My Daughter’s First Pet—the Next Big Model Organism?
My Daughter’s First Pet—the Next Big Model Organism?
Bettas were likely the first fish welcomed into human homes. Now, scientists are welcoming them into the lab to learn how genes dictate their appearance and behavior.
My Daughter’s First Pet—the Next Big Model Organism?
My Daughter’s First Pet—the Next Big Model Organism?

Bettas were likely the first fish welcomed into human homes. Now, scientists are welcoming them into the lab to learn how genes dictate their appearance and behavior.

Bettas were likely the first fish welcomed into human homes. Now, scientists are welcoming them into the lab to learn how genes dictate their appearance and behavior.

model organisms
“Lemon Frost” Leopard Geckos’ Cancers Similar to Human Melanomas
“Lemon Frost” Leopard Geckos’ Cancers Similar to Human Melanomas
Christie Wilcox | Jun 24, 2021
The color morph’s bright yellow hue and its propensity for skin tumors both likely stem from a gene implicated in a dangerous form of human skin cancer, suggesting the animals could make an ideal model for studying the disease.
When Severed, This Solitary Tunicate Regrows as Three New Animals
When Severed, This Solitary Tunicate Regrows as Three New Animals
Amanda Heidt | May 13, 2021
While regeneration has long been the domain of colonial tunicates, a solitary species of sea squirt was able to regenerate into multiple, fully functional individuals within a month of being cut up.
Mice Share Each Other’s Pain and Fear
Mice Share Each Other’s Pain and Fear
Amanda Heidt | Jan 14, 2021
The animals adopt the emotional state of their cagemates, and the parts of the brain engaged during the process are different for pain and fear, according to a new study.
Developmental Biologist Kathryn Anderson Dies at 68
Developmental Biologist Kathryn Anderson Dies at 68
Amanda Heidt | Jan 6, 2021
The Sloan Kettering researcher used mutagenic screening to probe genes and molecular pathways, including Toll and Hedgehog, essential to development in fruit flies and mice.
Zebra Finches Recognize the Calls of Over 40 Fellow Finches
Zebra Finches Recognize the Calls of Over 40 Fellow Finches
Amanda Heidt | Nov 13, 2020
Their ability to distinguish between individuals is strong evidence for fast mapping, a learning tool generally thought to belong only to humans.
Regulators of Gene Activity in Animals Are Deeply Conserved
Regulators of Gene Activity in Animals Are Deeply Conserved
Amanda Heidt | Nov 6, 2020
Enhancers, short regions of DNA that direct gene expression, of species separated by 700 million years of evolution worked interchangeably, according to a new study.
The Many Model Systems of COVID-19
The Many Model Systems of COVID-19
Abby Olena | Nov 4, 2020
Researchers turn to familiar model animals, along with some fresh strategies, to develop countermeasures against SARS-CoV-2 and investigate the biology of infection.
Those We Lost in 2019
Those We Lost in 2019
Ashley Yeager | Dec 30, 2019
The scientific community said goodbye to Sydney Brenner, Paul Greengard, Patricia Bath, and a number of other leading researchers this year.
Genetics Models Move Beyond <em>Drosophila</em> and the Humble Lab Mouse
Genetics Models Move Beyond Drosophila and the Humble Lab Mouse
Amber Dance | Sep 1, 2019
Organisms with unusual genomes are helping scientists investigate gene regulation, evolution, and development.
Genetically Personalized Fruit Flies Screen for Cancer Drugs
Genetically Personalized Fruit Flies Screen for Cancer Drugs
Ruth Williams | May 22, 2019
Fly avatars bearing multiple genetic changes akin to those of a cancer patient lead to a tailor-made treatment that has shrunk the patient’s tumors.
Image of the Day: Gut Feeling
Image of the Day: Gut Feeling
Shawna Williams | Nov 28, 2018
An unusual population of immune cells appears to exist in zebrafish as well as mammals.
Of Mice and Metastasis
Of Mice and Metastasis
Amanda B. Keener | Apr 1, 2018
Tools for studying how cancer spreads
Opinion: Address Taxonomic Skew
Opinion: Address Taxonomic Skew
Malcolm F. Rosenthal, Maydianne C.B. Andrade | May 30, 2017
The domination of model organisms and charismatic megafauna in the literature is a disservice to the life sciences.
Enzyme Required for Mitochondrial Genome Destruction
Enzyme Required for Mitochondrial Genome Destruction
Abby Olena | Mar 22, 2017
Mitochondrial DNA polymerase is necessary for the destruction of paternal mtDNA in fruit fly sperm, scientists show.
Dethroning <em>E. coli</em>?
Dethroning E. coli?
Alison F. Takemura | Jun 23, 2016
Some scientists hope to replace microbiology’s workhorse bacterium with fast-growing Vibrio natriegens.
What Lies Sleeping
What Lies Sleeping
Philippe Mourrain | Mar 1, 2016
Why can science still not define this most basic biological process?
Human Genes Can Save Yeast
Human Genes Can Save Yeast
Ruth Williams | May 21, 2015
Replacing yeast genes with their human equivalents reveals functional conservation despite a billion years of divergent evolution.
Llamas as Lab Rats
Llamas as Lab Rats
Jenny Rood | May 1, 2015
From diagnostics to vaccines, llama antibodies point to new directions in HIV research.
Widely Used Antibiotics Affect Mitochondria
Widely Used Antibiotics Affect Mitochondria
Anna Azvolinsky | Mar 12, 2015
From plants to mice and human cells, tetracyclines lead to mitochondrial dysfunction in model organisms.