Science Scavenger Hunt

October 17, 2017

Just like humans, fishes get depressed. We cannot ask animals how they feel, but they show us.

The similarly of human and fish neuro-chemistry, makes it easy to test the effectiveness of antidepressants.

Dr Julian Pittman, from Troy University, Alabama, is working on a new anti-depressant. An article from the New York Times reports, that Dr Pittman uses fishes as antidepressant, test subjects.

Pittman likes working with fishes. This is because they are obvious about their depression. Pittman pointed out that, the neuro-chemistry of fishes, and humans, is very similar.

Pittman uses a procedure called the “novel tank test.” He drops a fish in a new tank and monitors its behavior. If after five minutes the fish is swimming at the top; it is exploring the new en-vi-ron-met. This implies that it is not depressed. If the fish is hanging out at the lower half of the tank, it is depressed.

Pittman has induced depression in fish. He kept a fish drunk on ethanol for two weeks. Pittman then cut off the supply and forced withdrawal. He then gave the depressed fish an anti-depressant. Pittman determine that if the antidepressant is effective, the fish will swim to the top within two weeks.

According to Pittman, the amount of time a fish spends at the top versus the bottom shows the severity of the depression.

The info for the above broadcast story was taken from Fish Depression Is Not a Joke, by Heather Murphy, The New York Times.


One Response to “Science Scavenger Hunt”

  1.   fuglsang said:

    I like the first sentence as yur throwaway lead. But the next sentence or two is going to have to explain. You could draw it frm the thrid and fourth grafs: Because the neuro-chemistry of fishes, and humans, is very similar, they make perfect test subjects for antidepressants.

    Then to Pittman’s study. Keep the good description in mind But keep it short. What could be cut? About 21 seconds worth.

    Lots of big words. Be careful.

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