At Hasselt University, we mainly work with rodents and to a limited extend with amphibians. From time to time we also work with fish and pigs.
The majority of our research is performed in mice. For at least 95% of the human genes, a similar variant is found in mice. Furthermore, there are a lot of genetically modified mouse lines available. It is even possible to introduce human genes in the DNA of mice in order to investigate specific diseases. In addition to this, mice are relatively cheap, they have a short reproduction cycle and they are rather small, which makes them easy to house.
The amphibians used at Hasselt University, are part of a project for the protection of native aquatic animal species. In this study, an invasive exotic, the American bullfrog, is caught and treated. The goal of this research is the development of innovative sterilization techniques for the active and passive fight against invasive aquatic species.
Figure 7: Species experimental animals at Hasselt University in 2018.