RESOURCES: The Scoop on Swordtails

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Science  31 Aug 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5535, pp. 1563
DOI: 10.1126/science.293.5535.1563d

The gaudy fellow below comes not from a pet-filled aquarium but a lab studying the origin and spread of cancer. Crosses between different species of swordtails (genus Xiphophorus) produce fish prone to melanoma and other tumors. Learn more about research on swordtails at, a site aimed at cancer biologists, behaviorists, and others interested in these colorful natives of Mexico and Central America. You'll find a genetic map, a gallery with portraits of the showy fish, a jobs board, and a directory of researchers. Founder Steven Kazianis, a cancer biologist at Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos, and colleagues have written a primer on techniques for studying Xiphophorus, from photography to artificial insemination. The bulging bibliography counts more than 1700 citations dating back to the early 1900s.

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