Shrimp Treadmill - It’s a $500,00 government funded treadmill study of a shrimp. A Republican senator’s report on the National Science Foundation criticizes the group for expensive projects. Other projects include a laundry robot.
Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., authored a report criticizing the foundation’s spending on projects that also include $1.5 million to build a laundry-folding robot and a $300,000 study on whether Facebook’s FarmVille game promotes personal relationships, ABC News reported Friday. The National Science Foundation responded to the report in a statement saying its projects “have advanced the frontiers of science and engineering, improved Americans’ lives and provided the foundations for countless new industries and jobs.” Agency officials noted their projects have assisted in the creation of barcodes as well as Web site Google.
“What it says to me is, they have too much money if they’re going to spend money on things like that,” Coburn said of the Arlington, Va., based foundation.
“We have 12 different agencies doing pure research, and we’re duplicating and we’re not sharing the information across and it’s siloed,” he aded.
Scientist put the little crustaceans on a tiny treadmill to examine how diseases impact their performance. The shrimp treadmill, invented and built by Scholnick, allows researchers to measure the activity of an exercising shrimp for a set period of time at known speed and oxygen levels. To further challenge the healthy shrimp, the researchers designed a small backpack made of duct tape to add extra load to the shrimp. With the extra weight and lowered oxygen, they were active for up to an hour.
“As far as I know this is the first time that shrimp have been exercised on a treadmill and it was amazing to see how well they performed,” Scholnick told LiveScience. “Healthy shrimp ran and swam at treadmill speeds of up to 20 meters per minute [66 feet per minute] for hours with little indication of fatigue.”
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