Based within the School of Biosciences at the University of Exeter, our lab is currently studying mechanisms of embryo development and diseases caused by mutations, pollutions, other toxicants or by infections. We use a variety of small fish species including zebrafish, Arabian killifish, mangrove killifish and knifefish. These embryos develop from a fertilised egg, undergoing many cell divisions and differentiation, rapidly becoming free swimming (or crawling) larvae within a few days. The embryo development involves complex interactions of many gene functions. When gene functions are modified because of an alteration occurring in the gene (genetic mutation), or by environmental changes (e.g. chemical pollution, other toxicants or infections), normal embryo development is interfered and disease may occur. We are studying how such genetic mutations and environmental changes affect healthy development of embryos and larvae. Our research contributes to our knowledge of environmental and genetic impacts on health in animals and humans.
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