Scientists are often tasked with answering some of the weirdest questions in the universe.
Now a US professor of entomology and disease epidemiology, Jason Rasgon has asked his fellow researchers what they’ve done in the name of science – and the responses are both bizarre and gross.
Unsurprisingly, animal sex – and getting up close and personal with their bits – topped the list:
- “Massaged hamster testes during a peritoneal lavage to increase macrophage yield. Set the hamster on fire (it was an accident!) while attempting to collect lavage fluid.”
- “I made a sex doll for fruit flies and painted it with pheromones.”
- “Electrocuting male sea urchins to get them to ejaculate.”
- “Put diapers on ostriches.”
Not all of these experiments happened in the lab either:
- “Transported 500 decomposing fox rectums in my hand luggage on a Ryanair flight.”
- “I let a box of cow liver rot for a few weeks in my office to make media for blowflies.”
- “Transported 100 live spiders on a flight in my check in (opening the bag mid-flight periodically to monitor their behaviour).” (Just no).
There was also a lot of noble self-sacrifice:
- “Fed the lab louse colony on my arm. Got Typhus.”
- “Participated in a trial for a vaccine utilizing live malaria parasites. Got malaria.”
- “Snorkel in the refrigeration water of a nuclear power plant. Waiting for my super powers to blossom.”
And, finally the downright disgusting:
- “I enriched and isolated my own personal E. coli. Right from the source.”
One thing’s for sure, it’s given me a new appreciation for our pioneering researchers – and a slight worry about that smell coming from my co-worker’s desk.