Effect of psychoactive drugs on spider’s ability to build a web.

In 1948, Swiss pharmacologist P. N. Witt started his research on the effect of drugs on spiders. Witt tested spiders with a range of psychoactive drugs, including amphetamine, mescaline, strychnine, LSD and caffeine. The spiders spun bizarre webs and Witt used different statistical tools and image processors to analyse them. The more toxic the chemical, the more deformed a web looks in comparison with a normal web.


The Alnwick Poison Garden is a gated garden located inside The Alnwick Garden adjacent to Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, England. This gated garden features a number of intoxicating and poisonous plants, such as nux vomica, the source of strychnine. This poison is often used to kill small mammals but has also been used by a number of murderers. The garden consists of approximately 100 deadly plants and has a number of warning signs to not touch or even small the plants, with the majority being caged.


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alternative bands appreciation post by Green Day Girl


*As of June 3, 2015*  There have been some hospitalizations and deaths from heroin cut with strychnine in downtown New Orleans.

Strychnine is an active ingredient in rat poison. It works by messing with the way your nerves signal to your muscles, so the signals can’t stop. This causes very painful muscles spasms, and can eventually stop your breathing.

This is extremely dangerous, but can be treated if it’s caught quick enough: if you suspect someone has been poisoned with strychnine call 911 immediately!

Symptoms take 15-­60 minutes to start, but will come quicker if the drug is injected.


  • agitation, restlessness, easily startled
  • painful muscle spasms
  • jaw tightness
  • stiffness of arms and legs

As symptoms worsen, also

  • uncontrollable arching of the back
  • inability to move jaw
  • trouble breathing
  • initial consciousness symptoms (like they just woke up a little confused)

In bad cases this is extremely painful, but the real danger is from not breathing. The person needs to get to a hospital immediately where they can have the chemical taken out of their system and be stabilized. Do not try to fix this outside of a hospital.

Your response should be similar to a normal overdose.

  • Get your friend on their side so saliva/vomit don’t obstruct breathing.
  • Call 911. Tell them the symptoms you’re seeing in the person. 
  • Administer rescue breathing if the person is not breathing well enough for them self. 911 will walk you through this.
  • They’ll be in a lot of pain and maybe also confused. Keep calm and explain that you’re getting help and the doctors will make it stop.


  • Be around friends when you use.
  • Do a test shot or bump and wait to be sure.
  • Know your source.
  • Promote Awareness of Louisiana’s new (as of 2014) “911-Good Samaritan Law,” which provides legal immunity to the victim of overdose who seeks medical care. 

Keep reading

A small bottle of Brucine, something what I used a few years ago for chiral resolutions by making diastereomeric brucine salts.

Brucine is a bitter alkaloid closely related to strychnine, the only difference besides of the two methoxy groups on the molecule, it’s not as toxic. It occurs in several plant species and it’s really toxic.

You may ask, that if its not as toxic as strychnine, than why is that skull on the bottle? The problem comes when you accidentally eat a small amount of this compound. A human consuming over 2 mg (0,002 g) of pure brucine will almost certainly suffer symptoms resembling strychnine poisoning. How does it works? It’s a neurotoxin which acts as an antagonist of glycine and acetylcholine receptors. It primarily affects the motor nerves in the spinal cord which control muscle contraction. The minimal lethal dose in humans is low as 30 mg (0,03 g).

Important info for every chemist: Brucine was in fact, the first natural product used as an organocatalyst in a reaction resulting in a successful enantiomeric enrichment ( by Marckwald in 1904). He reported the synthesis of chiral l-valeric acid (α-methyl propanoic acid) from the pyrolysis of brucine salt of racemic α-methyl-α-ethylmalonic acid with a 10% enantiomeric excess.

Poison Profile

Name: Strychnine tree (Strychnos nux-vomica)

Also Known As: Poison nut, Quaker buttons

Found in: Southeast Asia and India

Toxin: Strychnine

This neurotoxin makes muscles contract – too much can cause seizures, convulsions, and death as your muscles rigidly clench.

Poison Plus: Strychnine is found in certain pesticides. Curare, a plant-based toxin that causes the muscles to relax, can serve as an antidote to strychnine.

Learn more in The Power of Poison.



Strychnine, distilled from the seeds of the Strychnos Nux-Vomica tree, is a deadly herbal poison and one that has little medicinal value. The fruit of the tree is yellow, containing five hard seeds, which are covered in a soft wool-like substance. Its toxic effects have been well known from the times of ancient India and China and upon death it produces the grisly Risus Sardonicus, a terrifying ghoulish grin that contorts the face.