• IASbaba
  • January 12, 2023
  • 0
Environment & Ecology
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Context: According to a recent study by Agharkar Research Institute (ARI), Pune, a protein found in the backbone of zebrafish can have potential therapeutic implications.

About Zebrafish:

  • The zebrafish is a freshwater fish belonging to the member of the minnow family of fish.
  • It is a popular aquarium fish.
  • Zebrafish typically inhabit moderately flowing to stagnant clear water of quite shallow depth in streams, canals, ditches, oxbow lakes, ponds and rice paddies.
  • Native to South Asia where it is found in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan.
  • The zebrafish is an important and widely used vertebrate model organism in scientific research, for example in drug development, in particular pre-clinical development.
  • It is also notable for its regenerative abilities and has been modified by researchers to produce many transgenic strains.

Significance of new study:

  • A protein found in the backbone of zebrafish plays a positive role in disc maintenance and promotes regeneration in aged discs between vertebrae.
  • This protein of zebrafish can have potential therapeutic implications to promote regeneration in degenerated human discs.
    • In humans, discs degenerate naturally, leading to many related health concerns, including low back, neck, and appendage pain.
    • Currently, only symptomatic treatments for disc degeneration are available, including pain relievers or anti-inflammatories.
    • In severe cases, disc replacement or disc fusion surgery is performed.
  • Transparent Embryo:
    • Zebrafish are useful because the embryo is transparent, it develops outside of its mother, and its development from eggs to larvae happens in just three days.
  • Faster development:
    • The other main advantage is that they develop incredibly fast.
    • So from a single cell the day they’re born, they will have a head, and a tail, and a beating heart within 24 hours.
    • By 72 hours their brains are working, and fins and trunk are twitching, and by five days old they are swimming around and they’re hunting and they’re fully viable organisms.
  • This is perfect essentially for both geneticists and developmental biologists.

Source:  PIB

Previous Year Questions

Q.1) Which of the following is not a bird? (2022)

  1. Golden Mahseer
  2. Indian Nightjar
  3. Spoonbill
  4. White Ibis

Q.2) Certain species of which one of the following organisms are well known as cultivators of fungi? (2022)

  1. Ant
  2. Cockroach
  3. Crab
  4. Spider


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