Moving zebrafish into the realm of high-throughput drug screening systems
Scientists often rely on simplified model systems to get a handle on complex topics relevant to human health and disease. The zebrafish has emerged as a very potent model system. It shares many of the tissues and organs of humans, a large percentage of the same genes (its entire genome has been mapped), and its optically transparent larvae facilitate the relatively simple visualisation of many processes in a behaving animal. However, its utility in drug screening is somewhat limited by the need for high-throughput methodologies. The EU-funded FLAMMES project is developing techniques for the optical whole-brain imaging of multiple freely behaving zebrafish larvae in parallel. The project aims to open the door to the use of this extremely versatile model system in high-throughput drug screening that evaluates both neurophysiological and behavioural effects.
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