Can octopuses become a substitute for lab rats?
Researchers are now probing into the possibility of utilizing octopuses as a means to learn more about organisms which have large brain size and complex body functions, says a report by NPR.
According to researcher Josh Rosenthal from the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), Massachusetts, although much part of the scientific testing is conducted on known and well-analysed organisms such as fruit flies and mice, studying the diverse cephalopod world may help open new doors for further research.
The MBL researchers have collected specimens of numerous cephalopods with the aim to broaden their knowledge about their genetics, life cycles as well as biological processes. Such knowledge will act like a baseline while researchers continue performing several experiments on aquatic animals so that they can eventually be as familiar to them as the laboratory mice.
MBL is engaged in the initial stage of the cephalopod research that implies that they are in an unmapped territory, explained the NPR. While there’s no federal law related to experiments conducted on non-vertebrates in the United States, the MBL considers ethics very seriously, Rosenthal added. The team hopes that they will be able to develop a unique policy for the cephalopod study which will make sure that wellbeing of nearly 3000 strange creatures is maintained under their attention and care.