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Underwater matchmaking: Scientists pair zebrafish mates by personality

Underwater matchmaking: Scientists pair zebrafish mates by personality

Science
Sept. 21 (UPI) -- For zebrafish mates, the proper pairing of personalities is the best way to ensure reproductive success. Scientists know both behaviors and appearance influence mate selection, but deciphering which factors are most important is difficult. To better understand the sexual selection process, scientists tested the reproductive success of fish paired by both personality and appearance. "Our research explored both areas -- coloration patterns and personality traits -- to see if they were linked in some way and how they impacted the fitness of the species," Rey Planellas, a researcher at the University of Stirling, said in a news release. To conduct their matchmaking experiments, scientists selected male and female zebrafish for four different combinations of personality and a...
Spinal disk cells in zebrafish can self-repair

Spinal disk cells in zebrafish can self-repair

Science
June 22 (UPI) -- The cells that make up the developing backbone of zebrafish can self-repair, new research shows. Unfortunately these cells disappear as the backbone matures.Before developing a backbone, embryonic and newly hatched zebrafish are supported by a notochord -- a proto-spine. The soft spine structure is similar to a water-filled garden hose. A shell of epithelial cells protects fluid-filled cells called vacuolated cells.Previous studies suggest tiny sacs in the membranes of vacuolated cells, called caveolae, prevent the fluid cells from popping as the young fish begin swimming.Researchers engineered zebrafish to be without caveolae, to see whether the tiny sacs are essential to spinal chord health and development."In the caveolar mutants, you see these serial lesions up and dow...