Zebrafish and Human Disease
Cancer, infectious disease, heart and blood development, neuronal function: the laboratory zebrafish has allowed scientists to make new discoveries about these and other processes and how they go awry in human disease. For more than 30 years, this small tropical fish has been an important model for human disease and is now being used to identify new approaches to treatment.
Zebrafish larvae are optically transparent and develop externally, enabling high-resolution microscopy not available in other vertebrate models. Many fundamental biological processes are conserved between zebrafish and humans, meaning that findings in zebrafish can be translated into humans, and human biology can be modelled in the zebrafish.
Adult pairs of zebrafish can produce hundreds of offspring per week. Large-scale genetic screens have implicated specific pathways in disease pathogenesis. Similarly, high-throughput chemical screens in the zebrafish have identified drugs now being tested therapeutically in humans.
This site highlights the zebrafish disease models community, the range of biology accessible using the zebrafish, and exciting discoveries with implications for human biology and disease. It also serves as a resource for the community, fostering discussions and collaborations between working scientists, and providing more general information to the public.