New Paper on Retinal Stem Cells, Proliferation and Cancer
Nearly 40 years after US President Richard Nixon declared ‘war on cancer’, researchers around the world are still trying to understand how tumors form and grow. New insight into how cells can be prevented from becoming cancerous is found in an unlikely place – the eyes of zebrafish.
Zebrafish are small striped fish commonly sold in pet stores, and are valued for their hardy nature. For scientists, zebrafish are model organisms that can be used to reveal new clues about all things biological including brain organization, immunology, cancer, and developmental diseases.
Zebrafish eyes, like the rest of their bodies, grow continuously. Each eye grows in a very controlled pattern — new cells are added from a specialized region that encircles the edge of the camera-like part of the eye that senses light (the retina). In this way, the eye grows much like a tree, adding annular rings of new cells that must integrate into the existing tissue. Your eyes are different. They are the same size from the day you’re born until the day you die.
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