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Why zebrafish? (V0246)

Animal models are often needed to understand the complexity of disease and to find treatments.

What makes vertebrates like zebrafish good research models?


Wellington College: Why those diseases and why with zebrafish?

Dr Love (Auckland University): What I am interested in is modelling human disease using zebrafish as a simple vertebrate organism. Most models you see would be using the mouse. We use the zebrafish. It’s a cheaper platform to use. Embryos are produced every day depending upon the quality of your facility. And we can manipulate the gene expression programme of the zebrafish to achieve, I hope, some desirable outcomes in modern human disease.

I think the zebrafish offers advantages for some diseases, let’s say blood cell development, early events. Early events in disease would be quite good. For me, multifactorial disease modelling, I feel, is worth using the zebrafish. I can entertain multiple variables. Central nervous systems - I still think it’s worth investment, but you are on a steep hill.


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