As one of my fellow classmates has already described in part, we have proposed to study the effects of sleep deprivation and alcohol on zebrafish. We have a good idea of how to execute experimentation on this topic. The meaning behind it however remains, as of yet, a bit vague. The idea was brought up during our last class discussion that we could experiment with the effects of sleep deprivation and alcohol on zebrafish development or adult mating and feeding patterns. We also thought of experimenting with the behavior of zebrafish on cocaine, or with the effects of alcohol and sleep deprivation on oursleves but neither of those ideas flew too high with PZ. Understandably so.
Although, while researching, I didn’t find too many articles on intoxicated and sleep deprived zebrafish, I did find a lot of articles on genes and regeneration. In one experiment, researchers surgically removed a small portion of zebrafish hearts and then monitored recovery. The zebrafish were not only able to regenerate the removed portion of their hearts within two months, the regenerated heart tissue functioned the same and looked histiologically the same as the heart tissue of zebrafish in the control group (Poss, Wilson, & Keating). Another group of researchers discussed the effects of cyclic adenosine monophosphate on neuron regeneration in zebrafish (Bhatt, Otto, Depoister, & Fetcho). This could obviously have significant implications on human neuron regeneration.
After thinking about my findings for a moment, I discovered the reason why articles about regeneration out number articles on the effects of sleep deprivation and alcohol. Areas of research like regeneration are much more useful, not as well understood, and provide lots of room for scientific advancement. I’m not sure that I have the skill or tools required to surgically alter an organism the size of a minnow or track specific chemicals throughout the nervous system but I’ll definately be giving some thought to possibilities for regeneration experiments over the weekend. If anyone has any suggestions, I would be pleased to read them.
Kenneth D. Poss, Lindsay G. Wilson, Mark T. Keating. Heart Regeneration in Zebrafish. Science. 13 December 2002. Vol. 298. no. 5601, pp. 2188 – 2190
Dimple H. Bhatt, Stefanie J. Otto, Brett Depoister, Joseph R. Fetcho. Cyclic AMP-Induced Repair of Zebrafish Spinal Circuits. Science. 9 July 2004. Vol. 305. no. 5681, pp. 254 – 258