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Zebrafish -- the stars of biomedicine
Date:7/17/2012

This release is available in German.

Zebrafish share most organ systems with humans. This makes them ideal model organisms to study the causes of human diseases like cancer or heart diseases. For this purpose, research needs a variety of zebrafish lines. With the European Zebrafish Resource Center (EZRC), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is now opening the first central repository for such lines in Europe. The EZRC is funded jointly by the Biointerfaces programme of the Helmholtz Association and the Klaus Tschira Foundation. The Klaus Tschira foundation provides a funding of 1.5 Million Euro over three years.

Representatives of the media are cordially invited to come to the official opening on Wednesday, July 18, 11 hrs on KIT Campus North.

"Zebrafish are robust, small, and reproduce quickly. Being vertebrates, they share most major organ systems with humans. This makes them ideally suited for biomedical research," explains Professor Uwe Strhle, Head of the Institute of Toxicology and Genetics (ITG) that operates the Zebrafish Resource Center on KIT's Campus North. "Zebrafish repair a spinal cord lesion, heart or kidney diseases or a damaged optic nerve all on their own. Their organ function is restored completely."

Moreover, their eggs are transparent and develop outside of the body of the mother. This allows researchers to observe the development of organs or even individual cells in the embryo as well as in the larva, which is also transparent, without harming adult animals. Such experiments may replace numerous animal experiments with rats or mice. The fish are ideally suited to studying the causes of cancer, heart disease, and behavioral disorders and to evaluating potential drugs. In recent years, laboratories in Europe alone have generated thousands of zebrafish lines, each of which carries either a particular mut
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Contact: Monika Landgraf
presse@kit.edu
49-721-608-47414
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Source:Eurekalert  

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