3D zebrafish can replace real animals in the lab

The 3D platform is ideal for neurobehavioral studies conducted to better understand the brain.

A few years ago, zebrafish became the new lab rat because of their genetic similarity to humans. So, when a team of researchers from the NYU Tandon School of Engineering decided to develop a virtual alternative for lab animals, they chose the tropical freshwater minnows. The team used real-life data to develop a platform that simulates zebrafish swimming in three dimensions, which is accurate enough to replace the animals in experiments.

The platform started as a 2D model back in 2015. Its current iteration, however, is much more sophisticated and features speed modulation, wall interaction and the burst-and-coast swimming style of zebrafish. 

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