Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Swansea Fruit Flies on Acid

At the University of Wales, Swansea, in 1972 strange experiments involving LSD and fruit flies were carried out. Basically scientists were trying to discover whether taking acid caused long-term genetic damage. They were particularly interested in the potentially harmful effects of LSD on the children of addicts.

Obviously testing human beings was a complete non-starter so fruit flies, with their simple genetic make-up and conveniently short life cycles, were used instead. The insects were fed sugar and porridge, heavily spiked with pure LSD. They were also injected with the drug via micro-syringes. Apparently the hallucinogenic didn’t prevent the fruit flies from flying but they had “wandered around quite stoned”.

The results? Scientists found that there was some evidence of long-term genetic damage in the fruit flies. However the doses they had received were massive compared to what your average hippie would ingest. Humans, they concluded, wouldn’t suffer any genetic defects whatsoever. Taking acid, therefore, is not going to result in you having mutant children.

*If you were involved in the LSD experiments at the genetics department of Swansea University in 1972 under the direction of Professor J A Beardmore get in touch - I would love to know more.