Peacock Scholarship

Effects of Sucralose, Saccharin, Rebaudioside (in Stevia) and Aspartame on Development in Xenopus laevis (Clawed Frog)

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Artificial sweeteners are a relatively recent addition to the human diet. These substances, developed to fight rising obesity and diabetes rates by providing a low calorie sugar substitute, have become very popular among consumers. The result has been increased consumption of chemicals whose effects on the human body are not fully understood. The purpose of these experiments is to determine the effects of the artificial sweeteners sucralose, saccharin, rebaudioside (in Stevia) and aspartame on development of Xenopus laevis embryos. Trials consisted of four experimental groups and one control group. Each experimental group consisted of one artificial sweetener dissolved in aged tap water at a concentration of 10 µg/ml. The control group was exposed only to aged tap water. The rate of subsequent development was measured and photos were taken of specimens to record any morphological changes. Results, with the exception of a single saccharin trial, indicated that the rate of development was unaffected by the artificial sweeteners. However, in several trials individuals in the aspartame group presented with tail defects in which the tail appeared underdeveloped and curved.

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  • 10/23/2019
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