Danio Rerio Essay

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Danio rerio (also known by the common name “zebrafish” due to its conspicuous striped appearance) can be seen in the aquarium section of just about any local pet store, and it has become equally as ubiquitous in scientific research. Biologist George Streisinger is generally credited as the pioneer for D. rerio use as a model organism (Tucker). Streisinger, inspired by his home aquarium hobby, began experimenting with these diminutive fish as early as the 1970s, though his initial work gained little attention, and was at the time was not received without skepticism (Tucker). Specifically, what merit was there in studying a pet store novelty when other animals with an established history as model organisms, such as mice and fruit flies, were already widely available? At a cursory appraisal: D. rerio grows mere inches long, it is small, easily contained, and simple to care for; all are factors that make it practical for laboratory settings (Aleström et al 15). As a vertebrate animal, it is a more similar analog for a human being than a fruit…show more content…
Due to controversy over GMO foods this particular avenue of research has waned, but in recent years there has been a growing interest in using transgenic fish to study toxicology (Gong et al 213, Dai et al 11). One possible application of transgenic zebrafish is the detection and monitoring of aquatic pollution (Dai et al 11).
Aquatic environments are a major route of distribution for pollutants such as pesticides, toxic heavy metals, and endocrine disruptors (Carvan et al 134). Fish and other aquatic organisms can accumulate these environmental contaminants via bioconcentration in the food chain or by directly absorbing them through the gills (Carvan et al 134). Humans are also at risk for exposure through the consumption of fish from polluted water (Carvan et al
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