Environment - Zebrafish is perfect guinea pig
Turning the drab brownish-gray zebrafish green isn't a St. Patrick's Day stunt for researchers at ORNL. Actually, the research is helping scientists study the effects of contamination on fish and relates the effects back to other wildlife and people. Of particular interest are chemicals such as pesticides, dioxins and PCBs that mimic or block the normal actions of hormones such as estrogen and testosterone. In this study, researchers expose zebrafish embryos to estrogen and pollutants after attaching a bioreporter gene that glows green in the presence of certain pollutants. Because of the remarkable clarity of the zebrafish embryo, researchers can determine exactly when and where the specific gene of interest is turned on or off after being exposed to a pollutant.
March 01, 2001