TVM medical college to conduct experiments using zebrafish instead of rats, rabbits
Thiruvananthapuram: The medical college hospital here has started experiments using Zebrafish for medical researches. The experiments with Zebrafish were initiated to avoid use of rats and rabbits for this purpose. This experiment is conducted in only limited number of institutions under the state government.
Normally, the cause of diseases, functions and side effects of medicines are experimented on rats and rabbits in anatomy wing. But it takes upto 6 months to complete the trial. Also it is difficult to rear these types of animals. On the contrary, experiments with Zebrafish take only a few weeks.
The trials are conducted in Zebrafish Research Facility section in the Multi-Disciplinary Research Lab constructed by the government at the cost Rs 27 crore. The medical college has facilities like fully automated Zebrafish housing system and equipment like micro injector. This lab is helpful for detecting genetic disorders and other diseases.
Zebrafish is preferred by scientists as its eggs hatch in a short period and its cost of maintenance is very low. Also the fish is ideal for molecular DNA analysis. As the fish inseminate the eggs outside the mother’s body, primary level experiments also can be performed.
Zebrafish is available aplenty in even the small aquariums in Thiruvananthapuram district. One pair of fish costs only Rs 10. But when purchased in large quantity from Chennai and other places, the fish costs only Re 1 per one.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated the new Zebrafish Research Facility in Thiruvananthapuram Medical College the other day. Head of Pathology Department Dr G Krishna is the nodal officer of the Multi-Disciplinary Research Lab.