Science Market Update

Duke Researchers Discover Fish Need Hugs Too

Posted by Anita Zhang on Tue, Apr 29, 2014

Humans use massage for stress relief and relaxation. Tight wraps can be used on dogs to reduce anxiety from separation, and the swinging cow brush is designed to improve cow health, comfort and welfare.

When studying the effects of physical sensations on fear behaviors in zebrafish, researchers at Duke University found that moving water could reduce fear responses in fish, similar to the way physical touch can comfort humans and other animals.

Zebrafish become afraid when they smell pheromones released by an injured fish. They respond by freezing in place, or sinking. This is a sensitivity that this species has developed throughout the course of evolution to increase a chance of survival.

Researchers used moving water as a non-social physical touch to "hug" zebrafish and calm them down. The zebrafish were either placed in a tank with still water or a tank with water current. When they exposed to the fear-inducing pheromone, the fish in the water current showed fewer fear behaviors than the fish in the non-moving water. It seemed that the moving water helped to comfort and reduce anxiety in the fish.

Cells along the sides of fish's body called lateral line cells, help fish detect water currents. Fish with damaged lateral line cells in the study did not show different with or without wate currents. This suggested that the fish were responding to physical sensations from water currents.

This study is part of advanced life science research at Duke University, and make it one of most prestigious institutions in the globe. In addition to funding Zebrafish research, about $988 million research expenditures in 2013 secured Duke University the 5th position among the best fifty research institutions in the nation. Duke University have received more than $350 million for 753 grants and awards in 2013 from the National Institute of Health, and 206 grants and awards of $91 million as of April 23rd 2014.

Biotechnology Calendar, Inc. provides an ooportunity to gather laboratory supply companies and researchers together at the BioResearch Product Faire™ Event every year to explore the market opportunity at Duke University. The next event will be held on May 8th 2014.


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Laboratory supply companies are invited to the BioResearch Product Faire™ Event on May 8th2014 to demonstrate their new products and services to researchers and laboratory managers at Duke University. Researchers, on the other hand, will be able to evaluate the sample products that laboratory supply companies provide and boost awareness of newest technologies and tools available in the Duke BioResearch Product Faire™ Event .

Last year, the BioResearch Product Faire™ Event at Duke University drew 314 attendees who came from 27 different research buildings and 70 on-campus departments. 27% of these attendees were professors, purchasing agents and post docs, 14% were laboratory managers.

If you are a laboratory supply company, please click this button below to get more information about the Duke BioResearch Product Faire™ Event on May 8th 2014.

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Biotechnology Calendar, Inc. is organizing more BioResearch Product Faire™ events at different institutions throughout the nation. If you would like to plan the participation in the events, please read the National Show Schedule for 2014

Tags: 2014, Duke University, BioResearch Product Faire Event, Durham, NC, Duke

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