MBL Hibbitt Fellow Caroline Albertin comments on the care of embryonic cephalopods.

University of Oregon zebrafish research pioneer George Streisinger put marbles at the bottom of fish tanks to keep zebrafish parents from eating their own freshly laid eggs, as they often do, says Washington University School of Medicine developmental biologist Lilianna Solnica-Krezel. The eggs settled into crevices between the marbles and thus avoided becoming a meal.

Researchers care about the welfare of organisms in their keep and are especially attentive to the young, such as seedlings, larvae, pupae, embryos, hatchlings or pups. As they focus on babies and parenting, scientists must be observant and inventive. Solnica-Krezel and her colleagues at Washington University School of Medicine maintain one of the world’s largest zebrafish facilities, with 9,000 zebrafish tanks, 1,000 of which make up the nursery. She embraces ideas from the work of Nobel laureates Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard and Eric Wieschaus, who used forward-genetic screens in fruit flies and explored the mutations that showed up to learn about gene function. The approach is, says Solnica-Krezel, “the concept of asking organisms to tell us what’s important.” Read rest of the article here.

Source: Welcome to the Nursery | Nature Methods