So just how do amphetamines work?

By Siouxsie Wiles 11/10/2012

That’s the question Ethan Perlstein, an evolutionary pharmacologist and Lewis-Sigler Fellow at Princeton University, is trying to find out.

And he needs our help! Ethan is trying to raise US$25,000 on the crowdfunding platform RocketHub to find out where radioactively-labelled amphetamine and methamphetamine accumulate within the brain using lab mice. This is an important gap in our understanding of how these drugs work, knowledge that is crucial for developing more effective treatments for brain diseases and addiction.

Now US$25,000 is a lot of money but cutting edge science doesn’t come cheap. His Crowdsourcing Discovery project aims to raise the funds to cover the salary of a research tech for 3 months as well as the costs of the consumables needed for the experiments.

And he has got off to a great start. In less than a week, Ethan has reached 22% of his goal with 64 people contributing US$5,365. There are some cool rewards on offer too, from honorary lab membership to an invitation to an Open Lab hour on Google+. I opted for a 3D printed molecule of methamphetamine. The first time I’ve ever bought drugs on the internet :).