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High School Replaces Frogs With Synthetics

In a first, PETA helps fund the switch
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 1, 2019 8:50 AM CST
A mentor and a seventh-grader dissect a real frog in March in Nashville.   (AP Photo/Travis Loller)

(Newser) – The learning is real in biology class, but at a high school in Florida, the frogs are not. Students at JW Mitchell High in New Port Richey dissected synthetic frogs last month for the first time, CNN reports. PETA provided funding for the frogs to SynDaver, a company that says it makes "sophisticated and synthetic humans and animals for surgical training, anatomy education and medical device testing." The goal is to shift schools from using real animals to "humane, non-animal options," PETA said. SynDaver wants the change to go nationwide.

These frogs cost about $150 each and are made of water, fibers, and salts, the company said, per the AP. They're designed to be reusable. The biology students "are finger-deep in frog guts. But it's all synthetic, so the smell isn't there, the stigma isn't there, they are not opting out," the school's principal said on PETA's website. School spirit was involved, too. JW Mitchell's Twitter page said it was excited about its involvement in the project, so "our #Mustangs could be the first students in the world to dissect synthetic frogs!" (Read more dissection stories.)

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