Who in their right mind would give a huge dose of a psychotropic substance to an elephant, just to see what happened? Well, the year was 1962, and someone did just that. And, as icing on the cake, they got a Science paper out of it.
The subject was a 14-year-old male Indian elephant named Tusko being housed at the Lincoln Park Zoo. As previous research had suggested that high doses to LSD were needed to get perceivable effects in “lower animals,” they decided to start with a 0.1 mg/kg dose of LSD for Tusko. That came to about 297 milligrams (in 5 mL of water, injected intramuscularly) of LSD for 7000 pound Tusko. The injection was delivered via a pressurized CO2 dart gun. For comparison, the threshold dosage for an effect in people is around 20-30 micrograms and a recreational 3+ hour dose would be around 100-200 micrograms. (READ MORE)
Shelley Batts is the author of Retrospectacle and a Neuroscience PhD candidate at the University of Michigan. She studies hair cell regeneration in the cochlea, and is just embarking on that quixotic quest called ‘thesis.’ She lies awake at night pondering how science intersects with politics, culture, policy, money, medicine, and religion in an attempt to be more than just a niche scientist sitting in the oh-so-lovely ivory tower.
You can vote for her to get a scholarship HERE
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