Studying cellular and subcellular dynamics in the developing zebrafish nervous system

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Cells of the developing nervous system undergo incredible proliferation, migrate long distances, and differentiate morphologically into highly specialized structures. The dynamic changes happening at the cellular and subcellular levels can only be properly understood using time-lapse in vivo imaging approaches, for which the transparent embryonic zebrafish is ideally suited. Moreover, the genetic techniques adapted for zebrafish provide incredible spatial, temporal, and quantitative control over the expression of fluorescent proteins, such that practically any structure or cell of interest can be highlighted. Recent zebrafish studies provide new insights into the dynamic nature of cell division, neuronal migration and axon and dendrite formation, but form only the beginning of a promising new era of in vivo live imaging.

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