Zebrafish research uncovers insights into eye size
3 August 2012 16:23 in Scientific Developments/Breakthroughs
A researcher from Purdue University has carried out a study using zebrafish that has uncovered potentially valuable insights into the way eyes develop over time.
Zeran Li, a Purdue University undergraduate, helped to identify an enzyme called thyroid peroxidase that plays an essential role in regulating the size and shape of the fish's eyes.
Halting production of this enzyme led to smaller eye size among the fish used in the study, a strategy that could possibly be used to correct vision problems, assuming this enzyme performs a similar function among humans.
Ms Li, who is now pursuing a doctorate at Washington University, said: "Vision problems occur when the size or shape of the eye changes, and what causes this is unclear. Perhaps this research will lead to a better understanding of this mechanism."
Should these findings be successfully developed further, it could provide an important new means of treating problems such as nearsightedness and farsightedness.
Zebrafish are used by medical researchers in a variety of applications, with numerous ongoing studies examining ways of replicating their ability to mend damaged heart tissue.
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Story collated for Zenopa by the Adfero News Agency