December 3, 2014 Our in-house aquaponics system features small zebrafish (danio rerio), sometimes called zebra danios. As mentioned before, they were picked because of their use as a model organism in genetic research. Another species sought is the snakeskin gourami, a variety important to aquaculture particularly in Southeast Asia. While our fish will neither be experimented on nor eaten, the goal of the aquaponic system is to show that useful fish can be sustained alongside useful plants.
However, looking into the scientific use of zebrafish yields some interesting stories. One in particular comes from The Node in an article titled A Day in the Life of… a Zebrafish lab. In it is described the daily routine and research revolving around zebrafish. They are kept in a large facility with many tanks where their unique characteristics aid scientists in understanding developmental biology.
The Boston Children's Hospital magazine Vector also has an article (and a video) on the use of zebrafish, where in this case they are used to study cancer and potential cures.
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