Zebrafish

  • Dave Goulding capturing footage of the fascinating fish themselves.

    Dave Goulding capturing footage of the fascinating fish themselves.

  • Glow buddies!  Zebrafish are social, so neon zebrafish are put in tanks with the fish being studied so that they're not lonely and so that researchers can easily determine which fish is the test subject.

    Glow buddies! Zebrafish are social, so neon zebrafish are put in tanks with the fish being studied so that they're not lonely and so that researchers can easily determine which fish is the test subject.

  • Dave Goulding capturing footage of the fascinating fish themselves.

    Dave Goulding capturing footage of the fascinating fish themselves.

Dr. Eric Glasgow and his wife, Jennifer Manner are passionate about zebrafish.  Jennifer is a lobbyist for a satellite communication company and an artist who uses zebrafish as subjects for her paintings and as our crew arrived to film at the labs at Georgetown University Medical Center, she excitedly handed out zebrafish pins.  They’re not just enthusiastic fish keepers however, they’re driven to spread the word about the common aquarium fish because it just might be the savior of humankind.

Zebrafish provide an unparalleled model organism for studying genes and molecular signaling pathways involved in vertebrate development, diseases such as cancer, as well as neurological disorders. These small tropical fish are hardy and easily kept in large numbers in the lab. Because they are vertebrates, they have many of the same genes, tissues and organ systems as humans. Zebrafish embryos are easily obtainable in large numbers (thousands per year), externally fertilized, transparent, and develop rapidly.  Human cancer cells can be transplanted to zebrafish embryos to evaluate tumor cell behavior, for instance.  Since zebrafish embryos develop rapidly and can easily be studied in large numbers, scientists get fast results and statistical verification.  This same process using mice would take much longer and cost much more. 

Zebrafish research holds promise for the study of many serious diseases and conditions, such as cancer, Alzheimer’s and autism.  This is what drives Dr. Glasgow, who conducts ground-breaking zebrafish research at Georgeotwn University Medical Center, and Ms. Manner to spread the word.  They’re working on a documentary about the enormous promise zebrafish research holds in an effort to educate the medical community and to ensure that funding continues.  This week, we were honored to film at the labs at Georgetown, capturing interviews with a number of scientists and footage of these fascinating, promising fish.  The documentary is scheduled to be completed in the fall.

For more information, visit: https://sites.google.com/a/georgetown.edu/glasgow-lab/about