Catch of the day for cancer researchers

Glowing zebrafish, like this one, may provide insight into the spread of human leukemia and other cancers in which a gene called MYC promotes cell growth. Researchers fused the mouse version of MYC to a gene encoding a fluorescent-green protein and inserted the combination into zebrafish DNA. They injected this DNA into embryos to create lines of fish in which the gene is active in some immune cells. The resulting cancerous cells, which arise in the thymus and migrate initially to the gills and eyes, glow brightly in the transparent fish. A. Thomas Look of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and his colleagues, who describe their work in the Feb. 7 Science, plan to introduce mutations into such fish to identify genes that speed or slow the spread of MYC-driven cancer cells.

J.P. Kanki


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