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Zebrafish & rare disease

An international collaboration co-ordinated by Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary, has developed a zebrafish model of a rare disease that can cause blindness in middle-aged people.

Pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE) is a genetic disease which develops in early adulthood, affecting vision and other soft tissues due to the excess production of calcium plaques.

The group used CRISPR/Cas9 technology to modify the gene in zebrafish embryos, and were then able to induce the calcium crystal plaques, allowing researchers to study their formation.

The model will now be used to test potential drug candidates for PXE, alongside existing mouse models of the disease.

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