Scientists have created a genetically modified zebrafish, the skin of which is painted in all colors of the rainbow and other 63 colors. This diversity will help biologists to monitor the development, movement and regeneration of individual cells in the body.
Multicoloured fish is obtained through the gene, which is responsible for the red, blue and green fluorescent protein. Ken Poss from Duke University has managed to include this gene in the genome which is responsible for coloring skin cells.
Adult fish was red but with the help of ultraviolet rays its skin has played in 70 colors.
Poss said : " We did not know that those patterns would arise on the skin. When you modify the genes of animals, it is impossible to predict a certain result ."
There are about 100 copies of the gene in each cell of the fish's skin.
Their distribution of color is quite by accident: in a single cell may be, for example, 70 red, 20 green and 10 blue proteins. The number of basic combinations of colors comes to five thousand, but the resolution of microscope allows to distinguish only 70 colors.
And now, with the help of "colored" fish and its offspring, scientists will be able to track how cells move, working on the regeneration of the skin and treatments of injuries.
Biologists have already held one such experiment: they cut off the tip of the fin and tracked the speed of the cells which "go" to the site of injury and treats it.