The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is a tropical freshwater fish Native to the Himalayan region. It is currently the most used aquatic animal as a model organism.
As a model biological system, the zebrafish possesses numerous advantages for scientists. Its genome has been fully sequenced, and it has well-understood, easily observable and testable developmental behaviours. Its embryonic development is very rapid, and its embryos are relatively large, robust, and transparent, and able to develop outside their mother. Furthermore, well-characterized mutant strains are readily available.
Other advantages include the species' nearly constant size during early development, which enables simple staining techniques to be used, and the fact that its two-celled embryo can be fused into a single cell to create a homozygous embryo. The zebrafish is also demonstrably similar to mammalian models and humans in toxicity testing.
The Zebrafish unit
The zebrafish unit is located at Candiotti building.
Fish are being housed in recirculating systems in which water recirculates through mechanical, biological, and chemical filters and UV lights. 10% of the water is removed daily. The unit includes three animal rooms that contain 36 racks of 50 tanks each, a quarantine room with two additional racks and lab rooms for the scientists.
Reverse Osmosis water is being supplemented automatically by dosing pumps with salts and sodium bicarbonate to reach conductivity of 500µS and pH of 7.5. The water temperature is being kept at 28°C.
Attending veterinarian: Noa Stettner
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