CERAD was well represented with Peter Alestrom as head and Jan Lyche as member of of the EZM2015 committee. Jorke Kamstra, Leonardo Martin and Leif Lindeman were in the combined service team and participants. Anka Olsen, the famous CERAD vocalist was lead singer when the conference song Zebrafish Blues (link at zebrafish2015.org) had its world premiere during the conference dinner.
The scientific program held very high quality with 4 invited keynote speakers and 20 invited plenary talks. There was quite much basic research as should be in a zebrafish meeting, but in addition one full day was dedicated to biomedicine with different human disease models from cancer to neurodegenerative disorders and drug screening projects. Another day was dedicated to aquaculture related research (for the first time in zebrafish history), together with toxicology and environment/ecotoxicology. Strangely enough the aquaculture researchers has not made use of the cost-benefit that comes with the small lab fish models with high-throughput screening capacity using wild-type and mutant test strains, or designed transgenic reporter fish. Zebrafish is now the second most used laboratory animal in biomedical research whereas aquaculture scientists still use 1000 times more salmonid fish in their research according to the Norwegian Animal Research Authority (NARA).
Among many advanced techniques in the zebrafish toolbox are genetics and genetic engineering, including phenomics of the 26000 genes of which half are represented by characterized mutants available to the research community. The transparent embryo stages and pigment deficient adult see-through fish makes 3D-imaging of intact animals, specific tissues or cancer cells an opportunity for in vivo studies in a vertebrate organism.
There were 5 well received CERAD abstracts in the program in the toxicology/environment sessions:
• Leonardo Martin et al. Dose Dependent Effects of Gamma-radiation on Differentially Expressed Genes of Early Zebrafish Embryo Transcriptome
• Selma Hurem et al. Developmental Effects of Gamma Irradiation in Successive Generations of Zebrafish
• Jorke Kamstra et al. Developmental Dynamics and Tissue Distribution of Hydroxymethylcytosine in the Zebrafish
• Selma Hurem et al. Effect of UV Exposure Alone or in Combination with Low-dose Gamma Radiation on Sensitive Early Life History of Zebrafish
• Terje Christensen et al. Relative Efficiency of Ultraviolet Radiation A and B Combined with a Chemical Stressor on Zebrafish Embryos
Of the around 500 abstracts on research applications using the zebrafish (and medaka) model, a handfull was on using the small robust and well characterized fish in biology teaching and education and presented in a dedicated teaching and education workshop. Charles Press and Peter Alestrom from NMBU presented e-ZFbook - A New Teaching Concept and Finn-Arne Weltzien described an initiative for “School of Fish”, a national a research school. A report with highlights from the conferance will be published in the journal ZEBRAFISH and the EZM2015 program with abstracts is available at zebrafish2015.org.
zebrafish regards from Peter