Standard behavioral tests for psychiatric mood disorders
Recently Lucas Noldus was interviewed for a technology feature in Nature; “Inside the minds of mice and men” by Monya Baker. Nature, 475, 123 - 128.
One stripe ahead; zebrafish increasingly popular as lab animal
Zebrafish is the new rat. Or mouse. More and more rodents in the lab are being replaced by these nifty little striped fish. They are easy to maintain, reproduce and develop rapidly, and there is a great similarity between the human and zebrafish genome. And because they are easily genetically manipulated, many human diseases and developmental disorders can be modeled in zebrafish, such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and cancer.
Like rodents, zebrafish (Danio rerio) can be used in tests investigating fear, stress, and anxiety, learning and memory, and social behavior. And these behaviors can be manipulated by changing their genetics (testing different strains as models for diseases), providing stressful stimuli (tapping on the tank, visuals of predators, etc.) and adding substances (anxiolytics such as buspirone, chlordiazepoxide, and diazepam; anxiogenics; socially relevant substances as ethanol and nicotin) to the water.