Robot Used To Prove Zebrafish Don’t Wear Beer Goggles

By Nick Venable | 7 years ago

zPeople use the phrase “drink like a fish” without thinking about what it really means. They’re only taking one part of the equation into consideration. What we should be saying is, “Get hungover like a fish,” since fish never seem to be hungover. Perhaps we need to rethink the entire drinking thing. But that just sounds like sobriety.

After noticing that zerbrafish were oblivious when a crudely painted robo-fish was added into the mix, NYU-Poly’s Dynamic Systems Lab director Maurizio Porfiri began experimenting by putting the fish into tanks filled with varying amounts of ethanol. Sure, it was to test the level of companionship and attention given to the robo-fish, but also because all the fish’s older brothers and best friends said they would be total spazzes if they didn’t get ripped. (We picture this guy as the older brother.)

Strangely, the intoxication generally caused the fish to avoid contact with the robo-fish, which was made to resemble the opposite sex. They chose to swim around by themselves. Total loners, but with hearts of gold. Because this experiment successfully established a baseline for a controlled delivery of ethanol, it will serve as the foundation for further studies using the zebrafish, which have been a rising star in the scientific community as an alternative to the common lab mouse. Next up on the agenda is adding predators into the mix and testing reactions to danger. Just give them time to sober up first.

(Thanks to DVICE for the story, and for that one night in that Tijuana fish tank.)

Leave A Comment With: