Humans and mice don't look alike, but both species are mammals and are biologically very similar. However, due to their small size, zebrafish have emerged as a living disease model platform for high-throughput drug discovery. “They can regrow pancreatic beta cells,” she says, referring to the cells that store and release insulin. Their muscle, blood, kidney and eyes share many features with human systems. About 70 percent of genes in humans and zebrafish are similar, he said. Zebrafish help Prescott better understand how genetic mutations can cause healthy thyroids to turn cancerous. Some limitations still exist, but they hope advances in technology will overcome current obstacles, researchers said. We then study the appearance of defects similar to those in humans lacking these genes—in essence creating personalized zebrafish avatars of genetic disease. Zebrafish mature rapidly, and lay many eggs. “For us, the new cells become scar tissue. Perhaps nowhere in central Pennsylvania is that more apparent than at Penn State College of Medicine’s newly constructed Zebrafish Functional … The results provide evidence that -. The Mumm Lab has developed a zebrafish-based screening approach that evaluates drug effects faster than ever, processing tens of thousands of fish per day. Querying for a disease name retrieves results linking to the disease pages, including zebrafish models for this disease, as well as a list of genes involved in the disease, which is based on orthology with human genes and publications related to the disease (Figure 5A). FINZ center co-director Jeff Mumm, of the Wilmer Eye Institute and the McKusick-Nathans Institute, says that, in addition to three Johns Hopkins researchers currently maintaining tanks of fish there, the center collaborates with other scientists. Zebrafish have been used as a model system to study obesity, with research into both genetic obesity and over-nutrition induced obesity. “We could see sequences that stood out as highly similar among different species, but we didn’t have a large-scale, genomewide way to test our hypotheses,” McCallion recalls. Learn more about the Johns Hopkins Zebrafish Core Facility. The mouse genome is very similar to our own, making mouse genetic research particularly useful for the study of human diseases. Other primate genomes underway include the marmoset, gibbon and gorilla. Mitochondrial genetic disorders refer to a group of conditions that affect the mitochondria (the structures in each cell of the body that are responsible for making energy). McCallion Lab studies the genetics of neurological and cardiovascular disease. Zebrafish have a similar genetic structure to humans. Given the genetic similarities of primates to humans, it’s not surprising they’re in high demand by scientists and accounted for a record 76,000 of animals in U.S. research studies in 2017. Scientists use zebra fish to study human genetic diseases because zebra fish and humans share many of the same genetic diseases. Approximately 70 percent of zebrafish genes are also present in a similar form in humans. This approach is difficult and expensive to apply to mice and thus has largely been limited to cell culture work. He says that, while that work remains arduous, early in his career it was far more difficult. The difference, Mumm says, is that, while the new cells lead to a brand new retina in a zebrafish, humans are not so lucky. Taking a gene from jellyfish that enables their incandescent glow, the FINZ team introduces that gene into a zebrafish, lighting up the liver and allowing researchers to observe its growth and function. That means we develop in the same way from egg and sperm, and have the same kinds of organs (heart, brain, lungs, kidneys, etc.) "We consider zebrafish a less-invasive alternative vertebrate to using warm-blooded animals like mice and rats," he said. Querying for a disease name retrieves results linking to the disease pages, including zebrafish models for this disease, as well as a list of genes involved in the disease, which is based on orthology with human genes and publications related to the disease (Figure 5A). In the past twenty years, zebrafish has become a popular model for reverse genetic analysis of vertebrate development and human diseases (15,19,(31)(32)(33)(34). a) zebra fish have an omnivorous diet similar to that of humans b) zebra fish have nucleotide sequences similar to those of humans For a fee, FINZ offers numerous genetic services to colleagues throughout the institution, including modifying the genome to produce fish with traits that researchers want to study. 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