Zebrafish Use in Research

The zebrafish is a cost effective and quick-maturing animal model for researching human health conditions and determining their causes.

It shares many human biological traits and has similarities in blood function and heart development.

Significantly, the embryonic development of zebrafish and humans is similar. Helpfully, the zebrafish embryo is transparent and grows outside of the fish, with the complete “body plan” laid down within 24 hours.

ZebrafishJuvenile

Furthermore, parts of the zebrafish body can be fluorescently labelled, so researchers can observe particular tissues directly and easily using fluorescence microscopy.

A single pair of zebrafish can produce 100 to 300 embryos in a week and this allows statistically significant analyses at a minimal cost. It is also advantageous for high throughput screening of drugs and therapies.

The zebrafish genome is sequenced and researchers have already identified strains containing mutations in genes of interest to human disease.