Rihel on the Radio
Dr Jason Rihel discusses the biological significance of zebrafish on BBC Radio4′s Material World Program (April 18th) along with Dr. Stemple from the Sanger Institute.
Why is the zebrafish so important for genetic research?
“It’s a compromise between having the complexity to model some of the things that we want to study – brain function, behaviour, … – but also the simplicity that we might be able to understand it.” said Dr Jason Rihel (UCL Cell & Developmental Biology). Listen here from 11 mins (to download right click and “save target as/link as”).
Masa Tada is awarded a 5-year programme grant
Masa Tada has been awarded a 5-year Cancer Research UK-funded programme grant, jointly with Paul Martin at the University of Bristol, to study the earliest interactions of host with pre-neoplastic cells in Zebrafish. This programme of projects investigates how epithelia can extrude pre-neoplastic cells (Tada Lab) and how the host innate immune system interacts in positive and negative ways with these cells (Martin Lab). A post-doc position is available in Tada Lab. Please contact “Masa” for details.
science and beauty in the zebrafish
The Wilson lab’s Kate and Tom discuss why the zebrafish is a beautiful organism to work on in this short film by the Wellcome Trust.
New paper helps unravel the mysteries behind brain diversity
Morphogenesis underlying the development of the everted teleost telencephalon.
Monica Folgeira, Steve Wilson and John Clarke
Brain diversity has puzzled scientists for centuries. But, what do we mean by “brain diversity”? If one compares brains from many different species of vertebrates, soon one realizes how different they look. This diversity in brain form or morphology is extraordinary not only for brains from very separate groups (e. g. mammals vs. fishes), but also within the same group.
Take as an example “ray-finned fishes”, a group of fishes with more than 30,000 species and whose members have fins supported by bony spines. Within this group, brain morphology can be very different even between closely related species. In order to understand how brain diversity is generated, we studied in detail the development of the telencephalon of the zebrafish (a ray-finned fish).
For full details see publication summary.
Leonardo Valdivia wins award for best PhD thesis in Cell Biology
“In Chile, in order to encourage the scientific training in the country and promote the academic excellence, the Chilean Foundation for Cell Biology together with the Chilean Society of Cell Biology annually reward the best PhD. thesis in the global area of Cell Biology (Molecular Biology, Neurobiology, Immunology, Biotechnology, Developmental Biology etc..). My thesis was awarded this year (2012)
I was presented with the award in the XXVI Annual Meeting of the Chilean Society for Cell Biology in Puerto Varas, Chile (October, 2012). I gave a talk entitled “Identification of essential genes for lateral line development and mechanosensory hair cell differentiation in zebrafish”, for which I received a flight ticket to Chile and 2000 US dollars. The idea of this award is getting in touch with Chilean groups of my interest, to show what I’m currently doing and keeping in touch with Chile to be back there after my postdoc.”
For more details see our publication summaries page.
Jason Rihel brings zebrafish sleep research to UCL
UCL are excited to announce the arrival of a new research group – the Rihel Lab.
They study the genes and neuronal circuits that regulate sleep in zebrafish.
See their page for full details
Steve Wilson Group win 2 awards at the Wellcome Image Awards 2011!
Two zebrafish images from the Wilson Lab were recently honored at the 2011 Wellcome Image Awards.
The Wellcome image collection is an extensive resource, containing thousands of science-related images. Every year, a small subset of recently acquired images are chosen by a panel of judges as the most scientifically informative, technically excellent, and aesthetically striking images. This group of twenty award-winning images – containing two striking micrographs from the Wilson lab – is on display at the Wellcome Collection until the 10th of July 2011. They can also be viewed and downloaded from the Wellcome Image Collection Website.
Monica Folgueira recently captured this confocal micrograph of a 5 day old cavefish embryo that highlights some of the inner-workings of the fish nervous system. The embryo has been stained with an antibody against a calcium-binding protein (calretinin, in green) to show different neuronal types and their processes in the nervous system, and with an antibody against a component of tight junctions (zona occludens- 1, in red). Although the eyes are very evident at this stage, they will not develop any further. The image also shows an special character of fish: the presence of taste buds outside the oral cavity, around the lips and along the body.
This photomicrograph, captured by Kara Cerveny, shows a lateral image of a 3 day old zebrafish retina from the eye of a three-day-old zebrafish (Danio rerio). Using double in situ hybridisation, the undifferentiated retinal stem cells have been highlighted in red while the retinal progenitor cells that are beginning to differentiate are highlighted in purple. The kaleidoscope-like effect is created by the elongated neuroepithelial cells radiating from the undifferentiated region closest to the lens towards the differentiated cells deeper in the retina. This image depicts the whole eye and was created by reflecting half the image across its origin.
See Wellcome website for more info
Zebrafish in music
We’ve all heard that scientists are working in laboratories around the world, experimenting and solving problems, but what exactly are scientists doing on a daily basis? Our lab was one of six UCL biomedical science labs that helped Wellcome Trust sponsored artist, Gethan Dick, discover what it’s like to be a research scientist. This cooperative project produced an album of six songs – all truthful, poetic representations of different types of research ranging from basic developmental neurobiology to clinical studies using functional MRI.
Hear about our research on eye development by listening to Fish Eye/Fix Me, the track composed by Gethan Dick and Hannah Marshall in collaboration with Wilson lab post-doctoral fellow, Kara Cerveny. You can check out all of the songs on the album Trying and Trying and Trying.
Kara says, “Gethan captured the essence of my lab work, right down to the way I hold my breath when moving cells from one embryo into another. In the past, I have often found that words are no substitute for actually showing someone what it means to pipette, to transplant cells, to look through a microscope, to cut frozen sections. With this track, Gethan has used words to paint pictures of these exact things. Fish Eye/Fix Me is an evocative, haunting, and truthful piece about the life of a developmental biologist, investigating the environmental signals that override mutations and rescue sick cells from their intrinsic cell death program.”