Thursday, September 04, 2008

How the Zebrafish Lost Its Stripes

One of the coolest aspects of zebrafish is their transparency--you can watch organ development occurring by placing the fish under a microscope--you can easily see through its skin and see the heart pumping, blood moving--you can even make movies of zebrafish peeing, something which I will be doing in the months to come!

However the zebrafish stripes obstruct this view, and it is convenient to remove them. Fortunately there's a way to remove these pigmented stripes. Incubation of the fish in water containing PTU--which disrupts the pigment formation in melanocytes, the same type of skin cells which allow our skin to become tan--does the trick.


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