The Journal Gazette
Saturday, November 30, 2019 1:00 am

Faux frogs latest way to learn biology

If you've forgotten much of what you learned in high school biology, chances are you haven't forgotten the experience of dissecting a frog. But technology is changing that classic classroom experience: Meet the synthetic frog.

J.W. Mitchell High School in New Port Richey, Florida, is the first school in the world to use synthetic frogs for dissection labs. SynDaver, a Tampa-based developer, helped create the “SynFrog” with funds from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. According to the animal rights organization, 3 million frogs are killed for classroom use each year.

The fake frogs, made of water, fibers and salts, cost $150 each, but can be reused. SynDaver's founder and CEO, Christopher Sakezles, said the synthetic frogs are safer than real frogs because there are no potentially harmful chemicals.

There's an app for that, too. The Virtual Frog Dissection Education App offers an online alternative, also PETA-endorsed.

“Help your students learn all about frogs and their biological functions, without the messy lab work or controversial questions,” boasts a website ad.

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