Zebrafish genome helps in hunt for treatments

The following is an excerpt.

When scientists began sequencing the zebrafish genome in 2001, the model organism was a favourite of biologists studying early development of the brain and other organs. Few others found much use for the small, stripy fish with see-through embryos. More than a decade later, with its genome finally unveiled today, the zebrafish (Danio rerio) has become the go-to animal for researchers studying many human diseases — as well as those investigating new treatments.

“We have been waiting for this [genome] for some time,” says molecular geneticist Nicholas Katsanis at Duke University in Durham, North Carolin. He and his team use the fish to understand the effects of mutations they find in the genomes of sick children. “It’s going to help us accelerate what we have been doing”, which is to systematically study human paediatric diseases by looking at zebrafish analogues, he says.

View the original article here: Zebrafish genome helps in hunt for treatments

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