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Cross-section of the Developing Zebrafish Heart

There are a multitude of signals that elegantly orchestrate the proper development of the heart. In this image of a 3-day-old zebrafish heart, the signal that is localized to the developing atrio-ventricular valve and smooth muscle is labeled in green using green fluorescent protein (GFP). This particular signal is important for the formation of the cardiac valves, which will allow blood to pass from the … Continue reading Cross-section of the Developing Zebrafish Heart

AquaBounty compares their fish (back) with a wild-caught fish of the same age.

Canadians bringing genetically modified salmon to their tables

AquaBounty, a Massachusetts-based company, began growing genetically modified (GM) salmon nearly three decades ago. However, it wasn’t until 2015 that the FDA approved the fish for human consumption. Health Canada made the same decision in 2016. While a current law prevents US sales until a labeling system is established, Canada has imported roughly 5 tons of the GM salmon since May 2016. Although the fish sell unlabeled, Canadians appear to be embracing the next frontier in aquaculture. Continue reading Canadians bringing genetically modified salmon to their tables

Green Turtle

Scientists Grow Turtle Skin to Study New Virus

Thierry Work and a team of wildlife disease researchers are manufacturing reptile skin in the hopes of saving endangered turtles. A virus, ChHV5, has been infecting endangered green sea turtles, causing tumors to grown on the their skin and inside their bodies. The infection eventually weakens the immune system, and leads to death. Studying this virus proved incredibly difficult. Traditional methods of growing viruses to study ChHV5 in the lab … Continue reading Scientists Grow Turtle Skin to Study New Virus

heart bright

Zebrafish Heart – 3 Days Old

Here is the developing zebrafish heart at 3 days post-fertilization. Unlike mammals, which have four chambers, the zebrafish heart consists of only two: a single ventricle (left) and a single atrium (right). Despite the difference in the number of chambers, the heart is the first organ to form in both mammals and zebrafish. Can you guess why? The developing embryo needs nutrients and as its … Continue reading Zebrafish Heart – 3 Days Old

artificial-liver

From Seed to Organ: Growing a Liver

Over 17,000 Americans are currently waiting for liver transplants, with millions more living with chronic liver disease. There simply aren’t enough healthy organs to go around. So why not engineer them? Growing a liver “from scratch” by using its constituent cells could replace the need for whole organ transplants. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology generated hydrogels containing three different types of human cells, … Continue reading From Seed to Organ: Growing a Liver