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Disease Week: Zebrafish Model Organism

Zebrafish first emerged over three decades ago as a promising animal model to better understand embryonic development in vertebrates. Recently, it has gained a foothold as a model to study human diseases and for drug discovery. Despite the vast amount of evolutionary time separating fish from humans, we share important similarities including most of our major organ systems as well as 70% of our genes. As such, many diseases can be modeled and studied in zebrafish. Unlike mammals, adult zebrafish have a nearly unparalleled regenerative capacity to replace and repair injured tissues including heart, spinal cord, and brain. Understanding how...