Not many scientists are willing to admit the fact that we still have a lot more to learn about biology. And yet an old and even more scary idea says that the more you study, the more you realize just how little you know. And the principle can apply for pretty much any field, including biology and chemistry.
Researchers from the University of Ottawa discovered that one fragment of the secretogranin-2 called secretoneurin is important for stimulating sexual function. However, it’s available only in the case of the zebrafish.
Gene editing was the key
The researchers involved had been using gene-editing technology for changing secretogranin-2 genes through specific mutation. The process reduced the sexual behavior of the creatures, as the researchers are saying:
The couples carrying the introduced mutations produce eggs and sperm, but they are simply terrible at mating with each other.
This is the first evidence that mutation of these genes leads to disruption of sexual behavior in any animal.
If the experiment wasn’t performed, things would have been a lot different:
Normally, within a few minutes after a male and female are introduced for the first time, the male chases the female in a courtship ritual, and shortly therefore they spawn — that is to say, the female releases her eggs to the water, and the male instantly fertilizes them,
The zebrafish is a freshwater fish from the minnow family of the order Cypriniformes. The zebrafish is a widely used vertebrate model organism among various scientific research. There’s even usage in drug development. The zebrafish has been modified by researchers to produce many transgenic strains.
The zebrafish is a derived member from the Brachydanio genus of the family Cyprinidae. It also has a sister-group relationship with Danio aesculapii.
The findings of the new sex hormone were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.