Endocrinology: Learn how contraceptives work

Time to complete course: 30 min.

About the Endocrinology Virtual Lab Simulation

Hormones are crazy! Can we control them? In this simulation you will learn about different hormones’ influence on fertility. You will use rabbits as test subjects to learn about the impact of different hormones on the reproductive cycles of mammals, such as humans.

Inhibit rabbit fertility with hormones

A petting zoo is experiencing problems with wildly multiplying rabbits and they are in desperate need of your help! Your mission in this simulation is to develop an efficient method for getting the rabbit population under control.

Endocrine system controls fertility

To test the effects of different levels of gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH), luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) in the blood of female rabbits you will work in a virtual lab. Normally, you would need weeks to complete experiments, and you would have to sacrifice a number of rabbits to dissect and inspect the uterus. For the males, the experiments with DMAU would take multiple weeks to test with living specimens. In this simulation, you don’t have to worry about any of those things! Time can be sped up to avoid waiting time and no animals are harmed in a virtual world. In addition to that, instead of compiling heavy tables from your data, the virtual machines will present your data in easy-to-digest graphs and charts.

Use hormones as a contraceptive

To find a good hormonal contraceptive you will have to test several rabbits. You will feed each treatment to a rabbit, and then, with a microscope and radioimmunoassays, you will investigate the hormones’ effect on the thickening of the uterus in females, and motility and number of semen in males.

Will you be able to use the skills you acquire to develop a hormonal contraceptive for the rabbits?

Get Started Now

Develop a method for keeping a population of rabbits under control by using hormonal treatments. Investigate how different concentrations of different hormones impact the fertility of male and female rabbits.

Techniques In Lab

  • With a Radioimmunoassay investigate the hormonal concentrations in blood serum
  • With light microscopy assess the motility and viability of semen
  • Use the McPhail scale to judge uterus development

Learning Objectives

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to…

  • Understand hormonal feedback mechanisms
  • Use physiological methods to assess fertility in
    males and females
  • Understand how hormonal feedback mechanisms among LH, FSH progesterone and estrogen control fertility and ovulation in females
  • Understand how hormonal feedback mechanisms among LH, FSH, and testosterone control fertility in males.

Screenshots of Endocrinology Virtual Lab Simulation


Dr. Jon Harrison

School of Life Sciences
Arizona State University

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