IMAGES: Zebrafish Revealed

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Science  19 Jan 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5503, pp. 403
DOI: 10.1126/science.291.5503.403a

Much to the delight of developmental biologists, young zebrafish are exhibitionists. Their see-through tissues reveal the anatomical changes of early growth and differentiation, making this fast-maturing species a laboratory star. The new Interactive Atlas of Zebrafish Vascular Anatomy takes advantage of the zebrafish's transparency, tracking its blood vessel development with striking photos, drawings, and footage.

To produce the atlas, which is aimed primarily at researchers and students, developmental biologist Brant Weinstein and colleagues at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Bethesda, Maryland, injected zebrafish embryos with fluorescent dye that illuminates the blood vessels, then photographed the fish using confocal microscopy. The resulting images cover the first 7 days after fertilization, during which the fish morphs from a comma-shaped lump of cells into a feeding, free-swimming larva. For each developmental stage, concise text describes the major changes and links to photos and labeled diagrams. Users can view the fish from different angles and watch films that zoom inside the embryo. Overviews sum up major trends, such as the establishment of intestinal circulation, and compare vascular development in zebrafish and other vertebrates.

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