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Zebrafish Research | Behind the Scenes of the Johns Hopkins Zebrafish Facility


(happy music)>>This is the Johns
Hopkins Zebrafish Facility. We’re a core facility
that provides housing and care for the zebrafish
for four labs here on campus that do their own projects and research using the fish that are kept here. Almost all of the major
organs that human beings have, the zebrafish has the same organs. And most of them work the same way as they do in a human being.>>So zebrafish are an
excellent model organism to use for developmental biology because we can actually watch the process from a single cell animal, all the way up until the developed fish. When they’re born, they’re
in a translucent egg, and so we can watch them from
the minute they’re released from the mother, up until
they become a full fish. So what I really like about zebrafish and developmental biology, is
that we can use it to study how an organism forms. And that can apply to things like congenital defects in humans, and understanding how we can fix early-onset pediatric illnesses.>>A lot of the studies,
actually, that are done here are based on the zebrafish’s
ability to regenerate. So you could cut the
pancreas out of a zebrafish, and a few days later, it will
be growing a new pancreas, which is something that
a human being cannot do.>>So I have been working
in the labs of Mike Parsons and Jeff Mumm. We have been comparing
the zebrafish pancreas to the human pancreas, and
there are many similarities. And we know that the cell
type in the zebrafish that we think is
responsible for regenerating the endocrine cells of the
pancreas exists in humans, it just doesn’t regenerate. So if we could figure out
what that difference is, we could high-jack that system in humans. (happy music)

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