Will Talbot, PhD, knew the obvious question and decided to address it directly. “Why does the medical school employ someone who studies zebrafish?” Talbot asked the several hundred people assembled on the Stanford campus recently to celebrate the Discovery Innovation Awards, competitive seed grants that support early stage research in human biology.
A developmental biologist as well as a senior associate dean at the School of Medicine, Talbot explained that he studies the small striped creatures because, like humans, zebrafish are vertebrates that rely on myelin, a substance that is essential for a functioning nervous system. He said he can raise huge numbers of fish in his lab and peer straight into their nervous systems because the embryos and larvae are transparent.
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