The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is a small tropical fish that offers several experimental advantages for the study of gene functions and processes that are conserved among vertebrates. Zebrafish are hardy and fast-growing, and it is possible to raise large numbers for genetic screens. Zebrafish embryos are transparent and accessible, which allows exquisite imaging and embryological manipulations such as microinjection and cell transplantation. In addition, genome-editing methods allow targeted mutations to be created rapidly in zebrafish. Because most genes controlling development and physiology are conserved among vertebrates, insights gained from functional studies in zebrafish are relevant to human biology and disease.
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