Tiny fish helping scientists eliminate permanent scars

Scientists at the University of Bristol are studying how genes may determine scarring, with the help of zebrafish and funding from the The Scar Free Foundation, which is aiming for “scar-free healing within a generation.”

The charity, which supports people with life-altering scarring, such as burn survivors and people with clefts, will put two million dollars into a new research program led by the university.

That’s why the lab research at Bristol will focus on translucent zebrafish, using live imaging to see how wounds heal or diseases progress, collagen is deposited and scars are formed.

Paul Martin, a professor of cell biology, explained, “Zebrafish are better if you want to live-image the process because they’re translucent, they’re completely see-through. [We can] then look at that fish, where you’ve knocked the gene down or overexpressed it and see how its inflammatory responses change – for example, which we know is fundamentally linked to scarring.”

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