In yet another interesting article by Genome Web, the highly regenerative properties of the zebrafish are explored with genomic techniques. Titled "New CRISPR Guide RNA Screen Helps Define Genetics of Spinal Cord Regeneration in Zebrafish", it is expressed that researchers based out of the University of Edinburgh have used synthetic Oligo CRISPR guide RNA's (sCrRNA) to identify functional regulators of spinal cord regeneration in the zebrafish. This of course is interesting and important science, as most vertebrates cannot regenerate damaged nervous systems, and thus, diseases such as Transverse Myelitis, Neuromyelitis Optica, Alzheimer's, Multiple Sclerosis, and Parkinson's are commonplace in human neurological pathology. Many studies note the incredible ability of zebrafish to regenerate neural tissue after direct spinal cord injuries. Following the injection of sCrRNA into the zebrafish, 30 macrophage related genes which are related to neural tissue recovery, with 10 being suggested to be explicitly related to axonal regeneration.
If such genetic technology could be harnessed and administered on humans, it could mean the end of all neurodegenerative diseases.
Resources & Information:
Zebrafish Spinal Regen: https://journals.plos.org/plosgenetics/article?id=10.1371/journal.pgen.1009515