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Recently, scientists discovered that a protein found in Zebrafish can regenerate aged discs in human vertebrae.

Why in news?

  • A study by Agharkar Research Institute (ARI), Pune, an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology, discovered that a protein called Cellular communication network factor 2a (Ccn2a) secreted from intervertebral disc cells induces disc regeneration in aged degenerated discs in humans. 
  • It is done by promoting cell proliferation and cell survival by modulating the pathway called the FGFR1-SHH (Fibroblast growth factor receptor-Sonic Hedgehog) pathway.


What are the key facts about Zebrafish?

  • It is a small (2-3 cm long) freshwater fish found in tropical and subtropical regions. The fish is native to South Asia's Indo-Gangetic plains, where they are mostly found in the paddy fields and even in stagnant water and streams.
  • It attracts developmental biologists due to its adequate regeneration capacity of almost all its organs, including the brain, heart, eye, and spinal cord.
  • It has a similar genetic structure (around 70%) to humans.
  • IUCN Red List Status: Least concerned.
  • Freshwater fish, South Asia's Indo-Gangetic plains. Regeneration capacity, IUCN Red List Status Least concerned. 


Q1) What are invertebrates?

An invertebrate is a cold-blooded animal with no backbone. Invertebrates can live on land—like insects, spiders, and worms—or in water. Marine invertebrates include crustaceans (such as crabs and lobsters), mollusks (such as squids and clams), and coral

Source: Protein found in Zebrafish can regenerate aged discs in human vertebrae