A high school in Florida is switching from real to synthetic frogs [cbsnews.com] for dissection in biology classes.
Nearly 100 synthetic frogs were dissected last week by students at J.W. Mitchell High School in New Port Richey, Florida, according to the company that developed them, SynDaver [syndaver.com].
The company said the high school is the first in the world to try out the new technology, but it hopes to spread them nationwide — making dead, formaldehyde-ridden frogs a thing of the past. The frogs can be used for education, surgical simulation, and medical device testing, SynDaver said.
The synthetic frogs have a number of significant advantages over preserved frogs. They are odor free and non toxic, avoid ethical conerns, and also
are designed to mimic both the visual and textural elements of a live female frog. They feature a skeleton, muscles, skin, organs and even a reproductive system with eggs. The synthetic tissues are made out of water, fibers and salts.
"This makes it more like a live frog than the preserved specimens currently sold to schools for dissection labs," said Dr. Christopher Sakezles, founder and CEO of SynDaver. "SynFrog not only looks and feels like a real frog, it's physically safer to dissect than a real preserved frog because it doesn't contain potentially harmful chemicals like formalin."
Michigan J. Frog approves this innovation.