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Depressed Hamsters Help Researchers

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the sad-little-squeakers dept.

Science 172

Ant wrote to mention an ABC News article indicating that hampsters feel the same effects during the winter months as humans do. Known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.), winter-related depression affects up to 20 percent of Americans. From the article: "For example, if the animals spend more time hovering near the walls of their containers, rather than at the center, it's believed they feel more anxious. If they decline to slurp up tempting offers of sugar water, scientists take it as a sign of depression. Another test involves placing the animals in water and seeing if they swim or simply give up and float. Hamsters don't sink apparently, but float in water. 'The sooner they give up in the water, the more depressed they are,' Pyter said. 'If you give them an antidepressant they don't give up as quickly.'"

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erroneous study (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14227649)

Quite the load of shit.

Re:erroneous study (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14227664)

What are you guys up to tonight?

I've just gotten a chicken souvlaki, 6 pack of beer & i'm just packing my first bong for the night...

Have a good one fellas!

Re:erroneous study (1)

dlrow olleh (886534) | more than 8 years ago | (#14227680)

Fuck you asshole

HAMSTER. It's HAMSTER. (4, Informative)

l-ascorbic (200822) | more than 8 years ago | (#14227654)

There is no "P". Dear god. After all those years of that fucking hampsterdance crap, people would've learnt that that's the wrong way to spell it.

Re:HAMSTER. It's HAMSTER. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14227663)

After all those years of that fucking hampsterdance crap, people would've learnt that that's the wrong way to spell it.

The hampsterdance was in fact referring to when your clothes hamper comes to life after having smelly underwear in there for a week. The putrid smell gives off fumes that produce visual hallucinations in the mind that resemble hamsters.

Re:HAMSTER. It's HAMSTER. (0, Flamebait)

dlrow olleh (886534) | more than 8 years ago | (#14227697)

Fuck you too GP !!!

Re:HAMSTER. It's HAMSTER. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14227816)

HAMPster! Oh no! Slashdot is sending (nearly) subliminal pro-drug messages to innocent kids!

Re:HAMSTER. It's HAMSTER. (2, Funny)

saskboy (600063) | more than 8 years ago | (#14228063)

There's plenty of P in hampster cages.
Why do you think the P is in there?

And I learned in school that "learnt" isn't a word.

Re:HAMSTER. It's HAMSTER. (1)

l-ascorbic (200822) | more than 8 years ago | (#14228149)

Well you learnt wrong [answers.com] .

Re:HAMSTER. It's HAMSTER. (1)

saskboy (600063) | more than 8 years ago | (#14228199)

My Webster's dictionary must be out of date, because it only has "learned" and no mention of learnt. Enough people might use it these days for it to be considered a real word, but if you're playing scrabble with a dictionary a few years old, I don't think you'll find it.

It sounds like I could of, vs could have. Lazy speech leads to the improper use of "could of" since "have" sounds a bit like "of" when said without emphasis.

We must both have SAD, we're debating spelling on Slashdot.

Re:HAMSTER. It's HAMSTER. (1)

MochaMan (30021) | more than 8 years ago | (#14228247)

My Webster's dictionary must be out of date

Your Webster's dictionary is most likely very up-to-date; Webster was an American, and one of their most prominent spelling reform advocates. learned is the American spelling, learnt is used by the rest of the world. Same goes for spelled vs. spelt, and others.

Pick up the Oxford Canadian dictionary -- it generally contains the proper Canadian form, as well as popular alternatives from American or British spelling as the case may be. It also contains the correct spellings for words like "knit cap" (tuque, toque) and "sled" (toboggan) ;)

Re:HAMSTER. It's HAMSTER. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14228298)

My Webster's dictionary

English, motherfucker. Do you speak it?

Re:HAMSTER. It's HAMSTER. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14228476)

Your dictionary is probably an american edition, and you assumed that everyone who speaks english speaks american english. Bad assumption that.

THIS IS USEFUL RESEARCH (0, Troll)

Genghis Troll (158585) | more than 8 years ago | (#14227672)

Anybody know why Slashdot smells like cock? Don't get me wrong, I like the musky scent of cock as much as the next red-blooded American male. There are times, however, when I'm a little leery of browsing to this site (while at the library or another public place, for example) since the room invariably and immediately fills with the unmistakable odor of engorged penis. Is this something a Firefox extension could fix?

Interesting (2, Funny)

Hope Thelps (322083) | more than 8 years ago | (#14227673)

If they decline to slurp up tempting offers of sugar water, scientists take it as a sign of depression.

The depression diet plan? Someone could make a fortune out of the book rights.

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14227738)

It's old news. Ask anyone who's suffered from clinical depression.

Having been both clinically depressed and fat, I'll take the extra weight, thanks.

Amazing stuff (5, Funny)

Yst (936212) | more than 8 years ago | (#14227674)

Hamsters don't sink apparently, but float in water.

These are some exciting results!

You learn something new every day. With results like these, how far away can self-replicating autonomous nanobots be?

Re:Amazing stuff (3, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#14227712)

I like the way they put the minor disclaimer in ther "apparantly".
My bet is they actually checked out the principle.

On a slightly similar subject (ahem!) my kids have a hamster, we decided to call him "flump".
Lots of people ask us why, we don't usually say but "apparantly" thats the noise a hamster makes after you free them from a toilet roll tube with air pressure.

Re:Amazing stuff (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 8 years ago | (#14228056)

Not only that but apparently they managed to breed hovering hamsters too.

Flying cars are on the way !

They've already succeeded (1)

tentimestwenty (693290) | more than 8 years ago | (#14228257)

It's obvious from the headline that the researchers are just looking for a cute, cuddly way of curing their SADness...

Tips according to the article... (4, Funny)

Chaffar (670874) | more than 8 years ago | (#14227678)

Tips For Beating Seasonal Depression
Exercise
Rosenthal suggests that going for a walk or jog, or doing some other form of exercise can also help beat the blues. Exercising is even more effective against SAD if done outside during bright daytime hours.
Eat well
It may be the time of year that you crave comfort foods that are full of starches and sugar, but Rosenthal says these foods can exacerbate seasonal affective disorder.
Get away
If all else fails and if you have the time and money, take a vacation to a sunny place.

Exercise? Eat well? Get away? This article has no purpose to insult us geeks. But I did leave the best for last:

Go outside
Spend as much time outside as possible and when inside, try to maximize your exposure to natural sunlight.

Re:Tips according to the article... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14227708)

Well, they still have
Light therapy Some studies have shown that flicking on extra bright fluorescent light boxes at dawn or as soon as you wake can help diminish the effects of seasonal affective disorder.

Now that is a nice technical solution. Especially with the "as soon as you wake" part, which can be 3pm after a hard night's gaming.

And Go Away is advice that girls have been giving geeks since, well, as long as there have been geeks.

Re:Tips according to the article... (4, Insightful)

ciroknight (601098) | more than 8 years ago | (#14227731)

You know, it sounds like you're right, but it seems anymore that the whole medical profession's advice is simply "Diet, exercize, get some sun but not too much, drink plenty of water". It sounds redundant every time you hear it, and some of us get pissed that there's not simply a pill we can take to fix us, but the truth is simply we weren't built to live the way we are today. We were hunter gatherers, we were used to being outside all the time, we were used to plenty of clean water, we were used to getting plenty of exercize just to find food, and the foods we ate were lean.

Now, it's too easy to spend your entire day without moving more than 100 feet (under your own power), to drink stimulants and sugar rich liquids, and to eat foods that aren't even digestible to some bacteria.

The medical profession can only offer that as advice anymore, as medicine can only take us humans so much further. Today they've got a pill for just about anything you could imagine, but it still doesn't replace the simple nessecities we as machines need to operate. We just haven't reached the point where we can compress water, fresh air and sunshine into a pill, and hopefully we never will.

So while it might be insulting, maybe you should take it as a wakeup call that your lifestyle is entirely unmaintainable. Maybe you should take their advice and shake the winter blues, and a few pounds that we could all stand to lose anyways. I don't need a hamster to tell me twice, and hopefully neither should a scientist.

Re:Tips according to the article... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14228052)

We just haven't reached the point where we can compress water, fresh air and sunshine into a pill, and hopefully we never will.

Hopefully we never will? What? What if we did that and it made us healthy while being able to maintain the geek lifestyle, is that so bad? Obviously you are not a geek.

and a few pounds that we could all stand to lose anyways.

Speak for yourself tubby. Most geeks are skinny anyway.

Re:Tips according to the article... (1)

Ksisanth (915235) | more than 8 years ago | (#14228486)

You know, it sounds like you're right, but it seems anymore that the whole medical profession's advice is simply "Diet, exercize, get some sun but not too much, drink plenty of water". It sounds redundant every time you hear it, and some of us get pissed that there's not simply a pill we can take to fix us, but the truth is simply we weren't built to live the way we are today. We were hunter gatherers, we were used to being outside all the time, we were used to plenty of clean water, we were used to getting plenty of exercize just to find food, and the foods we ate were lean.

Yet we still manage to survive and reproduce in our current environment, the one for which, as you say, we simply weren't built. It's a shame that with all this surviving and reproducing going on outside of the hunter-gatherer societies within which we were meant to live, we can't just 'adapt', too.

those things are lovely! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14227681)

Those russian hamsters are absolutely adorable - IMO one of the best pets. I have two Roborovskii russian hamsters and they are the best hamsters we've ever had. They never bite and are so amazingly playful.

http://images.google.co.uk/images?q=roborovskii&ie =ISO-8859-1&hl=en&btnG=Search+Images [google.co.uk]

Re:those things are lovely! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14227717)

They're not as smart as rats though, and rats can be incredibly social and friendly too.

Re:those things are lovely! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14227817)

communism rules! This is like my 6th slashdot post in the past 5 hours, and I must say, I am learning a lot of new words by looking up the word in the image every time I post

Re:those things are lovely! (2, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14227984)

Ah yes, but many of those are so-called "sleeper" hamsters, genetically modified to live for decades (many have been around since the beginning of the Cold War.) Upon a posthypnotic command from their long forgotten Soviet masters, they are designed to turn into organic micronukes and volatilize a few city blocks in a sudden glare of actinic light. Fortunately, after the fall of the Empire no-one seems to know what that command is, but still ... you should be careful what you say to them.

You, ah ... you don't live anywhere near Chicago, do you? Heh heh.

The ultimate black box. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14227684)

The only problem with all these studies with species that can't communicate is that there's more than one explanation for observed behaviour. But one always appears to attach an explanation that supports what one wants to find. How do you know that a hamster hovering near the walls is feeling anxiety? Or not drinking the water is depression?

Re:The ultimate black box. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14227801)

What if they're just cold ? Did they do a 'Goldilocks' control group spread ? One in a very hot room. Another in a cold winter room. And another in a room that's 'just right' ?

      Can the same conclusion be extrapolated from the behaviour of homeless street-dwellers, people in jails ? It seems that they too tend to huddle close to walls when it's cold, avoid cold soft drinks and - i imagine - would belly up from hypothermia and undernourishment if they were dumped in winter-cold water, much sooner than if the same thing happened in summer.

      IANABS (Behavioural Scientist), so, I'm just guessing. But, have these guys - or their 'school of thought' - done any other world-shaking research of similar caliber ? If there were, idle curiosity hints that there might be trend or two to be found.

Re:The ultimate black box. (2, Funny)

surprise_audit (575743) | more than 8 years ago | (#14227819)

How do you know that a hamster hovering near the walls is feeling anxiety?

Well, that's obvious - if the hamster's feet aren't touching the floor it will drift helplessly around its cage, bouncing off the walls and ceiling, propelled by any random passing breeze. That would make any sentient being anxious...

Depressed or intelligent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14228097)

From the observed behavior, it sounds like some hamsters are just more intelligent than others.

1) the smart ones are near the edge, trying to observe the outside and formulate an escape plan.

2) they don't waste energy struggling in the water when they can just float

3) they don't drink the CoolAid.

    Of course, just like in a nursing home, the guards force "antidepressants" on the inmates to melt their brains and make them more docile and manageable.

Hampster (3, Funny)

Jebediah21 (145272) | more than 8 years ago | (#14227687)

WTF is a hampster?

Re:Hampster (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14227719)

"WTF is a hampster?"

Obviously, Hampster is the RIAA's answer to Napster.

from Hamper:
Etymology: Middle English
1 a : to restrict the movement of by bonds or obstacles : IMPEDE b : to interfere with the operation of : DISRUPT
2 a : CURB, RESTRAIN b : to interfere with : ENCUMBER

Dirty Hampster (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14227720)

"WTF is a hampster?"

You throw a dirty hamster into one of those.

Re:Hampster (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14227725)

Part hamster, part hamper, the hampster displaces the capybara as the largest known rodent. The hampster thrives on dirty clothes, which it stores in its oversized cheek pouches.

Re:Hampster (0)

ciroknight (601098) | more than 8 years ago | (#14227742)

Hampster: a common typo for the word "hamster". Other explainations include a badly titled website, a clothes hamper crossed with Napster internet radio, or a 4 year old's feeble attempt to pronounce "hamster" correctly.

But seriously, lighten up. I only caught the typo once in the blurb, and one typo is a LOT better than the normal convoluted grammar and unparsable sentences we normally get from the editors, but I agree it'd be nice if they did some simple proofreading and at least a spellcheck before it hits the front page.

Re:Hampster (2, Funny)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 8 years ago | (#14228397)

I only caught the typo once in the blurb

Actually, it's not a typo. A typo (short for typographical error) is an error caused by hitting the wrong keys while using the keyboard. "Hampster" is a spelling error. The difference is that the former is not a sign of ignorance.

Dressed Hamsters Help Researchers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14227799)

strangely that's what i read at first...

Re:Hampster (4, Funny)

sacrilicious (316896) | more than 8 years ago | (#14227939)

WTF is a hampster?

It's a p2p network for exchanging hams. Smoked, honey-roasted, bone-in/out, the selection is incredible. Sometimes it takes a long time to download, and the quality can be variable, but hey it's free.

Re:Hampster (1)

Saiyine (689367) | more than 8 years ago | (#14228031)


WTF is a hampster?

Is a nickname for students of Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. I don't know why the researchers have caged them, but that and the exams could be a better explanation for their sadness than the season.

Assumptions (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14227693)

Assuming that other critters feel emotions the same way we do is foolish.

For instance, one of the symptoms of depression is sleeping too much. Based on that, we can conclude that bears suffer from extreme depression during the winter. After all, they do nothing but sleep.

Re:Assumptions (1)

CGP314 (672613) | more than 8 years ago | (#14227772)

Foolish yes, but I also sense growth potential for the pharmaceutical industry. I actually know a woman who shares her prozac with her dog during the winter. :\

-CGP [colingregorypalmer.net]

Re:Assumptions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14228096)

Never watched Hamtaro, have you...?

Not just assumption (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14228384)

Mammals do have fully functional limbic systems (the part of the brain that is largely responsible for emotions). So it isn't just an assumption, there is solid neurological evidence that mammals do, in fact feel emotions.

There is also behavioral evidence far beyond that discussed in this article.

However, I will agree that assuming they feel their emotions "exactly as we do" is dangerous. It is likely that their emotional spectrum is different than ours, especially given the differences in our social behaviors. However, there is sufficient evidence to conclude that the fundamental emotions are present and experienced similarly.

Dubious (-1, Flamebait)

Spy Handler (822350) | more than 8 years ago | (#14227702)

These behavioral "sciences" are science in name only. Hell, macroeconomics is more of a science than Pavlov and his dogs.

Like, if lack of light leads to depression, you would think that people today with access to bright lighting 24/7 would be happier than people 200 years ago. Are we, really?

People today aren't any happier. Gayer, maybe.

Re:Dubious (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14227750)

According to current theories most people who suffer from SAD do so because they don't respond to artifical light as if it were natural light (so producing higher levels or melatonine). Which you would of course know had you read the article.

Re:Dubious (1)

Spy Handler (822350) | more than 8 years ago | (#14227872)

No I was talking about that fact that people in the old days got very little light in the form candles during the long winter nights.

Re:Dubious (2, Funny)

Albert Sandberg (315235) | more than 8 years ago | (#14227759)

People today aren't any happier. Gayer, maybe

Talk about going to the place where the light never shine

OMG You're right. (-1, Troll)

crovira (10242) | more than 8 years ago | (#14227803)

Light causes fags.

Does the Christian right know about this?

Re:Dubious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14228470)

Just like if lack of hot dogs leads to depression, you would think that eating hot dogs everyday would make people happy!

What about therapy (2, Funny)

anarchyboy (720565) | more than 8 years ago | (#14227704)

Thats all well and good but did anyone stop to ask the hamster's how _they_ felt about it?

feltch? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14227714)

Now who's more depressed?

Actually that's wrong... (5, Funny)

mrRay720 (874710) | more than 8 years ago | (#14227722)

"Another test involves placing the animals in water and seeing if they swim or simply give up and float. Hamsters don't sink apparently, but float in water."

That's not the test to see if a hamster is depressed, it's the test to see if the hamster is a witch.

Re:Actually that's wrong... (2, Funny)

sunwolf (853208) | more than 8 years ago | (#14227783)

But the question is, does it weigh as much as a duck?

Re:Actually that's wrong... (1)

Yst (936212) | more than 8 years ago | (#14227996)

No, that's all just medieval junk science.

The correct answers were in fact "apples", "churches" and "very small rocks".

Which are all witches, as it turns out.

Re:Actually that's wrong... (1)

stunt_penguin (906223) | more than 8 years ago | (#14227997)

there's only one way to find out....... BURN THE HAMSTER!

Re:Actually that's wrong... (1)

tswann01 (659342) | more than 8 years ago | (#14228002)

no, no, no, you build a bridge out of the hamster ni!

One more "study" sponsored by pharma? (1, Insightful)

pieterh (196118) | more than 8 years ago | (#14227723)

Let's see... cage up some hamsters, deprive them of natural light, natural surroundings, and buddies, give them an artificial sucrose-laden diet, see how they get depressed, give them drugs to make them happy?

And then suggest that these results could apply to people? Brave New World, anyone?

Drugs. will. not. fix. you.

Get out of your cage, get into the open, make better relationships, find a job that respects you, stop moving home every couple of years, start talking to your family not shouting at them, eat decent food instead of that sugar-laden "lo-fat" junk you're stuffing your face with, stop watching TV, cut down on the booze, and the religion, and for baby jesus' sake, stop taking artificial drugs.

Re:One more "study" sponsored by pharma? (3, Funny)

Rhinobird (151521) | more than 8 years ago | (#14227736)

Let's see... cage up some hamsters, deprive them of natural light, natural surroundings, and buddies, give them an artificial sucrose-laden diet, see how they get depressed, give them drugs to make them happy?

And then suggest that these results could apply to people?

Yeah really. I mean their hamsters, right? Completely different biology involved. Now I have to get back to my windowless cubicle and finish that soda that's getting warm on my desk. Good thing there's nobody around on the weekends. I feel so alone...

Re:One more "study" sponsored by pharma? (1)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14228267)

But, on the other hand, the food pellets they give out at work are quite tasty.

Damn straight, just alcohol, tobacco, weed for me (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 8 years ago | (#14227769)

I might be depressed but am to drunk and stoned to care.

But yeah the study does kind of suck. Could it be possible the hamster is depressed about constantly being dropped in a bucket? Would depress me.

Re:One more "study" sponsored by pharma? (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 8 years ago | (#14227787)

Um, did you, oh I don't know, actually READ the article before going off on your nice little rant? The suggestions in the article are to get as much time as you can outside, eat well, drink plenty of water, and exercise. So can you tell me where big pharma's cut in that is? As I see it, if you follow the advice given in the article then you are much less likely to need drugs. Though you could use the proverbial "chill pill" of course.

Quote from the article... (1)

pieterh (196118) | more than 8 years ago | (#14228039)

Rosenthal is hopeful that studies, like those with the hamsters at OSU, may help yield more effective drugs for those most affected by SAD...

It it about developing "more effective drugs". These studies are sponsored by drugs companies.

Re:One more "study" sponsored by pharma? (1)

TallMatthew (919136) | more than 8 years ago | (#14227919)

Get out of your cage, get into the open, make better relationships, find a job that respects you, stop moving home every couple of years, start talking to your family not shouting at them, eat decent food instead of that sugar-laden "lo-fat" junk you're stuffing your face with, stop watching TV, cut down on the booze, and the religion, and for baby jesus' sake, stop taking artificial drugs.

And stop reading your posts. That was one of the most depressing paragraphs ever written.

Re:One more "study" sponsored by pharma? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14228115)

Please explain to me oh wise one, what does religion have to do with depression?

Your case makes no sense. Lets use me as an example:

Get out of your cage, get into the open

I work out of my house so I have plenty of time to exercise. I workout every day and run outside every day.

make better relationships

Huh? I have plenty of friends and family around. I'm happily married.

find a job that respects you

I run my own company. I couldn't be happier.

stop moving home every couple of years

I have been living in the same place for over 25 years.

start talking to your family not shouting at them

See above. My family is near by and we have a great relationship.

eat decent food instead of that sugar-laden "lo-fat" junk you're stuffing your face with

I'm a bodybuilder, I eat a damn good diet.

stop watching TV

I don't even have a TV.

cut down on the booze

I don't drink any alcohol at all. Nor do I smoke, use drugs, or even drink caffeine other than some green tea every once in a while.

stop taking artificial drugs.

I have suffered from anxiety all my life. It got really bad in the last few years to the point of being incapacitating when combined with depression. I was healthy as a horse and live a good lifestyle. My medical workups are immaculate. There is no explanation for this problem other than a brain chemistry defect. I was rapidly deteriorating no matter what I did (living the same healthy lifestyle I always have). Medication is bringing me back.

In other words, you have no idea what you are talking about. Oh, I used to think like you too. It's easy to do when you feel great and think you're doing all the right things. However, when your body turns against you, you begin to see things differently.

Re:One more "study" sponsored by pharma? (2, Informative)

Boghog (910236) | more than 8 years ago | (#14228192)

Let's see... cage up some hamsters, deprive them of natural light, natural surroundings, and buddies, give them an artificial sucrose-laden diet, see how they get depressed, give them drugs to make them happy? And then suggest that these results could apply to people?

Animal models for testing antidepressant drugs do have a surprisingly good track record of predicting clinical efficacy in humans. Drugs that work in humans show strong effects in these animal models

Get out of your cage, get into the open, make better relationships, find a job that respects you, stop moving home every couple of years, start talking to your family not shouting at them, eat decent food instead of that sugar-laden "lo-fat" junk you're stuffing your face with, stop watching TV, cut down on the booze, and the religion, and for baby jesus' sake, stop taking artificial drugs.

I agree with your statements about living a healthy life to cut the risk of getting depression, but for some people (e.g., those with genetic predispostion), regardless of their life style, are still afflected with depression. Furthermore, depression is no laughing matter. It has an enormous social and economic impact. For these people, antidepressant drugs can be life saving.

maybe they wouldn't be so depressed (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 8 years ago | (#14227729)

if their entire lives weren't just a science experiment

Re:maybe they wouldn't be so depressed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14227770)

My life is a science experiment, you insensitive clod!

Re:maybe they wouldn't be so depressed (1)

SilverspurG (844751) | more than 8 years ago | (#14228372)

And you're probably depressed.

A witch? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14227733)

Hamsters don't sink apparently, but float in water.

What also floats in water?
Wood!
And
So, why do witches burn?
[pause]
B--... 'cause they're made of wood...?
A witch! A witch! A witch! We've got a witch! A witch!
Burn her! Burn!

Ignoble Award Nominee (2, Funny)

Sly Mongoose (15286) | more than 8 years ago | (#14227775)

A depressed hamster is suffering from a condition known as SAD? Shoot him full of speed and throw him in the river and he makes like a furry outboard engine?

I nominate thhe discoverers of these critical scientific facts for an award.....

In Other News... (1)

redheaded_stepchild (629363) | more than 8 years ago | (#14228353)

Researchers also discovered that cats, when used as outboard engines, suffer from a syndrome called Mental-Aggressive Disorder. Strapped to a skateboard and pushed down a ramp, they exhibit signs of Rushing Adrenaline Disease. Those who survived were found to be capable of making pictures with Computer Aided Drafting, even though the structures they drew were Beyond Average Disasters.

Acronyms like this cause my Perverse Aversion to Internet News on Science. That's why I read Slashdot.

Something Too Familiar About This... (1)

MasterOfGoingFaster (922862) | more than 8 years ago | (#14227776)

Another test involves placing the animals in water and seeing if they swim or simply give up and float.

Wait... I think I'm working for these guys...

I must be a Hampster... Hamster... Hempster???

FIRST POST (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14227790)

Before playing to many of us are BUWLA, or BSD play area Try) not Whethe>r you marketing surveys

Depressing hampsters (1)

giaguara (632198) | more than 8 years ago | (#14227800)

Isn't this old news? And it so makes me remember the depressed hampsters [webhamster.com] from the early 1990s.

Maybe it's not a "Disorder" at all. (2, Interesting)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14227806)

I can easily see that being relatively sedentary in the winter cuold be advantageous from a survival standpoint. Who says you have to be perky all the time?

-jcr

Re:Maybe it's not a "Disorder" at all. (1)

amrust (686727) | more than 8 years ago | (#14227926)

True, true.

Actually, being perceptably NON-perky is the main contributing factor in surviving a winter season, where I work.

Winter makes people conform. We're all in the same boat, as it were.

I found the flaw in this study! Look at me! (3, Interesting)

Iron Fusion (591400) | more than 8 years ago | (#14227821)

I am the only one sick of trite/simplistic criticisms of scientific studies based on mainstream news articles? Maybe try to read between the lines rather than attack something based on what is most likely a simplification or omission for the sake of a mainstream audience.

Here's some psychology questions that bug me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14227853)

What makes a perfectly insightful and polite post get marked a troll while another containing racist, homophobic claptrap get modded up?

What makes an earlier post by a less popular person get modded redundant while an exact copy of it which appears much later makes it to +5?

Why are so many of the most interesting posts by Anonymous Cowards?

By what twisted psychology is anonimity considered cowardly and punished by a low starting score anyway?
(especially considering the majority of the slashdot audience so vigorously defend rights to anonimity)

Why are stories often obviously paraphrased in such a way as to incite paranoid and reactionary comments?

Who the hell are the GNAA and why don't those posts simply get deleted?

What frightening form of obsessive compulsive disorder compels otherwise intelligent people to make 'first post' by spouting any crap that comes into their head without even reading the article?

Someone should do a serious study of the hivemind phenomena and maybe we might learn something useful. As for depressed hamsters? Roll em in tape and fuckem is what I say.

slightly cynical/depressed mood today

Stop being glib. (4, Funny)

adolfojp (730818) | more than 8 years ago | (#14227866)

"Hamster psychiatry is a pseudoscience," Tom Criuse told host Matt Lauer, later saying: "You don't know the history of rodent psychiatry. I do."

Sorry, couldn't help it. I haven't taken my vitamins today. :-P

Adolfo

Hang on a minute... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14227885)

...aren't hamsters nocturnal creatures? I'm confused.

Mice? (1)

bobalu (1921) | more than 8 years ago | (#14227901)

Geez, I thought the mice were running everything... now the hamsters are getting into the act!

Obligatory (2, Funny)

vasko (168613) | more than 8 years ago | (#14227938)

I, for one, welcome our new depressed overlords.

Bah, southerners! (2, Funny)

jeorgen (84395) | more than 8 years ago | (#14227954)

Americans (meaning USians) don't even live that far north (with the exception of Alaskians).

Up here at the 59th parallel (Stockholm) we're used to darkness!

Now I got depressed.

The Trreat Intake Metric (1)

virtigex (323685) | more than 8 years ago | (#14227957)

I rate hamster "life force" by the rate that they go for their treats. This definitely slows down during the winter months and they do not seem to enjoy life as much.

To compensate for the darker days, I keep my present freind Franklin the Hamster [google.com] under a lamp all the time except when I sleep (he's by my bed) and is definitely seems to be keeping him "up."

Favorite treats are eggs and flower petals.

Shows just how much we know about animals... (1)

gd23ka (324741) | more than 8 years ago | (#14228018)

I'm sure the hamster would go on paddling and thrashing in the water
if they applied electrical current to the poor animal. However, I am
sure after a day or two of this treatment they would have one seriously
depressed animal on their hands. The way I see it the water test is
worth shit.

Hamsters are not rats and they are as I know sulky creatures
to begin with and loners at heart meaning they don't have a lot of social
interaction with their fellow hamsters aside from mating and killing each
other off for territory. Maybe it is well enough that they do this kind of
sensory deprivation experimentation with hamsters and not rats but you know it
might be I come of sounding like a hypocrite but some of the behavorial science
experiments on animals really upsets me and at the same time I do cancer research.

The way I see it however, most mammals need an environment and peers to interact
with, same species and human and if they don't get it they like every other
mammal just shrivel up and die. To top things off, the same kind of people doing
the research on hamsters compared the brain wave of prisoners in solitary confinement
on the day the prisoner entered the prison and three weeks after. I read all told there
was a tremendous reduction of overall cerebral activity.
Okay... I'll close before I start a rant on what a scummy low-life species Homo Sapiens
Sapiens is.

So, logically (oblig. Monty Python reference) (1)

agraupe (769778) | more than 8 years ago | (#14228200)

Why do witches burn?

Because their made of wood?

That's right! Now, what else may you do with wood?

Build a bridge!

Yes, but could you not also build a bridge out of stone?

Hmm... good point.

Tell me: does wood sink in water?

No! It floats!

Tell me... what else floats, apart from wood?

A hamster?

Correct!

So, logically, if she weighs the same as a hamster... she's made of wood...? And therefore... a witch? A witch! Burn her, burn her!

As fark.com would say... (1)

mjolnir_ (115649) | more than 8 years ago | (#14228208)

still no cure for cancer

Hovering Hamsters! (Leaping Lizards!) (3, Funny)

pedantic bore (740196) | more than 8 years ago | (#14228224)

From the article: happy hamsters apparently spend more time hovering near the walls of their cages than near the center.

Whether or not this is true, I know I'd pay good money for an mpg of that. (how much Xanax does it require to get a hamster to hover?)

SAD (2, Informative)

wumpus188 (657540) | more than 8 years ago | (#14228260)

It's Seasonal Attitude Disorder. Attitude. Not Affective.

Depressed math equations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14228262)

Depressed hamsters? What next, depressed cubics?

Nocturnal (2, Insightful)

theantipode (664138) | more than 8 years ago | (#14228351)

Hamsters are nocturnal and primarily found in the desert, which gets quite cold at night. By all rights, shouldn't they be more active come wintertime?

It's because we're animals (1)

Zog The Undeniable (632031) | more than 8 years ago | (#14228382)

The body slows down in winter. If you do the same exercise regime all year round your heart rate will be higher in winter because the body is less fit. I cycle regularly and my legs turn to mush in October. That's why there's a close season.

What depresses me is Greenwich Mean Time - if the UK could have Central European Time it wouldn't be going dark as I write this (3.45pm). I don't mind if it's dark until 9am; I go to work in the dark as it is and at weekends I'm probably not outdoors at that time. Apparently the Scots (being closer to the Arctic Circle) don't like the idea because their mere 5 hours of daylight would be at the wrong time, or something.

Marvin the Depressed Hamster (3, Funny)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 8 years ago | (#14228410)

You put me in a bucket of water. Oh, that's nice. You could have at least made it warm water, but no. Oh, what's the point? I suppose I'll just lay here and drown. Hope that will make you feel good, drowning a poor hamster. Even if you pull me out of the bucket all I have to look forward to is running in a stupid wheel. I run and run and run but never get anywhere. And all I ever get to eat are pellets and water. Boy, there's a five star menu. It's all so pointless....

But do... (1)

leoboiko (462141) | more than 8 years ago | (#14228451)

...hamsters help depressed researchers? :(

good name for a band (1)

mnemotronic (586021) | more than 8 years ago | (#14228461)

My only thought is, "Depressed Hamster Behavior" would be a good name for a band.
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