Working with Ian Johnston at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, Scott has found that raising zebrafish at warmer temperatures as embryos actually improves their ability to adjust to both higher and lower temperatures as adults.
Their research shows the fish are hardier after being raised in a warm-water nursery, and raises the question of how far the temperature can rise before the advantage becomes a liability, as inevitably it will, Scott says.
“What limits are there to their coping abilities? That’s what we’re really trying to understand,” says Scott, a specialist in animals’ adaptation to challenging environments.
“If we want to appreciate how the natural world is affected by climate change, that’s what we need to know.”
The research appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Zebrafish are native to freshwater habitats of Southern Asia, and over their lives can experience a range of temperatures from almost 40 C to nearly freezing. The fish under study were raised across the range of temperatures they would normally experience in their natural breeding season (22 C to 32 C).
The biology of zebrafish – especially their short gestation period – makes them ideal research subjects.
Scott and Johnston found that when embryos raised in warm water experienced temperature variation as adults, they could swim faster, their muscle was better suited for aerobic exercise, and they expressed at higher levels many of the genes that contribute to exercise performance.
The improvements were true for the adult fish in warmer and colder water alike – a finding that surprised the researchers.
“We thought that they might do better under warmer conditions because they grew up in warmer conditions. We didn’t think they’d also do better under colder conditions, but they did.”
A photo of Graham Scott with a zebrafish is available here: http://tiny.cc/a080iw. (Photo by JD Howell.)
A photo of zebrafish embryos, taken 28 hours after fertilization (a little over a third of the way through embryonic development), is available here: http://tiny.cc/ebh1iw . (Photo by Ian Johnston.)
For more information, please contact:Wade Hemsworth
Wade Hemsworth | Newswise Science News
Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds
26.05.2017 | Cornell University
How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system
26.05.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy