Animal testing on frogs
Frogs have been used in animal tests throughout the history of biomedical science.
Eighteenth-century biologist Luigi Galvani discovered the link between electricity and the nervous system through studying frogs. The African clawed frog or platanna, Xenopus laevis, was first widely used in laboratories in pregnancy assays in the first half of the 20th century. When human chorionic gonadotropin, a hormone found in substantial quantities in the urine of pregnant women, is injected into a female X. laevis, it induces them to lay eggs. In 1952 Robert Briggs and Thomas J. King cloned a frog by somatic cell nuclear transfer, the same technique that was later used to create Dolly the Sheep, their experiment was the first time successful nuclear transplantation had been accomplished in metazoans.
Frogs are used in cloning research and other branches of embryology because frogs are among the closest living relatives of man to lack egg shells characteristic of most other vertebrates, and therefore facilitate observations of early development. Although alternative pregnancy assays have been developed, biologists continue to use Xenopus as a model organism in developmental biology because it is easy to raise in captivity and has a large and easily manipulatable embryo. Recently, X. laevis is increasingly being displaced by its smaller relative X. tropicalis, which reaches its reproductive age in five months rather than one to two years (as in X. laevis), facilitating faster studies across generations. The genome sequence of X. tropicalis is scheduled to be completed by 2015 at the latest.
- "Developing the potential of Xenopus tropicalis as a genetic model". Retrieved 2006-03-09.
- "Joint Genome Institute - Xenopus tropicalis Home". Retrieved 2006-03-03.