Tuesday, 20 January 2015

The Special One

This tiny, black-and-white tropical freshwater fish is a quite popular aquarium fish but what makes it so special is how it can help researchers.

Popularity of zebrafish (Danio rerio), within the medical research community started when scientists realized

it has the most important attributes to become a model.

Adult zebrafish are small (approximately one inch long as adults), have a short generation time (3-4 months), and can lay hundreds of eggs at weekly intervals. Embryos grow extremely fast and are optically transparent which, unlike the embryos of many other vertebrates, makes them accessible for observation and/or manipulation. Last but not the least…. Zebrafishes are genetically very close to humans.

All these traits made zebrafish become one of the most important models for developmental biology studies. In fact, it’s used on almost all human biology disciplines from embryology, genetics, neuroscience, cancer research, etc.

The zebrafish belongs to the family (Cyprinidae) of the order Cypriniformes. It is native to the Himalayan region.

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