Useful Traits For Researchers, Ongoing Research Involving Zebrafish
The zebrafish (Brachydanio rerio) is a small tropical freshwater fish that began to be used as a genetic model system in the early 1980s. The zebrafish shares numerous anatomical and genetic similarities with higher vertebrates, including humans, both in the general body plan and in specific organs. Close parallels exist in many aspects of early embryogenesis and in the anatomical and histological features of the brain, spinal cord, sensory systems, cardiovascular system, and other organs. Not infrequently, genetic defects in zebrafish resemble human disorders. Owing to these similarities, zebrafish genetics is being broadly applied to address both basic biological questions and to model human inherited diseases.
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