Back in May, The Blaze reported that federal funds were being used by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study a laundry list of outrageous subjects, including a robot that can fold laundry, "gelatin wrestling" and, perhaps oddest of all, shrimp working out to the tune of $500,000.
Now, according to CNSNews, a new report reveals that $682,570 in grants has been awarded to the “Taking the Pulse of Marine Life in Stressed Seas” research project -- in other words, over half a million tax dollars are being spent studying "Shrimp on a Treadmill."
The NSF website states that the research is being conducted by biology professors Louis and Karen Burnett at the College of Charleston and describes the experiments:
“First, a crustacean is infected, by injection, with the same types of disease-causing bacteria that are commonly encountered in the wild. Next, the animal is placed on a specially built, mini underwater treadmill. Then, the organism's vital signs, such as its heart rate and blood pressure, are measured (as a proxy for fitness) while it walks on the treadmill--similar to the way that a person's vital signs are measured while he or she& walks on a treadmill during a stress test. Finally, the treadmill performances of infected crustaceans are compared to those of their uninfected counterparts.”
The NSF produced a video, featured below, on the project titled: “The Importance of Studying Shrimp On A Treadmill.”
Some of the results of the studies are available from the NSF, “Results show that infected crabs and shrimp do not perform on the treadmill as well as their uninfected counterparts, and that the immune responses that are triggered by bacterial infections are enough, by themselves, to reduce these animals' ability to take up oxygen, even when high levels of oxygen are available.”
The website adds, however, that "more answers are needed” as research is ongoing.