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    Rights: The University of Waikato
    Published 27 November 2007 Referencing Hub media

    Animal models are often needed to understand the complexity of disease and to find treatments. What makes vertebrates like zebrafish good research models?


    Wellington College Why those diseases and why with zebrafish?

    Dr Love (Auckland University): What I am interested in is modelling human disease using zebrafish as a simple vertebrate organism. Most models you see would be using the mouse. We use the zebrafish. It’s a cheaper platform to use. Embryos are produced every day depending upon the quality of your facility. And we can manipulate the gene expression programme of the zebrafish to achieve, I hope, some desirable outcomes in modern human disease.

    I think the zebrafish offers advantages for some diseases, let’s say blood cell development, early events. Early events in disease would be quite good. For me, multifactorial disease modelling, I feel, is worth using the zebrafish. I can entertain multiple variables. Central nervous systems - I still think it’s worth investment, but you are on a steep hill.