A closeup of the eye of a two-day-old embryo helps inform our understanding of blood and lymphatic vessel development 

Earlier this year, Eureka posted some of the colorful zebrafish “bioart” of Daniel Castranova, a Charles River scientist insourced to the NIH laboratory of Dr. Brant Weinstein. Dan has added more images to his collection since then, including one (shown above), that the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NIHCD) scientific retreat imaging competition honored earlier this year.

How the image was created.

Dan’s lab obtained the zebrafish transgenic Tg(XlEef1a1:dclk2-GFP)io008 model, made by the Mione Lab in Trento, Italy. Dan initially looked at the fish using a dissecting microscope (low magnification). The two-day old embryos simply appeared green, but when he viewed them using their Nikon Ti2 with Yokogawa CSU-W1 spinning disk confocal under higher magnification, the fish looked amazing. The eye and lens looked particularly striking so he took a stack of optical sections using the confocal microscope. The image Dan submitted to the contest was a projection of all of the slices.

 

What the zebrafish eye looks like in 3D

 

 

What the Weinsten lab studies in zebrafish

Blood and lymphatic vessel development, and epigenetics. They recently published work describing an important new cell population associated with blood vessels in the meninges and the larval lymphatic system of the zebrafish. They are currently in the process of publishing some nice work on how we used zebrafish to identify a new potential target for anti-angiogenic drugs for use against tumors

What other fish the lab studies

Cavefish. They published some awesome work on blind cavefish. Here is a nice “behind the paper” article about how they “saw the light” in cavefish, which as their name suggests primarily live in caves.