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For fish, fear smells like sugar
Date:2/23/2012

s intensely to cues from more distant relatives. The trend suggests that chondroitin fragments may come in a variety of "flavors," and the researchers are now interested in testing whether the same fragments that breed fear in zebrafish will elicit responses in other species as well.

Ultimately, the discovery could lead to new insight into the nature of fear itself.

"These findings underscore the usefulness of the zebrafish as a system to investigate the neural basis of innate fear," Jesuthasan said. "Given the transparency of larval fish, it is possible to see at single-cell resolution what happens throughout the brain when the organism detects danger. This will allow us in the future to ask how neurons, as a group, regulate behavior and emotional responses."


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