Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Introduction to Zebrafish

So I'm starting a new phase in nephrology training.

I am working in a lab that studies the development of kidneys in ZEBRAFISH.

Why study zebrafish? For one, the kidneys are much simpler: whereas human kidneys contain approximately 1 million nephrons each, the zebrafish contains one SINGLE NEPHRON, making its development and function much easier to study. Second, the kidney develops over a period of about 2 days--study of the mouse kidney takes several weeks, and many diseases may take months to develop. Another added bonus is that zebrafish are transparent--so you can examine their kidneys while they are still alive, without actually killing them.

In any case, I've started working on these little fish as of this week, and it's a whole new world--I have lots of background reading to accomplish over the coming weeks as I begin to develop my own project. You'll be hearing a lot about these fish in the months/years to come.

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