Scientists at Heidelberg University, Germany, have created fish eye models at the lab, paving the way to better understand retinal development.
The team found that stem cells - cells with the potential to develop into many different types of cells in the body - from medaka (Japanese rice fish) and zebrafish can form neural structures under lab conditions.
The findings, published in the journal eLife, showed that in both fish embryos and in the Petri dish, retina cells behave and grow in the same way.
“The major advantage of fish organoids is that they are highly reproducible, unlike organoids from mammalian stem cells. They develop reliably and very quickly and enable a direct comparison with living embryos that in fish grow outside of the womb,” said the leading author Prof. Joachim Wittbrodt.