A sudden passion and love towards something that I hated upon as a kid just because it is tinier than the others and unattractful. But today it has proved me Wrong. As a little kid, I too loved growing fishes at home, fed them ten times a day just to make sure they were as healthy as me, made an artificial ship-wreck amusing every time they pass through it, and the best part is spending my Sunday time in cleaning the fish tank. One among them I grew was, Zebra Fish (have no idea then the reason behind ‘Zebra’ as its suffix) and they were tiny, timid creatures who often finds a companion to chill with.

But now, Zebra Fish, popularly known to the scientific World as Danio Rerio has transformed from a house pet to laboratory organism. There are several reasons why this tiny creature is a craze for people like me to research upon. A kid up in the candy store asks for anything that is new and catches his attention, and in my case Zebra Fish looked a new on the game, and that caught my attention. The works and projects that I am interested to work upon have not yet been done on Zebra fish, and that excites me even more. Exploring a whole new world on your own is always amazing.

zebrafish_Novartis_edit1The reason why this tiny creature is preferred and an ideal model for researchers,

  • Zebra fish is a vertebrate. And this means they are very closely related to Humans and serve as a better model than the other invertebrate models such as Drosophila Melanogaster (fruit flies) and Elegans (nematodes). Zebra fish resembles human in many a ways from genes, anatomy, developmental process, embryo formation and certain behaviours unlike the other invertebrates who are similar at cellular level to humans.
  • Zebra fish is easy to maintain and breed under laboratory conditions. They are easily adaptable to lab conditions. Their eggs are fertilized outside their body. The male fish is slender and long while the female fish has a big tummy.
  • Zebra fish embryos are transparent. The development of embryo could be seen live as each cell differentiates into new organs. Monitoring various cells and organs through different dyes and stains are possible unlike other organisms.
  • Zebra fish embryos develop within 24 hours into a tiny fish, which is very rapid. The female fish lays large quantities of eggs.
  • Zebra fish embryos could be manipulated with a large number of genetic tools manually. By exposure to UV radiations the paternal genes in the embryo is destroyed which makes it very conveniently to work on Recessive disorders inherited usually maternally (This one is my favourite).

There are several other advantages to Zebra fish other than I have listed here. Zebra fish enthusiasts are growing every day with a numerous different areas to work upon. Since a large community are also willing to share more specific knowledge on zebra fish, it has interested a lot of emerging Scientists to work upon.

Being a vertebrate, Zebra fish shares 70% of the common genes with Humans and 84% of the genes involved in diseases.

Generally in-vitro assays of cultured cells are used to test for drug effects on humans, but very often the results that are effective in-vitro fails during animal trials. Zebra fish removes this hindrance as they are more specific in results of changes in metabolism due to drug efficacy. Zebra fish offers easy monitoring of the effects of drug on various body organs with noticeable changes in their body. Drug administration is simple as mere addition of the targeted drug in water. Since most of the drugs are hydrophilic in nature, they are easily soluble in water and the fish take in through their gills.

Another interesting and exciting aspect of Zebra fish is their fin and heart regeneration abilities. Zebra fish could regenerate even if 20% of the heart vessels are damaged or lost, and this could be a major field of interest to combat heart diseases.

There is certainly no doubt that this tiny creature will provide major breakthroughs in the near future. With the steady increasing papers, thesis and conferences on Zebra Fish, it will certainly become the ‘Model of Science.’

Stay tuned for more research works on Zebra fish. #Zebra_fish_lover

http://www.geneticengg.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/cover.jpghttp://www.geneticengg.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/cover-150x150.jpgSudharsan Varatharajanzebrafishanimal model,danio rerio,zebrafishA sudden passion and love towards something that I hated upon as a kid just because it is tinier than the others and unattractful. But today it has proved me Wrong. As a little kid, I too loved growing fishes at home, fed them ten times a day just...When Nature and Science meet, Magic happens !