Behavioral Research Blog

Video-tracking to monitor the effect of influenza infection on the activity level of ferrets

Posted by Guest blogger on Apr 10, 2015

A guest blogpost by Ding Yuan Oh, PhD

Conventional ferret activity measurements by human observation

Ferrets are the ideal animal model to assess influenza virus infection and pathogenicity as they display similar clinical symptoms to humans such as sneezing, fever and lethargy. Conventionally, lethargy or ferret activity is determined manually by an observer. However, this method is prone to bias and requires trained personnel to recognise subtle changes in individual ferret activity.

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Topics: EthoVision XT, Video tracking, activity monitoring, ferrets

How young zebrafish cope with stress

Posted by G. Smit on Jan 15, 2015

We are all a bit stressed from time to time. Maybe some of you a bit more than usual right now, it being the post-holiday, catch-up-with-everything season and all… But stress is a natural thing, and how we cope with it differs from person to person. In research, we use the term coping style. And now Christian Tudorache and his colleagues from Leiden University (The Netherlands) have found that these coping styles emerge early on in life, or at least they do in zebrafish. They recently published a paper in Stress.

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Topics: EthoVision XT, Video tracking, zebrafish, activity monitoring, stress research, coping styles

Testing PCBs toxicity - behavior in zebrafish and their offspring

Posted by G. Smit on Oct 8, 2013

PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) are synthetic molecules that were used in transformers, electric motors, and more applications from the 1930s onwards. It was quickly discovered that these molecules are toxic, and subsequently, they were banned. Still, their heavy use then and their long half-life still cause PCB contamination today. As dietary intake is the main source of exposure, it often finds its way into our food chains trough fish. It has been linked to alterations in reproduction, the endocrine system, and organ functioning in both animals and humans. In addition, epidemiological studies have found a link between PCB exposure and ADHD.

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Topics: EthoVision XT, Video tracking, zebrafish, exploratory behavior, T-maze, light/dark challenge, toxicity, activity monitoring

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