News & Events
Scientists have produced an unusual mutation of zebrafish fish
- August 16, 2020
- Posted by: Wiley M. Wagner
- Category: Science
Genetic engineering represents a truly promising field for study and various experiments – in particular, those that will allow us to become potentially healthier and teach us to predict various dangerous diseases. However, some experiments within this discipline simply cannot fail to be unexpected, since sometimes something goes wrong. This is exactly how one can characterize the results of a new study and experiment by a team of geneticists from the Canadian Museum of Nature, together with their colleagues from other universities in the country, in which they managed to create a conceptually new type of fish of the zebrafish family.
Also known as “zebra fish,” the zebrafish is a fairly common fish family and offers a wide range of genetic and biological research. Initially, Canadian experts studied the possibility of influencing some genes responsible for the degree of mobility of their jaws, but at some point they decided to influence the so-called nkx3.2 gene, which is responsible for the connection between the bones and cartilage of the fish jaw – as a result, blocking certain expressions of this gene, scientists managed to create a new type of zebrafish with almost crossed upper and lower jaws, which not only could not fully close, but which also demonstrated slightly higher efficiency in eating certain types of mollusks and other organisms.
Although, regarding the survival rate of such samples, we can only talk about variable success, since only a few of them survived to adulthood.
It is worth noting the fact that some types of genetic experiments are just so interesting and useful, which make it possible in a short time to establish extremely important relationships between changes in individual genes and the expression of their phenotype within one or two generations – and the presented example with a new jaw shape in zebrafish is extremely indicative in this regard, despite some other still dubious points.