By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Mar 1, 2023, 15:21

The Zebrafish is the most widely used non-mammalian model organism.

Due to its genetic resemblance to humans, the elucidation of its gene sequences, advanced molecular genetics, and the highly emerging and exceptional novel biological techniques now accessible to zebrafish researchers, these small aquatic species are used in various disciplines by over a thousand laboratories worldwide.

Why are Zebrafish being studied by scientists?

The mammalian genetic resemblance is strong. The Zebrafish, as a vertebrate, has several genes that conduct the same or equivalent activities in mammals, including human beings.

Around 70% of zebrafish genes are also found in humans in a similar form. This fish contains more than 80% of the genes that are known to cause disease in humans. As a result, the Zebrafish is an excellent model creature for researching human diseases.

Characteristics of Zebrafish

  1. The Zebrafish is a tiny but tough fish. They are less expensive to keep than mice.
  2. The arrival of daylight triggers fertilisation in Zebrafish.
  3. Researchers have an adequate amount of embryos to investigate since Zebrafish generate hundreds of offspring weekly.
  4. They expand at an incredible rate, growing as much as a human fetus does in a month in just one day.
  5. Since zebrafish embryos are essentially transparent, scientists may easily trace interior structures' development with ease. A low-power lens can reveal every blood artery in a growing zebrafish embryo.

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Research related to Zebrafish

  1. Because zebrafish eggs are hatched and develop beyond their mothers' bodies, they are an excellent model organism for examining early development.
  2. The genetic structure of Zebrafish is comparable to that of human beings. We share 70% of our genes with them.
  3. The Zebrafish possesses the very same fundamental tissues and organs as adults. Their muscles, blood, kidneys, and eyeballs have a lot in common with human organs.
  4. Scientists are trying to figure out what elements are involved in this case to see if we might discover techniques to restore the heart in people with cardiovascular disease or heart attacks.

Geographical Range of Zebrafish

Zebrafish prefer shallow, slow-moving channels and, particularly, still pools that form beside the creeks during the monsoon season.

Zebrafish is found in South Asian freshwater habitats, including India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Bhutan.

Zebrafish, like other fish, take in dissolved chemicals from water. Researchers can make use of this property by putting compounds in the water that alter genetic code, for instance, and then assessing the mutations' impact. Genes in genetically altered fish could also be switched on or off immediately by introducing certain chemicals.

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FAQs on Zebrafish

Q1. What makes the Zebrafish unique?

The Zebrafish is a vertebrate that possesses the very same primary tissues and organs as human beings as a vertebrate. Their muscles, blood, kidneys, and retina have a lot in common with human organs. Zebrafish have a one-of-a-kind ability to regenerate cardiac muscle. For instance, if a portion of their heart is amputated, they can regrow it is only about a few weeks.

Q2. Can Zebrafish be poisonous?

Saltwater zebrafishes, known as Pterois, have unusually big pectoral fins, countless extremely deadly spines, and vivid vertical stripes that are employed in marine aquariums and can be poisonous.

Q3. How much DNA do Zebrafish and human beings share?

Human beings and Zebrafish share about 70% of the same genes, and 84% of human genes linked to infections in humans have a parallel in Zebrafish. The presence of key tissues and organs is also prevalent. The DNA of the Zebrafish has been mapped to a very high standard.

Q4. Can Zebrafish aid your vision?

Usher syndrome isn't the only condition that causes gradual eyesight loss. Macular degeneration is a much more frequent form of blindness, and Zebrafish may be able to aid us with it. This is an age-related disease that causes progressive damage and vision disturbances in the macula, the centre region of the retina.

Q5. Can Zebrafish be aggressive?

Aggression is a feature that is frequently seen among Zebrafish.