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Tropical Fish Research

Tropical Fish Health Benefits – Zebra Danio and Retinal Regeneration


There have been numerous articles recently about the way the Zebra Danio (Danio rerio) as being used in advanced research.  It has become integral into a wide variety of research into genetic similarities between fish and humans. There has been research using the Zebra Danio and retinal regeneration research that could become quite important in the future.

The Zebra Danio has become a staple of many research facilities because it is relatively easy to breed, has a fast replication time and it does not need huge facilities and manpower to keep. There are other reasons to use these fish as part of important research projects into all sorts of human problems, as stated by Ann Morris in a recent article on her 1 million dollar grant by surfky.com:

“One reason that we can do this, say that what we learn about fish will help humans, is because the structure of the retina and types of cells that you find there are very well conserved between fish and humans,” Morris said. “That means that throughout evolution in all of the vertebrates, to which fish and humans both belong, there is a very similar structure to the retina. The same types of cells are found in the retina and the same types of genes control its development in both species. So what we learn in a fish can potentially be applied to what we know about humans.”

“We are particularly focusing on a gene named ‘insulinoma-associated 1,’ or insm1,” Morris said. “We have recently shown that it plays a role in photoreceptor developments, and this grant will allow us to investigate its precise function further and to learn more about all the genes regulated by Insm1 that are also required in making photoreceptors.”

Zebra Danio and Retinal Regeneration Research identifies Gene’s Influence

It is important to note that these fish are becoming important for many types of genetic research, but helping to map the various genes and what they control throughout the life of an organism seems to be the most important.  Zebra Danio and retinal research has identified that, unlike the human population, the fish can regenerate their retinal cells if they are damaged. Identifying how that is done could have huge implications for people who are having problems with their vision.

Zebra Danio and Retinal Regegeneration

Zebra Danio and Retinal Regeneration

If even some ability to regenerate the damage of trauma or genetic deficiency can be identified, possibly a new methodology for helping the retina regenerate itself could be identified and put into practice for both the congenitally damaged as well as trauma victims.  The initial benefit is understanding.  Just like the mapping of the genome for the gene that may control Muscular Dystrophy. Identifying and understanding the genes required by the Zebra Danio and retinal regeneration should that area be damaged may lead to new ways of treating some afflictions of the blind

About

Steve Pond, of Tropical Fish Aquarist, has kept fish both personally and professionally for over 50 years.  He writes regularly on the wide range of current topics that are important to people who keep tropical fish tanks as a passion and a hobby.

About blueram

Steve Pond, of Tropical Fish Aquarist, has kept fish both personally and professionally for over 50 years.  He writes regularly on the wide range of current topics that are important to people who keep tropical fish tanks as a passion and a hobby.

View all posts by blueram →

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One Comment

  1. NadineMarch 6, 2015 at 2:42 amReply

    their are actually most lkiely copepods not a parasite but a crustacean not bad but i wouldnt suggest letting them over run your tank they are in almost every freshwater home aquarium.best place to check out copepods is wiki

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