A professor at Ashland University in Ohio, along with a team of undergraduate researchers, are asking how a type of zebrafish develops eye lens cataracts, the The Columbus Dispatch reports.
Zebrafish have been used for years to study the cardiovascular system, but now they have been found to develop cataracts, and Dr. Mason Posner and his students have measured levels of gene expression to figure out why.
Previous work suggested that these zebrafish produced less of a crucial lens protein, triggering cloudiness in their lenses, but Dr. Posner’s team has come up with another explanation.
“Instead, it seems the abnormal lenses in these fish are caused by a more general stress resulting from the lack of another gene that controls the production of blood cells,” he said in a news release.
The lab at Ashland collaborated in the study with Dr. Andor Kiss, director for the Center for Bioinformatics and Functional Genomics at Miami University of Ohio.