Around the Web

Watch: Zebrafish get addicted to drugs just like humans and can help researchers work on remedies

If a fish can go to such lengths for a hit, imagine what humans can do.

Play

Zebrafish are physiologically and genetically remarkably similar to human beings, which has frequently made them the subject of scientific research. They have been studied before for research on mental health disorders and addictive behaviours to a variety of drugs, but this new study (video above) headed by Randall Peterson and Gabriel Bossé of Utah University may help scientists discover new ways to treat addiction.

It turns out that zebrafish resemble humans even in their addiction to drugs.

For 50 minutes each day for five days, the researchers placed the zebrafish in a white water tank with a small yellow platform with motion sensors to trigger the release of food. They trained the fish to swim over the yellow platform for food, and then replaced the food with hydrocodone, a kind of opioid.

The tests show that the zebrafish grew very fond of the opioid painkiller. They ventured over the yellow platform more often than they did for food, especially when the doses of opioids were reduced.

Even when the water level was reduced in the tank – zebrafish normally avoid shallow waters to prevent themselves from becoming easy prey to birds – they abandoned caution to seek the drug. The water in the tank was regularly replaced to prevent build-up of the drug, compelling them to adopt active drug-seeking behaviour.

The fish also started to show signs of withdrawal such as anxiety after a few hours without a “hit”.

The study can help in the development of new drugs to combat drug-seeking behaviour. Genetic tests may be conducted to check for specific mutations that influence such addictive, drug-seeking behaviour in zebrafish. It may also lead to the investigation of the biological pathways of the pleasure centres in the brain associated with addiction.

All of which can, of course, ultimately provide a better understanding of addiction and suggest ways to combat it.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Now that you’ve reached the top, how often do you say, “Thank You”?

What kind of a leader are you?

How do you define success? The typical picture of success is a large bank balance, expensive material possessions and fame. But for some, success is happiness that comes from fulfilling a childhood dream or attaining a sense of purpose. For those, success is not about the volume of an applause or the weight of a gold medal, but about showing gratitude and sharing success with the people without whom the journey would be incomplete. Here are a few ways you can share your success with others:

Speech

While it sounds simple and formulaic, a genuine, emphatic and honest speech can make everyone feel like they are a part of a winning team. For a personal touch, acknowledge the team’s efforts by mentioning each one of them by name and thanking them for their unique contributions. Hearing their own name makes people feel proud and honoured.

Realise the success should be passed on

Instead of basking in the glory of their own achievements, good leaders encourage, motivate and inspire others to achieve success. A good leader should acknowledge his own mistakes, share his experience and knowledge and cultivate an environment where every milestone is an accomplishment for everyone in the team. Talk about challenges, the personal and professional struggles that you had to overcome. Sharing setbacks helps others to relate to you and helps them overcome struggles they may be facing.

Celebrate

Nothing beats shaking-off the deadlines, work-pressure and fatigue by celebrating success together. Enjoying a job well done together as a team brings about a spirit of camaraderie. A catered lunch, evening drinks or a weekend off-site, the important thing is to enjoy the win with people who have gone through the same struggle.

Keep it flexible

The last thing you want is for work celebrations to become monotonous and repetitive. Not all milestones have to be celebrated in a grand manner, some can just be acknowledged with gestures such as personal Thank You notes or writing a recommendation on LinkedIn.

Make success more meaningful

Go beyond numbers, sales targets and profits and add meaning to the achievement. Reminding everyone of the larger purpose inspires people. It’s easy to lose interest when you do something in a routine fashion. Giving a larger meaning to success makes people feel more involved and energized.

Great leaders are those who share their victories with others. They acknowledge that the path to success is collaborative. Great leaders don’t stand in front of their team, but are found working amongst them. This video is an ode to such leaders who epitomise the Chivas culture and know how to Win The Right Way. Follow Chivas on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Play

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Chivas Studio Music CDs and not by the Scroll editorial team.