are supposed to be 'caring' for, and committing atrocity after atrocity? Just ask yourself - how many people who love animals could actually go and work at one of those hellholes, to get video footage of the abuse, while not being able to do anything to stop it, and while having to PARTICIPATE in torturing animals to death every day, in order to get that footage? Quite obviously only a tiny number of people could do such a thing. So how come there is so much footage like this?

    Vivisection is medical fraud. The pharmaceutical industry is a massive scam, by and large, they paid billions of dollars in fines last year. Iatrogenic deaths are unbelievably high.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 03, 2013 @11:45PM (#43065065)

    I mean... what the fuck kind of shit do we do to animals in the name of "science"?

I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the demigodic party. -- Dennis Ritchie

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