The zebrafish offers unique possibilities for in vivo analyses in a vertebrate organism. The zebrafish genome is well annotated, 71.4 percent of human genes have zebrafish orthologues, powerful genetic tools are available, and the use of zebrafish for modeling a large number of human diseases is well established. Because the fertilization and development is external and the embryo is optically transparent, non-invasive in vivo observation and imaging at cellular and subcellular resolution is possible. Imaging is further facilitated by the use of transgenic zebrafish lines expressing fluorescent reporters.
The zebrafish is widely used in numerous fields including but not limited to biomedical research, developmental biology, drug discovery, and toxicology.
The development of the zebrafish embryo occurs very rapidly: 17 hours post fertilization the embryo is capable of movement, 22 hours post fertilization the heart is beating, and on the third day of development, most organs are formed and functional and the embryo hatches and is capable of swimming.
The zebrafish facility houses several wild-type zebrafish strains and multiple mutant lines and selected transgenic lines, in which fluorescent reporters are expressed under specific promoter control.
Services include advice on project feasibility, experimental design, training, in-lab supervision and access to the zebrafish facility for users. Alternatively, facility staff can carry out experiments. Access and service is generally based on collaboration with direct cost covered by the partner.