Frogs & kidney disease


Researchers at EARA member the University of Zurich, Switzerland, have found a better way to study kidney disease by using frogs.


With the help of gene editing technology known as CRISPR/Cas9, the team were able to manipulate the function of some genes known to be involved in polycystic kidney disease - where large growths appear on the kidney and impair its function, leading to kidney failure.


After producing 3D images of the whole frog embryo, the team could then visualise the changes in the frog kidneys, thanks to a specially designed artificial intelligence programme to analyse the extent of the disease.


Lead author Dr Thomas Naert outlined the benefits of using frogs for this study, saying “Our novel frog models develop cysts in the kidneys within only a few days, allowing us to observe these disease processes in real time for the first time.”

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