|A Journal Just for Zebrafish|
By Kate Dalke
September 19, 2003
Zebrafish eggs develop outside the mother and they are transparent, so researchers have a front-row seat for watching embryos develop. Consequently, zebrafish have long been a favorite of developmental biologists.
Zebrafish have smaller versions of many human organs, and studying the fish has helped researchers understand human diseases such as anemia.
Recently zebrafish have been getting a lot more love—and money.
A new journal, called Zebrafish, will hit the press early next year and the entire publication will be devoted to zebrafish research. Even other model organisms like mouse and fruit fly don’t have their own journals.
“Zebrafish have become such a popular model in different areas of research,” say Paul Collodi, who will be editor-in-chief of the journal. Collodi studies the zebrafish at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.
Biotechnology companies use zebrafish for gene discovery, there are zebrafish microarrays in the works, and the zebrafish genome is being sequenced.
“The idea is to provide a place where everyone working with zebrafish can publish in a common journal,” he says. They expect that scientists studying toxicology, development, human disease, or the function of genes in zebrafish would contribute.
In other aquatic news, the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, are starting construction next month on a new facility to breed and house zebrafish—to the tune of over $10 million.
The 7900-square foot facility will hold over 22,000 tanks and house over a half million zebrafish. They expect the project to be completed in 2005.
Researchers at the National Human Genome Research Institute and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development will share the space with the tiny freshwater fish.
Designing a space to keep over half a million zebrafish healthy and clean was the biggest challenge, says Jim Lewis, the NIH project manager in charge of the construction. When the new system is up and running, 1500 gallons of water will cycle through the system every minute.
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