Breaking News
April 23, 2019 - Workshop explores the future of artificial intelligence in medical imaging
April 23, 2019 - Research shows mindful body awareness training helps women recover from drug addiction
April 23, 2019 - Researchers are developing brand-new method to cure brain tumors
April 23, 2019 - Torrent Pharmaceuticals Limited Expands Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Losartan Potassium Tablets, USP and Losartan Potassium/Hydrochlorothiazide Tablets, USP
April 23, 2019 - First case of person without the protein needed to transport vitamin D identified
April 23, 2019 - Precision-guided anticancer nanoparticles help enhance treatment of peritoneal tumors
April 23, 2019 - Smoking cessation during pregnancy associated with reduced risk of preterm birth
April 23, 2019 - Researchers discover why women get autoimmune diseases far more often than men
April 23, 2019 - New Medicare reimbursement rules provide some relief to safety-net hospitals
April 23, 2019 - Sensory Sensitivity Tied to Constipation in Young Children
April 23, 2019 - More than half of internal medicine graduates choosing primary care
April 22, 2019 - Researchers discover good news for fish populations living on bleached coral reefs
April 22, 2019 - Plant-based diets associated with lower risk of heart failure
April 22, 2019 - Food Allergies Can Strike at Any Age
April 22, 2019 - Cerebro-facio-thoracic dysplasia – Genetics Home Reference
April 22, 2019 - Poverty leaves a mark on our genes
April 22, 2019 - Countdown to Big Data in Precision Health: When industry and academia converge
April 22, 2019 - The U.S government may account for up to $37.8 billion due to opioid epidemic
April 22, 2019 - Improving ACA’s Insurance Coverage Provisions will lead to better care for patients
April 22, 2019 - Study identifies possible therapeutic effects of curcumin on stomach cancer
April 22, 2019 - Hyaline fibromatosis syndrome – Genetics Home Reference
April 22, 2019 - Scientists use CRISPR for possible ‘bubble boy’ therapy
April 22, 2019 - Hematologist (and a mom, singer, actress and much more) stands up for diversity
April 22, 2019 - Novel AI voice tool can help diagnose PTSD
April 22, 2019 - Overlooked part of cell’s internal machinery may hold key to treating acute myeloid leukemia
April 22, 2019 - Nursing, medical, and dental students train together to improve pediatric oral health
April 22, 2019 - Soft bedding responsible for majority of sleep-related infant deaths, study reveals
April 22, 2019 - Study finds worse health-related quality of life among transgender adults
April 22, 2019 - MIT scientists reverse some behavioral symptoms of rare neurodevelopmental disorder
April 22, 2019 - Scientists find new therapy target for drug-induced liver failure
April 22, 2019 - Opioid dose variability could lead to increased risk of overdose, study suggests
April 22, 2019 - Newly developed model predicts salmonella outbreaks several months in advance
April 22, 2019 - Deep-learning model better predicts survival outcomes for lung cancer
April 22, 2019 - One in Three U.S. Adults Aged 35 to 44 May Have Drinking Problem
April 22, 2019 - Why the measles virus is so contagious
April 22, 2019 - Magnet ‘Zap’ to the Brain Might Jumpstart Aging Memory
April 22, 2019 - Immune response to gut microbes may be early indicator of type 1 diabetes
April 22, 2019 - Destination Limbo: Health Suffers Among Asylum Seekers In Crowded Border Shelter
April 22, 2019 - Research shows how dopamine contributes to sex differences in worms
April 22, 2019 - Marijuana users weigh less compared to non-users
April 22, 2019 - Research uncovers critical RNA processing aberrations in ALS and FTD
April 22, 2019 - Many cancer patients use marijuana and prescription opioids, study reveals
April 22, 2019 - Frailty may up fracture risk in patients with type 2 diabetes
April 22, 2019 - Study provides new insight into how obesity, insulin resistance can affect cognition
April 22, 2019 - Study seeks to better understand the genetic causes for hypospadias
April 22, 2019 - FDA grants approval of first generic naloxone nasal spray to treat opioid overdose
April 22, 2019 - FDA authorizes marketing of first medical device to treat ADHD
April 22, 2019 - Vanderbilt researchers to develop and test ‘safe harbor’ standards of care
April 22, 2019 - You’re probably brushing your teeth wrong – here are four tips for better dental health
April 22, 2019 - Pharmacy closures contribute to medication non-adherence among heart patients
April 22, 2019 - Using Edge AI technology to observe behavior of cattle
April 22, 2019 - Bacteria play a role in the development of stomach ulcers in pigs
April 22, 2019 - Hand Hygiene Compliance Poor in Task Transitions
April 22, 2019 - smoking could harm your baby
April 22, 2019 - Scientists identify rare, paradoxical response to antiretroviral therapy
April 21, 2019 - More TV, Tablets, More Attention Issues at Age 5
April 21, 2019 - Drug reduces risk of kidney failure in people with diabetes, study finds
April 21, 2019 - New research identifies novel link between antibiotic resistance and climate change
April 21, 2019 - Simple intervention can provide lasting protection for teens against junk food marketing
April 21, 2019 - The protein p38-gamma identified as a new therapeutic target in liver cancer
April 21, 2019 - Novel system enables researchers to study bacteria within mini-tissues in a dish
April 21, 2019 - Discovery of oral cancer biomarkers could save thousands of lives
April 21, 2019 - Geneva Exhibition committee gives gold medals to two medications developed by Kazan
April 21, 2019 - Scientists aim to minimize or eliminate hair loss during cancer treatment
April 21, 2019 - WiFi interacts with signaling pathways in the human brain
April 21, 2019 - Stroke Hospitalizations Down in Black, White Medicare Enrollees
April 21, 2019 - First common risk genes discovered for autism
April 21, 2019 - Researchers map auditory sensory system of the mouse brain
April 21, 2019 - Scientists Bring Pig’s Brain, Dead 4 Hours, Back to ‘Cellular Activity’
April 21, 2019 - Virtual reality a promising tool for reducing fears and phobia in autism
April 21, 2019 - New analysis lists out opportunities for U.S. medical schools to advance population health
April 21, 2019 - More sleep may help teens with ADHD focus and organize
April 21, 2019 - Breakthrough antibody treatment suppresses HIV without antivirals
April 21, 2019 - AveXis Data Reinforce Effectiveness of Zolgensma in Treating Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Type 1
April 21, 2019 - Is your hand pain arthritis, carpal tunnel or something else?
April 21, 2019 - Measles outbreaks may become more frequent if vaccination rates continue to decline
April 21, 2019 - Researchers succeed in accelerating process of creating 3D images
April 21, 2019 - Tiny worm mimics key genetic risk for Alzheimer’s
April 21, 2019 - Angry dreams explained by brain waves
April 20, 2019 - Parenteral Antimicrobial Tx at Home Burdens Children’s Caregivers
Genetically modifying zebrafish provides more accurate disease models

Genetically modifying zebrafish provides more accurate disease models

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

Research published today describes how zebrafish can be genetically engineered to produce disease models that enable more accurate and specific research into a wide variety of human genetic disorders.

CRISPR-Cas9 in action - by Nathan DeveryThe researchers used CRISPR-Cas9 to create the disease models. (Image Credit: Nathan Devery / Shutterstock)

Gene mutations give rise to a wide variety of diseases, including dementia, developmental disorders, some forms of cancer, muscular dystrophies and heart conditions.

Genetic models allow researchers to determine how changes in a particular gene give rise to malfunctions that manifest in a range of disease states.

Due to the complex interactions that may occur between different cell types in a living organism, not all this information can be studied in cell lines.

Zebrafish have become an increasingly popular choice of animal model as large populations can be kept relatively easily and cheaply.

Furthermore, they reach sexual maturity in only 2-3 months and produce up to 300 eggs per week.

Their availability in such large numbers makes them ideal for screening potential new drugs for efficacy and the transparency of their embryos allow non-invasive microscopic investigation of developmental processes.

Advances in gene manipulation techniques have made it possible to readily alter specific gene sequences to observe the effects on normal functioning and on disease states.

In particular, the gene-editing technique CRISPR/Cas9 provides a new level of accuracy and specificity that facilitates in-depth research into human genetic disorders.

It has vastly improved the efficiency with which specific nucleotide changes can be made.

In nature, CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) is a gene-editing technology used by bacterial innate immune system to detect specific regions of the genome using an RNA template.

The enzyme Cas9 is directed to the target where it cleaves the DNA, allowing specific gene sequences to be inserted, deleted, or replaced.

In this way, precise point mutations that replicate those known to cause disease in human patients can be introduced.

CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing is performed on freshly-fertilized single-cell zebrafish embryos so that all cells created as the embryo grows will carry the target mutation.

However, the zebrafish must be screened to confirm which fish carry the desired nucleotide change.

Dr. Lisa Maves, who is studying the involvement of point mutations in congenital heart defects, explained:

There are almost no limitations on what we can design in zebrafish or other systems to generate models of human genetic disorders. CRISPR/Cas9 has really for the first time made it feasible to test the effects of human disease-associated genetic variants in animal models”.

Dr. Lisa Maves, University of Washington School of Medicine

Dr. Andy Willaert and his team at Ghent University are investigating the introduction of errors into the zebrafish genome after CRISPR manipulations to avoid possible misinterpretation of the experimental results obtained after the occurrence of erroneous repair. He commented:

Zebrafish and CRISPR/Cas9 form the ideal duo for massive and swift disease model generation. However, genome editing using a single-stranded repair template often occurs erroneously and commonly used analysis techniques do not always detect such erroneous repair”.

Dr. Andy Willaert, Ghent University

Dr. Federico Tessadori and his team are researching the use of CRISPR/Cas9 technology to develop patient-specific alleles for modeling human cardiovascular disorders caused by point mutations.

Tessadori emphasized “the ability to introduce point mutations exactly replicating the situation in human patients is paramount for proper understanding of disease and for the successful development of therapeutic strategies.”

It is hoped that the enhanced ability to study the basis of human genetic disorders in greater depth will further our understanding of numerous diseases and also identify and screen potential new drug candidates to provide patients with better treatments.

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles