Fall 2017

Preserving science

Photo: Istock

For more than 60 years, researchers have tried to freeze the embryo of a zebrafish, a species with a genome similar to that of humans. Zebrafish are used to study melanoma, heart disease, and blood disorders. 

Investigators from the University of Minnesota and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute recently used gold nanotechnology and lasers to successfully rewarm a frozen zebrafish embryo—a technique developed by the U’s John Bischof, Distinguished McKnight University Professor and Carl and Janet Kuhrmeyer Chair in Mechanical Engineering. 

The technology could prevent scientists from losing specimens.