ONE HAS TO WONDER exactly why Argentinean boffins were feeding Viagra to hamsters in the first place. What deviant practice had they in mind and would pictures subsequently appear on the web?

But putting aside these unsavoury thoughts, whatever the reason, the scientists at the National University of Quilmes in Buenos Aires appear to have stumbled over a cure for jet lag, reports Nature. Obviously, the hardest part of the experiment involved training the rodents to swallow the blue pills rather than storing them in their pouches.

The hamsters’ body clocks were advanced by six hours, the time taken for a transatlantic flight from New York to London, allowing them to resume wheel-oriented activity 50 percent faster than those not taking the drug. It remains to be seen if sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra, will have a similar effect on humans or whether they will be otherwise distracted and not notice the symptoms of jet-lag at all.