Matching Items (2)
- All Subjects: Animal Physiology
- All Subjects: Neural Plasticity
- All Subjects: Sexual Signals
- Creators: Beiner, Susan
- Creators: Westerfield, Savannah
“Tell It to the Frogs: Fukushima’s nuclear disaster and its impact on the Japanese Tree Frog” is a representation of the work from Giraudeau et. al’s “Carotenoid distribution in wild Japanese tree frogs (Hyla japonica) exposed to ionizing radiation in Fukushima.” This paper looked to see if carotenoid levels in the tree frog’s vocal sac, liver, and blood were affected by radiation from Fukushima’s power plant explosion. Without carotenoids, the pigment that gives the frogs their orange color on their necks, their courtship practices would be impacted and would not be as able to show off their fitness to potential mates. The artwork inspired by this research displayed the tree frog’s degradation over time due to radiation, starting with normal life and ending with their death and open on the table. The sculptures also pinpoint where the carotenoids were being measured with a brilliant orange glaze. Through ceramic hand building, the artist created larger than life frogs in hopes to elicit curiosity about them and their plight. While the paper did not conclude any changes in the frog’s physiology after 18 months of exposure, there are still questions that are left unanswered. Why did these frogs not have any reaction? Could there be any effects after more time has passed? Is radiation leakage as big of a problem as previously thought? The only way to get the answers to these questions is to be aware of these amphibians, the circumstances that led them to be involved, and continued research on them and radiation.
There is a wide intersection where animal and human lives interact or mimic each other behaviorally or biologically. A lot of the products that are part of our day-to-day were first validated by animals, and eventually found their way to us. From food to beauty products to scientific developments, animals deal with a lot behind the scenes. Some humans are cognizant of what is happening backstage, while others only see the final presentation. Either way, all of us have our opinions in support or against animal treatment. The project is heavily inspired from my experience in a neurorehabilitation lab, so the foundation is similar to the structure and function of neurons. Through this project, I am focusing on one aspect of this debate, which is animal testing in the scietific setting. The goal of the project is not to force the viewer to choose one side, but to understand the big picture and the reasoning of the opposing side.