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Research Spotlight: Summer Sun Safety Month

C. elegans and Zebrafish (Danio rerio) have been used to study the effects of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) for decades (1,2). C. elegans are such an easy and powerful tool to use that they were highlighted in the journal “The American Biology Teacher” to directly show students the harmful effects of UVR (3). Also a recent review highlighted the importance of zebrafish studies in understanding how changes in UVR due to environmental and climate changes may affect wild fish populations (4). These are in addition to traditional research using these animal models showing that UVR can influence the spread of melanoma (5) and affect longevity (6).

  1. Klass MR. Aging in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans: major biological and environmental factors influencing life span. Mech Ageing Dev. 1977;6(6):413-429. doi:10.1016/0047-6374(77)90043-4
  2. Grunwald, D., & Streisinger, G. (1992). Induction of mutations in the zebrafish with ultraviolet light. Genetical Research, 59(2), 93-101. doi:10.1017/S0016672300030305
  3. Fran Norflus “The Use of Inquiry-Based Activities with Caenorhabditis elegans to Enable Students to Learn about UV Radiation,” The American Biology Teacher, 79(5), 401-406, (1 May 2017)
  4. Alves, R.N., Agustí, S. Effect of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) on the life stages of fish. Rev Fish Biol Fisheries 30, 335–372 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11160-020-09603-1
  5. Wäster, P., Orfanidis, K., Eriksson, I. et al. UV radiation promotes melanoma dissemination mediated by the sequential reaction axis of cathepsins–TGF-β1–FAP-α. Br J Cancer 117, 535–544 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/bjc.2017.182
  6. De Magalhaes Filho, C.D., Henriquez, B., Seah, N.E. et al. Visible light reduces C. elegans longevity. Nat Commun 9, 927 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-02934-5

About The Author

Jenn Lawson

Jenn is a Transgenics Lab Tech IV and the supervisor of the Transgenics Molecular Biology team at InVivo Biosystem. The team specializes in C. elegans and zebrafish transgenics. She received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Utah. Her background includes over 16 years of professional research experience in both academic and biotech labs. Prior to joining InVivo Biosystems she worked with and contributed to numerous published scientific studies using mouse models. She is happy to now be working with animal models that do not bite. Jenn loves to read and is fascinated by human behavior and evolutionary psychology.

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