Zebra Fish for Human Cancer Research
A Transparent Zebra Fish is created to give a clearer idea of how cancer spreads
Science News; Transparent Zebrafish Help Researchers Track Breast Cancer
"What if doctors could peer through a patient's skin and see a cancer tumor growing? They'd be able to study how tumor cells migrate: how they look, how they interact with the blood system to find nourishment to grow and spread through the body.
Zebrafish are genetically similar to humans and are good models for human biology and disease. Now, researchers at Children's Hospital Boston have created a zebrafish that is transparent throughout its life. The new fish allows scientists to directly view its internal organs, and observe processes like tumor metastasis and blood production after bone-marrow transplant in a living organism".
VEGF secreting human tumor cells inducing angiogenesis within the Zebrafish body wall. Tumor cells are shown in red (DsRed), fish blood vessels are shown in green (GFP). (Credit: UCSD School of Medicine)
This is really neat in my opinion that a popular and easy to keep tropical freshwater fish is being used to help people in such a way.
Something I was not aware of is that Zebra Fish were chosen for their strong genetic similarities to human beings. Each internal organ of the fish and its bones can be seen clearly throughout its life. Through these studies, observations have shown already that the spread of cancer cells are not random – they home in on a particular area.
Zebra Fish were the first fish I got in a 5 gallon aquarium I received for Christmas in 1967. This tank was quite basic with a "bubbler" corner filter, which were quite simple but do not compare to even the most basic sponge filter. The aquarium lighting was basic clear incandescent bulbs and the heater was an automatic HOB Metaframe Heater.
Blog inspired and sponsored by Thomas Butler
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