The zebrafish earned its stripes

Despite missing the characteristic stripes one would expect from a zebra – or a zebrafish – the fractals in this Picture of the Week show a zebrafish; or at least some cells in a zebrafish embryo, a few hours after fertilisation.

Zebrafish are not only popular aquarium fish, they are also an important and widely used model organism in scientific research. They are used to develop new drugs and to study the functions of genes. They are even one of the few types of fish that have ever made it into space.

As a model organism, the zebrafish possesses numerous advantages for researchers. The genome of the fish has been fully sequenced since 2013. Zebrafish also have well-understood, easily observable and testable developmental behaviours. This way the study of the tiny, unremarkable zebrafish has allowed progress in toxicology, genetics, neurobiology, environmental sciences, stem cell research, evolutionary theories and many more fields.

Credit: Jonas Hartmann & Elisa Gallo/EMBL

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Tags: embryo, model organisms, Picture of the Week, Zebrafish

More from this category

Picture of the week

The nucleus of this cell fluoresces in bright green thanks to GFP-labelled nucleoporin proteins. EMBL scientists use engineered nucleoporins as 3D reference standards to improve super-resolution microscopy.

By  Ivy Kupec

Microscopic image of a cell, nucleus visible in bright green, cell membrane stained with a purple dye against black background.


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