Diagnosis of Heart Diseases by Zebra fish Gene : Possibilities and Challenges - Daily Current Affair Article

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Recently, a Pune-based research institute has identified a gene of Zebrafish that may be helpful in the diagnosis of heart diseases.

Introduction

  • Scientists from a Pune-based research institute have identified genes of Zebrafish that may be helpful in the diagnosis of heart diseases. The Zebrafish can heal its heart, after damage. This ability of Zebrafish is a matter of research. Recently scientists have succeeded in finding this gene.
  • Scientists have been able to identify the Zebrafish cellular communication network factor (ccn 2a) after years of effort. If the effects of this gene of Zebrafish have make positive effects on humans, then the problem of heart disease in humans can be diagnosed.

What is Zebrafish

  • Zebrafish are about 2.5 cm to 4 cm long fish found in freshwater. It regenerates its heart rapidly after damage.
  • Research on Zebrafish has been taking place since 1960. Now information about its new quality has been received. Scientists are now trying to use this gene to diagnose heart diseases.
  • Its scientific name is Danio rerio. And it is a tropical freshwater fish found in Southeast Asia. Zebrafish have already been used to research many biological processes behind muscular dystrophy.
  • It is an important model for understanding mechanisms of development and diseases such as cancer.
  • The complete genome sequence of the Zebrafish was published in 2013.

Identification

  • Males are thin and torpedo-shaped which are usually pink or yellow.
  • Females are less pink than males and less so because of the eggs they take.

Why is heart disease research needed?

  • According to The Lancet journal, diseases like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer have increased very fast in India in the last several years. During the last 25 years, the incidence of cardiovascular diseases and stroke has increased by more than 50% in every state in India.
  • Of the total deaths in India, deaths due to cardiovascular diseases and stroke were 15.2 percent in 1990, which has been increased to 28.1 percent in 2016.
  • Of the total deaths, 17.8 percent were due to heart disease and 7.1 percent to paralysis.
  • The number of cases of cardiovascular diseases has increased from 2.57 crores in 1990 to 5.45 crores in 2016.
  • Heart disease has also been found to be highly vulnerable to the corona epidemic.
  • Thus we find that heart disease is becoming very deadly in India.
  • In this situation research on heart disease is needed to protect peoples right to life.

Why is Zebrafish suitable for research?

  • They are small in size and physically strong.
  • Their protection is also economically affordable.
  • The rate of increase is very high. In one day, they become equal to the size of a human fetus of 1 month.
  • Along with this, they can heal their damaged heart very fast.
  • The structure of their embryos is almost transparent, which allows them to study their internal structure.
  • They can restructure not only the heart but also the eyes, brain, spinal cord, etc.
  • The gene structure of Zebrafish is similar to that of humans. About 70% of the genes of humans and Zebrafish are similar.

What is ccn2a?

It is a gene that aids in heart regeneration by transmitting cardiomyocytes. This gene is helpful in Zebrafish heart regeneration.

What are the possible challenges?

  • Somewhere manipulation of a person's gene can promote mutation. When there is a permanent change in the DNA of a gene, it is called a mutation. It can be caused by a defect at the time of the division of cells, or due to ultraviolet radiation, or even from a chemical element or virus.
  • It will also be challenging to make the treatment of this technology affordable for all and ensure access to all.
  • There are also moral hazards of gene changes.
  • Permanent change in a gene carries the risk of increasing genetic diseases.

The Conclusion

The rising rate of heart diseases in India is demanding a permanent solution. This is why the government as well as private institutions have come together in this research . But there are ethical and other technical issues involved in genetic research. Besides on these it also demands high technical efficiency. Although this diagnosis is still in its early stages, its use for human should be restricted.

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Mains Question:-

  • Recently a team of scientists has identified the gene of Zebrafish which can be helpful in the diagnosis of heart diseases. Discussing the state of heart disease in India, and explain the use of Zebrafish for humans?