26 July 2019
The zebrafish (Danio rerio), has become increasingly important to scientific research. It´s not only a popular fish pet but also an important model organism for vertebrate development, genetics, and human biology and disease research.
Zebrafish have a diverse history, from aquarium pet to animal model in embryology studies. It is about 2.5 cm to 4 cm long and in its larval stages, it is transparent and as it matures to an adult it develops stripes that run along the length of the body and look blue in colour. It have already been used to help unlock a number of the biological processes behind muscular dystrophy, and are an important model for understanding the mechanisms of development and diseases such as cancer.
One important advantage of zebrafish is that they grow at an extremely fast rate, developing as much in a day as a human embryo develops in one month. Zebrafish embryos are nearly transparent which allows researchers to easily examine the development of internal structures. Every blood vessel in a living zebrafish embryo can be seen using just a low-power microscope.
Recent advances in molecular genetics include the use of zebrafish genetics as a model system for understanding human health and biology. Zebrafish have lots of body parts relevant to the study of human disease. They have various brain regions, livers, kidneys, gut, cloaca, ovaries/testes, and fins which are homologous to human limbs.
Scientists are using zebrafish to learn about the genes responsible for muscle disorders, heart defects, and nervous system diseases like multiple sclerosis.
Reverse genetic approaches, including both targeted gene knockdown and knockouts, allow scientists to ask, what can zebrafish genetics tell us about similarities with human genetics.
Scientists are also using forward genetic screening with both chemical and insertional mutagens to identify an array of new genetic loci involved with vertebrate development, disease, and behavior. The identification of genes through their mutant phenotypes is the most direct way of dissecting the molecular basis of developmental processes.
At ZeClinics we propose and run the best zebrafish-based scientific methodology and provide reliable results. Rare diseases, gene functions, biological pathways, drug-target interaction, drug accumulations and much more can be developed and studied in zebrafish.