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Archive for Saturday, December 27, 2008

Research: Bees can get hooked on cocaine

December 27, 2008

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— Cocaine repels many insects — which is why the coca plant makes the chemical in the first place.

But in a surprising new finding, U.S. and Australian researchers reported Friday that honeybees are susceptible to the drug’s insidious lure. They become addicted and even suffer withdrawal symptoms when they no longer have access.

The findings, reported in the Journal of Experimental Biology, might help explain the “waggle dance” used by foraging bees to tell their hivemates where to find food and even provide hints about how the drug works in the human brain.

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