Scientists have discovered that flatworms, or freshwater planarians, are actually really good models for toxicity testing. They can help researchers model the human nervous system’s response to chemicals, and by providing this information, flatworms may be able to help reduce the number of mammals needed for this type of testing.
So why use flatworms? Well, they’re small, easy to breed, develop quickly (within a week!) and are sensitive to chemicals. The hope is that flatworms will be able to provide scientists with valuable information that can save money as well as human and animal lives. Read more about this research here.