• Question: Are you working with a fish known as a zebra fish. it can repair its own heart, amazing!!!!

    Asked by samuelharrison to Alex, Amy, Andy, Georgia, Ollie on 19 Jun 2011.
    • Photo: Andy MacLeod

      Andy MacLeod answered on 19 Jun 2011:

      Hello samuel. Animal experiments are an unfortunate necessity in medical research. It would be good if we didn’t have to do use animals, but there are some potentially life-saving treatments that we can’t really test on humans. So long as the experiments are carefully controlled and ethically monitored to make sure there is no unnecessary suffering caused, I would be willing to work on animals.

      I don’t work on zebrafish myself, but I know a few people who do. They make good models to observe animal development, because they have a transparent body, so we can see everything that happens inside. They also have a backbone, which makes them a lot closer to humans that some of the other organisms used to study development in the lab, like fruit flies or tiny worms.

    • Photo: Amy Reeve

      Amy Reeve answered on 20 Jun 2011:

      Hi Samuel,
      If working with animals was going to save a million lives then I would do it. It would be a necessary evil if it meant saving lives or curing diseases. It’s always a tough decision to make though!

      I don’t work with zebrafish but they are amazing creatures and i think we can learn an awful lot by studying them. I have some in my fish tank at home though 😀