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Nat Rev Genet. 2002 Sep;3(9):717-24. doi: 10.1038/nrg892.

Headwaters of the zebrafish -- emergence of a new model vertebrate.

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Department of Human Genetics, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112, USA.


The understanding of vertebrate development has advanced considerably in recent years, primarily due to the study of a few model organisms. The zebrafish, the newest of these models, has risen to prominence because both genetic and experimental embryological methods can be easily applied to this animal. The combination of approaches has proven powerful, yielding insights into the formation and function of individual tissues, organ systems and neural networks, and into human disease mechanisms. Here, we provide a personal perspective on the history of zebrafish research, from the assembly of the first genetic and embryological tools through to sequencing of the genome.

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