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Video Backyard Brains Can Help Satisfy Your Inner Frankenstein (Video) 199

Did you know that cockroaches have such large nerves in their legs that you can poke into their legs almost at random and hit a nerve with an electrode so you can stimulate that leg with hip-hop music and and watch it move? And that you can easily order the parts to do this at home or at school? You can. And supplies to perform many other neuroscience experiments, too. Amaze your friends! Learn how neurons work! Gross out squeamish people! All that (and more) is what Backyard Brains is about.

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Backyard Brains Can Help Satisfy Your Inner Frankenstein (Video)

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  • Cockroaches (Score:5, Informative)

    by scubamage ( 727538 ) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @09:43AM (#40165869)
    At first the animal lover in me was wondering about the ethics of randomly cutting apart cockroaches without any clear scientific benefit outside of learning (at least dissections tend to teach more than one person - disclaimer, I was on a human subject review board for scientific studies at my college). However it looks like they go out of their way to actually keep everything humane. And, its also important to note that the cockroaches are anesthetized, and their legs do in fact grow back. They get a thumbs up!
  • Re:That's not funny (Score:5, Informative)

    by slimjim8094 ( 941042 ) <slashdot3@just[ ... t ['con' in gap]> on Thursday May 31, 2012 @09:44AM (#40165875)

    That's what I thought, but they cut off the leg (not do it on the cockroach), use juvenile cockroaches that can grow their legs back, and they anesthetize the roach with icewater first.

  • Re:That's not funny (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 31, 2012 @10:41AM (#40166419)

    That's actually not true at all. Pain is carried by nociceptors, which are found in higher orders. Insects have not been demonstrated to have nociceptors. They "feel" noxious stimuli. But they don't process noxious stimuli as "pain". They process it as a feeling, and something they want to get away from. But their nervous system doesn't process it as an "unpleasant" stimulus. Just a stimulus that might possibly kill them, so they should flee the stimulus.

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